The modern mom-and-pop: Meet three couples who are not only partners in life, but also in business

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glenn and Rhoda Reeves, Horizon Screen Printing

Glenn and Rhoda Reeves operate Horizon Screen Printing in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Glenn and Rhoda Reeves have been married for 49 years; for 25 of them, they've worked together at Horizon Screen Printing in Cape Girardeau. The couple decided to work together after Glenn retired from Sears in 1987 and Rhoda needed help on the business side of her business.

Because they worked in different areas of the company, they said there were no conflicts working together. As for keeping work and home separate, the couple says it was rarely necessary for them to discuss work outside of business hours.

MIKE AND PAULA HAAS, SOMEWHERE IN TIME ANTIQUES

Mike and Paula Haas have been married for 41 years. When Paula started her antique business in 1998, Mike was right there with her. "On Jan. 2, 2010, I opened this shop and he continues to be the helper I need," Paula says. "He takes care of any task I ask of him. He considers this business to be mine (and it basically is), but I couldn't do it without him!"

Here, Paula talks about the ups and downs of working with her husband:

Why did you decide to work together?

We have always worked together on personal and business projects because it takes both to make an idea work.

Paula and Mike Haas operate Somewhere in Time Antiques in Cape Girardeau (Fred Lynch)

What's the best part of working together?

Being able to discuss and decide on major decisions, fine-tune a way of doing something around the shop and laughing together.

What's the most challenging part of working together?

Stepping over each over on some days and making sure Mike knows who's the boss! Seriously, we have always worked well together on any project. Of course, the longer you are married, the easier it is to read each other.

How do you separate work and home?

Some days that is difficult. But we make an effort to keep the two separate. We have a daughter, son-in-law and two wonderful granddaughters and we are with them as much as possible. I have closed the shop several times to attend a special event with our family. Having a solely-owned business makes it very difficult to have time off unless you simply close for the day. My cousin gave me a plaque that reads: "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." That is certainly true at our age because you can't replace time lost with family.

Owners of JCS Wireless Kathy and Reg Swan pose for a photo inside their Cape Girardeau store Monday, Jane 11, 2012. (Laura Simon)

REG AND KATHY SWAN, JCS-WIRELESS

Reg and Kathy Swan have been partners in life for 41 years and business partners for 37. Kathy shares some insight into working with her husband:

Why did you decide to work together?

It just happened! My mother and father started the business in 1959. Upon college graduation in 1972, Reg joined the family business. When my mother passed away in 1975, I assumed her responsibilities.

What's the best part of working together?

Having a business partner that you can count on and trust.

What's the most challenging part of working together?

Actually, we have very few if any challenges or disagreements. Many years ago, we learned to capitalize on each other's talents and skills; therefore, we respect the role that each other plays in the company.

How do you separate work and home?

Owning a small business, it's not possible. Occasionally, a destination vacation (which may only be an overnight trip) is enough diversion to help clear our minds!

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