In Love & Business


This Valentines Day we’re celebrating local St. Louis couples who work and play together!

We asked the duos behind The Allen Brake TeamBombay Food Junkies, MB Tech, Inc. and our own Tree9 Films to share their insights on love and business.

Like our founders, Chadwell & Ria, these couples know there’s a lot more to being a “partner” than you might expect. Here’s what we learned:

Opposites attract.

I am very organized. He needs a little more help in that department! In his defense, it is easy to get pulled in multiple directions when you have clients freaking out if their technology isn’t working!” – Danelle, MB Tech, Inc.
“I am a perfectionist and Sid is not, so we do have arguments but we have learned to deal with them.” – Krupa, Bombay Food Junkies
“Our working styles couldn’t be more different, but that’s what makes our business work. Chadwell’s head is in the clouds, and my heels are on the ground, but despite the differences we share the same level of commitment to our work.” – Ria, Tree9 Films

You’re not always right.

“Some things are worth fighting for. Years of working together have really impressed upon us what each other’s strengths are, and so each of us has learned when to give.” – Ria
The one thing you cannot argue with is money or math! So if you cannot agree, look at the bottom line. That will tell you who is right. EVERYTHING affects the bottom line, no matter the topic.” – Danelle
“Designate roles for each of you. Even if you love doing everything together as a couple, it’s imperative that you separate your roles in the business so that you can each focus on what you’re best at. Make sure that you give one another free rein in your designated areas, and trust each other to do their job.  When disagreements and miscommunication occur, we take a step back and remember that we are on the same team, committed to our business, and working towards a common goal.” – Jenni, The Allen Brake Team

There are plenty of benefits.

“I do not feel nervous about any new decisions I make; since I know, he is right there standing beside me to support them!” – Krupa
“You don’t have to explain yourself so much. They are running the business with you – they get it. They know when things don’t work out and they know when it is time to celebrate. Entrepreneurship is hard, so it is nice to have someone that understands.” – Danelle
“Allen and I have 3 small children and working in the corporate world I did not have flexibility to attend my children’s school events nor pick them up from an early school dismissal. I missed out on a lot in their early years. We decided that our family needs to be our #1 priority. With my new career, we are able to have an amazing work/life balance.” – Jenni
“Film schedules can be unpredictable, but working together allows us to find those leisurely Sunday mornings on a Tuesday afternoon.” – Ria

It’s a balancing act.

“We always have challenges to discuss and solve! Work is almost 24/7 unfortunately! But when we are around our friends or go out for dinners with our daughter or are playing with her – we focus on those activities.” – Krupa
“One of our rules is no business talk during dinner when it is all about the kids. Everything gets put on hold during that time – and dinner time is really important at our house. That is how we catch up with them, and simply focus on being a family.” – Danelle
“It is very important to separate work and home life, and transition to thinking about your family and your relationship rather than living, sleeping, and breathing your job.” – Jenni
“We embrace our company as the huge part of our lives that it is. When you do creative work, you never really stop thinking about it. Inspiration can strike at any time – even on vacation.” – Ria

It takes two.

“You must have a good compatibility and should be best friends to be successful. You should throw ego out of the window.” – Krupa
“We’re partners, in the truest sense. Whether we’re working to get the laundry done, or writing a screenplay – we share it all.” – Ria
You BOTH have to be in it to win it. All the way. Both have to be willing to take risks, learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and assign roles accordingly. Be able to handle conflict well. And no finger pointing. The mistakes are yours and the glories are yours.” – Danelle

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Meet the Couples

 Allen and Jenni Brake, The Allen Brake Team
A top-producing real estate team in Saint Louis with more than $50 million in annual sales. Headed by Allen and Jenni Brake, our team focuses its business in Saint Louis, where we specialize in serving buyers, sellers, investors, and a wide range of property types including new construction, short sales, foreclosures, and more.
The Allen Brake Team stands as one of the top real estate agencies in Saint Louis because our main goal is to provide outstanding customer service to our clients. The knowledge and experience our agents provide is unparalleled. By utilizing cutting edge technology trends and providing 24/7 availability to our clients, we assure you the most efficient and enjoyable real estate experience possible. We believe the most important qualities in a real estate agent are integrity, expert local market knowledge, effective negotiation skills and strong technological abilities. The Allen Brake Team was built on these qualities, and they continue to be the foundation for our growth and success.
Marcel and Danelle Brown, MB Tech, Inc.
They’ve owned and operated MB Tech, Inc. for over 15 years which provides all aspects of IT Management for small businesses as well as individuals in their homes. Nine years ago, they added a component that helps companies market their business online.
Danelle Brown is the founder and president of Queen Bee Consulting, a Certified Book Yourself Solid Business Coach, Certified Asset Based Thinking Coach, and CEO at MB Tech Inc. As a professional business coach, Danelle specializes in working with small businesses, helping them identify and focus on their target markets to maximize their profits and get more clients while balancing work and family life. Having run her own technology and consulting services company with her husband Marcel, she uses her own experiences of running a small business to help her clients.
Brown’s specialties include business coaching, strategic marketing, accountability programs and helping entrepreneurs create and maintain an online business presence. Danelle provides one-on-one, individualized training, and also speaks for various organizations. She’s also an expert at connecting people and showing them how to network.
Marcel Brown is known as “The Most Trusted Name in Technology” He is the leading authority on The New World Of Technology and prides on providing his clients with the most up to date technology insight and analysis.  Marcel offers his 20+ years of technology experience to clients through consulting, support services, and analysis. Marcel tackles the “geeky” technology projects at MB Tech and is also available as a speaker, writer, or consultant for media appearances.
Krupa and Sid Panchal, Bombay Food Junkies
Born and raised in Bombay, India – the two of us have found our ways to turn back to our roots whether it is for the love or for food. Both of which are difficult to live without and so we decided to combine them to fulfill our passion for the love of food, Bombay street food. Being the first Indian Food Truck in St Louis, we promise to bring you the famous Bombay street food experience ranging from chaats to pizzas to curries. That’s right, Bombay street food is an amalgamation of foods from all over the country. Lets not forget the British touch which left us with sandwiches and Pizzas, Chinese foods adapted to Indian taste, Dosas and Idlis from the south of India and the rich history of spices mixed with healthy ingredients is what this street food is all about, sweet-spicy and savory. This food truck will fulfill the niche of providing St.Louisians with a unique food experience and much more. We want to bring the taste as well as the experience we grew up with to the city of St Louis. We promise the freshness and taste that lingers on!!!

 

Learn more about Tree9’s founders, Chadwell & Ria.