Unlimited Partnership

Why are more and more couples risking romance to launch a business together? How do the successful ones make it work? Five couples - and one ex-couple - share their stories and strategies.

Anamaria Schelling and Carol Peabody
Spend time apart
Anamaria Schelling and Carol Peabody
Hacienda D'Mexico

Anamaria Schelling and Carol Peabody knew from the beginning that they were for each other, and they've weathered many ups and downs since they met in 1987. But they had no idea how tough things could get until, in 1998, they launched their Tucson-based furniture shop, Hacienda D'Mexico.

Respecting each other's individual strengths and expertise is key to their successful partnership. That, and working different schedules: Peabody takes Fridays off. Schelling takes Thursdays off, and they alternate mornings and afternoons - so both can be as hands-on (or hands-off) as they like.

The store has profited despite and because of their differences. "When a customer came in the first week we opened and bought $30,000 worth of inventory, we knew we were going to make it," says Schelling.

Last updated January 10 2008: 10:16 AM ET

Divide and conquer

No shop talk at dinner

Spend time apart

Get professional help

The trust factor

After the breakup

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