An Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Business of Love

ColeParker2

When we created Cole and Parker, my husband and I had been dating for just a few months, but even back then we knew that we both had a passion for entrepreneurship that went far beyond our colorful sock startup.

It was our merger mindset that drove us to crack through social relationship norms and create new, lasting rules that work specifically for us.

Together, we own a successful sock line. More importantly, we are the co-founders of the most valued business in life: our marriage. How did we get here? Simple. Much like a start-up, we challenge the ideals of a great relationship.

We can’t help but disrupt the orderly, shake things up and constantly keep things fresh, with the same start-up model that drives our businesses to success. Here are a few tips from this model that have pushed our relationship beyond our biggest dreams.

Have a Vision

Diana

In business, my husband always says, “If you don’t have a what you cant figure out the how.”  We’ve made a collective commitment to stay clear on our whats as a relationship routine.

Often times in a partnership, business or romantic, the vision can get lost in the buzz of life. We have become habitual clearers, which means we sit down and communicate about
anything that might be blocking us from our what.

My husband and I know our what. We set clear boundaries in all areas of our world so that
nothing blocks us from the team vision. Clarity on the what, getting there together and consistent clearings for fuel along the way is key in our co-founder commitment.

QLRs (Quarterly Life Reviews)

ColeParker

Much like a quarterly business review, we schedule four meetings out of the year to review our collective and individual goals. This is a way of staying present within the romantic bond and as the CEOs of our marriage.

It’s also a blast! Sometimes we vision board, other times we take a romantic evening to goal set on post its with a great pinot. The bottom line is that we make a strategic effort to stay on the same page and we never let something little explode.

Co-founders of startups must always strive to develop for the business to develop, and its no different in a relationship. This is why we believe it vital to develop in all areas of our lives and check in on that growth in a healthy way.

Shake Up the Norm

Our first date was at an “off the beaten path” taco restaurant. The restrooms werent mentionable, but the pollo con queso was unreal, and I was mitten when my now husband used the few Spanish phrases he knew to chat with the owner of the place. Case in point: shaking up the norm is a bonding experience.

I doubt we would have bonded the way we did over jalapenos and guac, if we’d have chosen something familiar. Similar to our start-ups, we are always switching things up. Success isn’t about going with the flow that’s a serious bore.

For our business and love partnership, changing things up creates sustainability and success. That’s our secret weapon.

My husband and I came into our love partnership with business brains: both of us having managed accomplished companies before we met.

It was only natural that we treated marriage as a merger, transferring a lust for start-up success into deep love in our relationship. We’ve learned that the best models to manage businesses are not strictly for start-ups. They’re also models to maintain healthy, lasting love.


Diana House co-founded Cole and Parker, a designer sock line that helps support entrepreneurs in need. Her experiences include:

  • Launching an international accessory company focusing on the niche market 
  • Led teams to increase customer base from 100 clients to more than 500 in 2 years
  • Investing in tech + CPG companies

Schedule a call with Diana to talk about crowdfunding, getting funded, and business development. 

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