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.

Cameron Hughes and Jessica Kogan
The trust factor
Cameron Hughes and Jessica Kogan
Cameron Hughes Wine
San Francisco

Cameron Hughes was mixing wines for fun at a dinner with friends when he experienced his eureka moment: Why not buy the surplus wine from high-end vineyards and, instead of blending them with cheap wines to make a mediocre brand, bottle them alone and offer luxury wines at an affordable cost to consumers online?

Hughes and his then-girlfriend Jessica Kogan threw their time and resources into creating Cameron Hughes Wine in 2001. What followed were years of debt, cramped quarters, and a sharp learning curve.

The pair stuck it out, got married, and now share two children as well as a wine brand stocked in select stores by national retailers Costco and Safeway. Sales topped $8 million in 2006 and doubled the next year.

Kogan's take on the key to success: "Respect and trust. Not from a romantic standpoint - will he cheat on you? - but from a business standpoint: Do you respect the other person's abilities and skills and do you trust that he will make good decisions on your behalf?"

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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