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Love & Business

Six Successful Frederick County Couples Share About Being Partners in Business and in Life

Carmine Varriale & Giovanna Galletta

Business: Delizia Cafe (est. 2022)

Married: "many years"

DeliziaCafeMenu.com
 

How did you meet?

We met at a photoshoot. (Carmine was the marketing coordinator for a famous wedding dress firm and Giovanna was the featured model in the campaign.)

What is the best part of being in business together?

We learned so much when we owned our marketing agency for over ten years in Italy…Having the chance to celebrate the same goals, share the same passion and love…holding each other’s hands in the good and bad moments.

What are some qualities that contribute to your success?

Humility and respect

What are you most excited about in 2023?

Delizia Cafe becoming a regular part of more people in our community…We express ourselves in every detail of Delizia. We hope to share the magic of Italy right here in Frederick for many, many years!

CJ & Donna Dorman

Business: Dorman Home Remodeling, Inc. (est. 1985)

Married: 21 years

DormanHomeRemodeling.com

What is the best part of being in business together?

Trusting and knowing that we each want to do what is right for the business.

What do you love about doing business in Frederick County?

We have made a home here because Frederick still has a small town charm and it is truly a community…Frederick (and Mount Airy) also have a strong remodeling community. We love our trade partners who, in some cases, are our neighbors. 

What advice would you give other couples who are planning to start a business together?

It’s important to separate personal time from business. When eating dinner, try really hard not to talk about work.

What is one of your favorite memories while running your business together?

In 2006, we won our first National Contractor of the Year award  (CotY). The awards ceremony was held in Austin, Texas so we flew down with our whole team, along with our two sons. We were so excited to have won the award, and to have celebrated with our team and our family. 

What's one thing you want people to know?

We are just like you. We love Frederick, we love our job, we love our team and we love making homes beautiful. We truly believe that every home—no matter its current shape—holds beauty within its walls. Through these 35+ years we have worked with so many wonderful and amazing clients. And we will always try to exceed the client's expectations in everything that we do.

Kathy & Tom Schultze

Business: Kathy Schultze State Farm Insurance (est. 1984)

Married: 45 years

KathySchultze.com

How did you meet?

We officially met in the library in high school. (Tom wasn’t there to study…Kathy was!)

What is the best part of being in business together?

Early on we had children—working together gave us a lot of flexibility…Other than that, we share a love for helping people.The whole working together thing has evolved and been great for us and our family.

What do you love about doing business in Frederick County?

While Frederick County’s roots are in dairy and agriculture, it has also become a destination for food/spirits and our various cultural attractions. There is a great mix of people and ideas…a lot of active people who want Frederick County to be a terrific place to live, work and raise a family. It’s our hometown and a truly caring and active community.  

What advice would you give other couples who are planning to start a business together?

It helps if your marriage is on solid ground and your goals for the business are similar. Good communication and knowing your roles and your individual strengths are important. We definitely don’t agree on everything so being good at “picking your battles” saves the day!

What's one thing you want people to know?

Insurance is all about managing risks in your lives and preparing for your future. You have finite dollars to spend. What’s the best way to use your resources to make sure life events don’t put you in a really bad place? That’s what we try to do every day.

Mark & Terri Maradei

Business: Steeples & Peoples Podcast (est. 2021)

Married: 21 years

SteeplesAndPeoples.com

Why did you start your business?

On November 23, 2021, our first episode was available on all podcast networks. We wanted to promote local businesses and events from the perspective of the business owner or event planner. We saw a need to promote locally, particularly coming out of a pandemic where many were struggling and not knowing their future in the community.   

What is the best part of being in business together?

Quality time we spend together with no distractions of daily life. 


 

What do you love about doing business in Frederick County?

Learning the stories…Our biggest realization was that businesses in Frederick County, even competing businesses, really support and help each other. 

What is a big goal you share? 

Grow our listening audience organically and monetize, at least to get back what we’ve invested in our adventure…we would like to interview and promote more businesses in Frederick County.

What's one thing you want people to know?

We do this out of passion to promote our diverse community.  We are not native to Frederick and have always felt it’s a big city with a very family-friendly small town feel and we can’t ever see ourselves leaving the area.

Jarad & Acacia Bowers

Businesses: Benefactor Events (est. 2020) and AK's Grafix & Photo (est. 2020)

Married: 5 years (in June 2023!)

BenefactorEvents.com

AKsGrafix.com


 

What is the best part of being in business together?

Our businesses are technically separate,  but we often have the privilege of working together, hand-in-hand, music and photography. One of the best parts about working together is seeing just how amazing the other person is!


 

What do you love about doing business in Frederick County?

The Frederick Community is truly like none other. We are relatively new to this community and area but, I have to say we have never felt so quickly accepted and welcomed…Frederick really highlights and appreciates its small business community…From social media pages like "Everything Frederick" and "Shop Local Frederick" to our phenomenal Chamber of Commerce to a stroll down Market Street, you can just feel the love and support of this community! 


 

What advice would you give other couples who are planning to start a business together?

Make sure you like each other.. haha. No, but, really communication is key. You will spend a lot of time with your partner and business can bring challenges. Make sure you are on the same page and able to discuss things without it causing issues or hiccups that could impact things far outside the business…Also, shared calendars are a lifesaver!
 

What are the values you feel help you to be successful together?

A core value of both of our businesses is giving back to the community. It's part of how we met and a huge part of who we are as people and business owners. We truly believe a business can only be as strong and successful as its community. For that reason, we strive to be active participants in our community, donating and/or discounting our services, and giving back where we can. 

Bill & Staci McLauchlan

Business: DISTRICT Arts (est. 2019)

Married: 36 years

DistrictArts.com

What is the best part of being in business together?

For the 36 years that we have been married, we have always worked together. From our initial supplier-client relationship, to our own marketing research company, to the 12 years we lived on a boat, to the years in the art festival world, to the now almost four years that DISTRICT Arts has been open, being together 24/7 is what makes it all possible for us.

What do you love about doing business in Frederick County?

We moved to Frederick when we sold our boat because we fell in love with the city and county as a result of our participation in the Frederick Festival of the Arts. Frederick has fantastic visual and performing arts communities and incredibly supportive citizenry. The restaurants are fantastic, and the downtown vibe keeps us young in spirit.

What advice would you give other couples who are planning to start a business together?

Recognize that while you will likely have different responsibilities within the business, you will be spending a tremendous amount of time together. For us, that makes being in business together wonderful. Recognize that your relationship needs to be strong enough to deal with the disagreements that are certain to arise in the day-to-day operation of the business.

What is one of your favorite memories while running your business together?

Opening day! After spending months getting the gallery ready and many hours hanging the art, the ribbon cutting with the Mayor and Alderpeople, the Downtown Frederick Partnership and other fellow merchants made our dream come alive.

What are some qualities that contribute to your success?

Patience, listening, discussion

What are you most excited about as we start 2023?

Seeing the new art that our gallery artists produce is always exciting for us. Making that art available to the county and region is what makes this adventure worthwhile. 

We are so grateful to Bill and Staci McLauchlan, owners of DISTRICT Arts on Market Street, who hosted our photoshoot in their beautiful art gallery that features the work many local, regional and national artists whose styles and techniques evoke the modern world through the dramatic use of color and form. Paint, ink, glass, clay, digital art, paper, wood, mixed media and sculpture are all represented. DistrictArts.com

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