Those of you that have been following Hubs & Hers since the beginning know how this all started. Me, criss-cross-applesauce on our compact apartment living room floor, hand painting mugs and previously loved men's button downs. 'I only sleep in my husband's clothes' read the very first one, followed by a pair of his and hers 'I like her butt' and 'I like his beard' mugs. Hubs & Hers was just an unknown online shop, with handmade items inspired by my love, my muse, my husband.
Fast forward six months to Mr Farina's first game changer, the introduction of screen printing (not be confused with elementary heat transfer printing). I came home from work one late evening to find that my magnificent human being of a husband had self-taught himself a new technique that most people would take months to master. Now, we would not only be able to create together, but we would also save time and have the ability to create in bulk. Within days, Mr Farina transformed our garage into our very first print shop.
Our ability to create better quality products more quickly allowed our baby business to boom. Mr Farina's concern now was that our customers needed an easier shopping experience than visiting our Etsy shop, which he felt was not very husband-friendly. He had his heart set on a website of our very own and just like that, my husband built us the perfect site, www.hubsandhers.com.
We moved for the umpteenth time, but we always made it work. My husband could create a functional space out of a shoe box. While saving money, staying at my mom's house, we converted half of her two-car garage into our screen printing space and processed all orders on her formal dining room table. Next move, we divided our underutilized square footage between a much-needed air conditioned bedroom-turned-printing room, a packaging room and an office. This time around, despite my reluctance, each space emphasizes efficiency over aesthetics. We've combined printing, processing and packing into the same room, keeping inventory in the garage and opting for an office over a dining room. Hubs & Hers, a full-service small business running right out of our rental.
I begged my husband to quit his job for months, but I didn't marry no quitter. As a true expert of time management, he had figured out how to earn a living while condensing his schedule to a mere two-day work week. This allowed him spare time to dedicate to Hubs & Hers, while guaranteeing that the bills got paid and his wife didn't have to return to corporate America.
Then one morning, everything changed. Sipping coffee and printing tees, I had barely rubbed the sleepy out of my eyes before a text lit up Mr Farina's screen. I watched his face change as he scanned the paragraph. He gazed up at me, an enormous grin spreading across his face as he read aloud "...Smoke is closed effectively immediately".
August was the first month that Mr Farina was officially Hubs & Hers-ing full-time. We agreed to set ourselves a serious goal to increase our sales by 50% that very first month. The plan was set in motion and my husband created our goal board. Every day, like clockwork, he'd head into our home workshop, grab the red expo marker, update his hand-drawn goal thermometer and a little more red would cover the board.
Despite the fact that this was partially his idea, my husband remained pessimistic all month long. We always seemed to be eerily on par to hit our goal, yet that did not assuage his cynicism. CA-CHING! Each time our phone's notified us of a new order, our eyes would meet. He'd throw in a negative comment about setting our goal too high and I would just smile right back. I knew something he didn't know. I KNEW MY HUSBAND. The moment that he decided Hubs & Hers was our only source of income, I buckled my seat belt.
True to tale, hard work pays off. We hit our goal one day early that first month.
It is now November 13th, four months since my husband left his job and four short years since the day he asked me to marry him.We are continuously learning how to counterbalance one another, not only as husband and wife, but as partners in business. The goals we are setting ourselves are overwhelming, and yet we continue to reach them, side by side.
Our business is flourishing and we're running out of the room to continue running Hubs & Hers from our home. We're facing some big upcoming decisions in 2018, but we are lucky enough to face them together. We are a dream team, building our dream life together, and we are a force to be reckoned with.
P.S. if you haven't already seen how Mr Farina popped the question, you're missing out.