This Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing the romantic turned professional story of 7TILL8 founders, Grace and Andrew. They walk us through the ups and downs of working with your partner and how to make the most of every situation.
What was it like working together in a professional way for the first time?
A: We dove in head-first. It was a big learning experience getting to learn each other’s working and communication styles. That transition took some time, but we quickly started to notice whose skills were better suited for what roles and we were able to divide responsibilities between us. We found really good synergy in the work we were doing by falling into these roles.
What are your individual approaches to the business?
G: I think that the ethos of 7TILL8 represents a lot of our shared values, but there are a lot of interesting contrasts in the brand that I think reflect our differences in perspective. We care a lot about the motivations of both core surfers who have been surfing their whole life as well as educating those who are newer to surfing and still learning.
Andrew, what would you say is Grace’s greatest strength? What do you admire most about her?
A: Her vision. I admire her ability to observe the surf industry and connect the dots that other people fail to see.
Grace, what is Andrew’s greatest strength? What do you most admire about him?
G: His creativity. Andrew has a specific point of view when it comes to how things are made, which fuels a curiosity that’s led to some incredible opportunities. I don’t know that I would’ve ever been interested in starting a wetsuit company if not for his approach to product.
What advice would you give to romantic partners entering into business together?
G: Figure out your “why” early on. It’s going to be the north star that helps you both navigate this rollercoaster that you’re about to get on and it can be crucial in helping you get through tough times.
A: I always have one piece of advice. Separate home from work. There’s a time when you talk about business and then there’s a time when you’re just with your favorite person. Blurring those lines between your relationship and work makes it a challenging situation for all.