Skip navigation
Help

Laguna Beach

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

In 2000 Kate Somerset left her corporate gig and launched Icky Baby, a Laguna Beach, Calif.-based company that designs and manufactures chic baby gifts and accessories. The company took off quickly, its products selling in Barneys, Nordstrom, and hundreds of boutiques. When Somerset needed some help, she turned to her husband, Tim. “He was hooked, and decided to quit his job and help me build the company,” says Somerset. On paper it looked like the perfect union. She handled marketing and design. Tim, who came from the building industry, handled the operations. (MORE: Can China’s New Leader Prevent an Economic Crisis?) In reality, it was a disaster. Tim was instrumental in growing the business – at one point it had 15 employees – but Somerset didn’t always agree with his decisions. That tension spilled into the marriage. “We didn’t know how to put the boundaries in place,” she says. “We didn’t know how to turn it off.” When it works, merging marriage and work can be a beautiful thing. Business trips double as getaways, and late nights are a shared burden rather than a source of bitterness. “It’s a lot easier to be empathetic when you really understand the dynamics of each other’s work,” says Rob Israel, who cofounded the Boulder, Colo.-based franchise Doc Popcorn with his wife, Renee, in 2003. And many couples who work together say their spouse really is the best person for the job. “Business is so much about trust, and I don’t think there’s anyone I could trust more than my wife,” says Mike Harris, who runs Orlando-based Uproar PR with his wife, Catriona. Yet even the best of marriages will likely struggle under the pressures of a shared workplace. The key to making it work appears to be careful planning — and understanding the risks. Eyes wide open As you might guess, the easiest marital mergers are those where each spouse has very different but complimentary skills. But as the Somersets learned, that is no guarantee of success. Likewise, individual personalities may not be that much of a factor.

0
Your rating: None

Yesterday I decided to try an experiment: I solicited reader requests for news photos. I asked people on Twitter and Google+, "Would you like to see a good photo of a particular subject? A high-res version of a photo you've already seen somewhere else? A photo from a particular photographer or event? If I have access and can find it, I'll try to post it" (details). The response was great, the subject matter was varied, and the task of finding the images and composing this entry was great fun. Images ranged from massive solar flares to tiny insects, taken in places from Thailand to outer space. If you enjoy this experiment, let me know in the comments, and I may develop it into a more regular feature. To all those who made requests, thanks so much, I hope you like what I was able to find. [29 photos]

Beth Winter (@bwinter) and Spidler both asked for a higher resolution version of "Anonymous in Polish parliament". -- Lawmakers from the leftist Palikot's Movement cover their faces with masks as they protest against ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, during a parliament session, in Warsaw, Poland, on January 26, 2012, after the Polish government signed the agreement. Poland's plans to sign ACTA sparked attacks on Polish government websites and street protests in several Polish cities this week. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

0
Your rating: None