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Partners

Four Couples That Share Business and Life

Article by Gayle Bryan

Photography by Rebecca Williams & Gayle Bryan

Originally published in Aiken City Lifestyle

David Andrews & Kristen Samoranski 

Dirty Chimney

Love Story

I met Kristen at a country bar I had gone to with a buddy to listen to some live music. A group of girls walked in and my eyes found Kristen's. After hours of conversation, we exchanged numbers. Less than a year later I proposed and we look forward to our wedding in 2023. 

Work Story

I’ve had a passion for chimneys since I was young. My childhood home was burned down by a chimney fire after an uncertified chimney sweep told my dad everything was good to go! He learned the hard way to only trust a certified inspector. As a Certified Chimney Inspector and Certified CDET Technician I detect flaws in the fireplace, chimney, and dryer vent structures and clean and repair them.

Best Part

Knowing we have each other's back. Kristen knows my day and how it's planned. She is very talented, educated, and makes me look at things with a different perspective. I admire what she brings to the table every day.

Biggest Challenge

To be honest, I am not the best communicator. I tend to just make decisions, then I find it challenging talking about it later and including her in discussions. 

Manse & Jordan Jolly

Rock Creek Irrigation and Landscapes

Rock Creek Land Development

Love Story

We met at the Holley House through mutual friends and really connected. After meeting we never really missed a day of talking. We were married eight months later in November of 2013.

Work Story

I started with hardscapes and develop different areas of business until they are self-sustainable and I can establish something new. When we first met, Jordan was in the cosmetology field. We were much smaller then and I asked her to help organize the books. That led to a full-time thing as we grew and now she does that for both companies.

Best Part

Comfort and trust are the best part of working together. Especially when it come to handling finances. I trust her to take care of it like I would.

Biggest Challenge

Separating work and home life can be hard. Work never ends. It’s not like a nine-to-five where you leave it at work when you come home.

David & Carole Ann Hopkins

By Dogwood Construction

Love Story

I was building a barn in Aiken and had nothing to do in the evening because I didn’t know anyone. I had a softball tournament coming up so I decided to go to the batting cages. The girl at the counter (who was Carole Anne’s roommate) saw me first and told Carole Ann there was a really cute guy out at the batting cages. Carole Ann called dibs. We talked a little bit and even though I don’t dance, we did Dance, Dance Revolution. We didn’t exchange numbers that night, but we saw each hour twice more in the next 24 hours - once at a local church and finally at a USC Aiken baseball game. It was history from there. We met in May and I asked her to marry me in July.

Work Story

I am a General Contractor and focus on building custom homes and equestrian estates, while Carole Ann focuses on the design side.

Best Part

The flexibility and getting to share in the happy moments. We get to enjoy each project together and we know exactly what the other is talking about at the end of the day.

Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge is not knowing when to shut it off and separating house time and work time.

James Alford & Erin Eisele

Cork & Cap Bottle Shoppe

Love Story

It all started on a wet December evening ten years ago at the Motor Supply Bar. James and I met randomly, through wine friends, over house-made charcuterie (head cheese, if I remember correctly) and a dusty bottle of ‘99 Côtes du Rhône that James had brought to share. James was a wine buyer at the time and I had just landed back in the states after a year studying in Italy. Somehow James and I ended up next to each other and small talk quickly turned into hours of conversation. It was actually on that first night of meeting that we threw around the idea of a shared dream—how we’d both love to do what we love. The concept of a bottle shop was loosely discussed. We never imagined Aiken, but ten years later, here we are!

Work Story

If you’ve ever visited Cork and Cap and asked for help, you’ve probably met James! He is our daily operations manager and beverage director. But we still take tasting appointments together often and have a constant dialogue about new ideas, what’s on the shelves and how we enhance the customer experience. I manage the food side of things and do all of the marketing, events and such.

Best Part

The best part of working together is working with your partner in life. We share a vision and both have our roles in making that a success.

Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge—is also working with your partner in life! Like most married couples, we have different ideas and ways of doing things. So we try not to upset each other when we disagree.

"The biggest challenge is not knowing when to shut it off and separating house time and work time."

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