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Partners in Marriage & Business

Keys to Success: Love, Respect, Communication and Kindness.

Danielle Kaplowitz and Ramsey Mellette

Dam + West Media, Inc | www.DamandWest.com

The Journey.

Danielle Kaplowitz is a Stamford native. She met Ramsey Mellette in 2004 while living in Los Angeles. Danielle was working as a professional actor/voice-over talent. She was a fan-favorite on the series, Community. Ramsey a graduate of USC Film School lived in the apartment downstairs. They became fast friends and began dating three years later. They married in 2011. They have two children, Jonah 9 and Maisie 7.

The couple moved to Stamford in January of 2021 to be closer to family. In looking for work, they wanted to have something that was their own; something that would highlight their talents and creativity while exploring different types of stories and story-telling. “We wanted to build something that we and our family could be proud of.” 

Dam + West is a boutique video production studio launched in 2021, specializing in branded content, corporate video, commercials, event capture, sizzles, interviews and more. They bring 35 years of collective experience working in the Entertainment industry. Danielle is the producer and director. Her strengths are working with people to feel comfortable in front of the camera and handling all logistics. Ramsey is the creative and technical brain. He is as good at story and editing as he is at the technical aspects of filming. Because they each bring such unique qualities to the table, they truly complement each other.

What advice do Danielle and Ramsey have for other couples considering working together? “Make sure that you always try to lead with love and respect when you have conflicts. Love in a marriage is allowing the other person to grow and shine. Never dimming the other person's light. Only helping it shine brighter.”

Danielle and Ramsey are passionate and dedicated. They are also a lot of fun to work with.

“We have a wonderful network of film professionals. On the home front, we are lucky enough to live near family and have amazing friends. We get a lot of encouragement and support which is awesome. It definitely takes a village.”

Mary Artemis & Michael Hienzsch

Greenwich Arts Academy | 980 Hope Street, Stamford 06907 | www.greenwichartsacademy.com

It’s all in the music.

Meet Mary Artemis and Michael Hienzsch, owners of the Greenwich Arts Academy located at 980 Hope Street in Stamford. Married twenty years this month, they met in northern California. Michael taught piano to Mary’s three children, whom she was raising as a single mom. They knew on their first date that they were meant for each other. They married a year later.

In 2004, after the birth of their daughter, Athena, they moved to Greenwich and then to Stamford.

“Stamford has a ‘fun vibe’, and is less insular, more socially friendly and much more positively relaxed. There is an invitation and openness that we appreciate.”

They both graduated from UC Berkeley. Michael has a long history as a composer, performing his musicals in children’s theater throughout Europe. Mary is a born teacher. Her focus is on the arts and pedagogy, especially in child development.

Both are lifelong teachers with an emphasis on the creative but officially opened as the Greenwich Arts Academy in 2023.

They believe that what words cannot say can be carried in the music. They offer instruction for a wide range of instruments, vocal coaching, songwriting, auditioning and more with a highly qualified teaching faculty. Sign-up is easy and parent-friendly with affordable options.

How do they balance work and marriage?

“Creativity develops imagination. Utilizing imagination helps you understand how another person may be feeling. Empathy! Start from there and check in by asking them along the way. Working with a spouse/partner so closely is a crash course in relationship counseling, or what simply can be called, being a good friend.”

Probably the most unspoken and underrated couples’ secret: “Keep the intimacy real, as well as the flirting! It is easy to ‘forget’ to show what we feel about our spouse. Make it living. Just as in a good business, ‘Live out Loud’.”

Ashley and Victor Mathieu

Co-Owners, Fiesta on Main / Investors / Consultants

With all of my heart, for all of my life.

Friends throughout college, Victor and Ashley Mathieu remained virtual pen pals and spoke endlessly through emails and instant messages from across the country. They met in 2002, became friends in 2003, and started dating in 2007. They were married Sept 4th, 2011. 

The couple first began working together at Datto, CT’s first unicorn company. Victor ran the support team and Ashley was in sales. This was great practice for eventually owning businesses AND parenting together. Because they lived and worked together, they really had to learn how to truly listen to one another and hear the other’s points of view, and take their egos out of it.

Ashley recalls, “This was perfect practice when we went into business with my parents with the Fiesta Restaurants. We also had the added layer of working with my family, which created even more sensitivity and maneuvering. In life and specifically, motherhood, I am the one who thinks 8 steps ahead, but in business, it’s Victor.”

Vic and Ashley have worked together in some capacity since 2012. They also have FIVE children: Cooper 7, Brady 5, and 2-year-old triplet girls Haley, Molly and Elly.

What’s their secret?

“Be kind. Be kind. Be kind. Vic and I are very lucky that this comes pretty easy to us but we aren’t perfect at it.”

It’s certainly a balancing act between parenting, marriage and business.

“I am the luckiest woman in the world. I’ve had people say that they are impressed by me as a mother of five kids… but Victor and I are partners at everything. He has changed diapers, woken up in the middle of the night, and cleaned more dishes than I have. He wakes up every Saturday and Sunday morning and cooks for our entire family… not because anyone asked for it… but because he wants his kids to wake up to the smell of breakfast cooking on the weekends. He truly enjoys being a father and a husband… and my dreams and aspirations are as important to him as they are to me.  There is no other man in this world like him and I am grateful every minute of every day to be his wife. Those five kids came from my body, but their sweet childhood comes from his heart.” 

Circus Splendiferous

Jesse Cody and Mickey Lonsdale

www.CircusSplendiferous.com

A Splendiferous Love Story - Running Away with the Circus!

Jesse and Mickey met in Arezzo, Italy at Mickey’s Halloween Party in 2013. Jesse was studying abroad for her undergraduate in Theater, and Mickey was completing his MFA in Physical Theatre. Jesse is from Columbus, GA and Mickey is from Montgomery, AL. Mickey moved to Stamford in 2014 and Jesse followed (after graduating) in 2016. They were married in 2019.

Their business Circus Splendiferous LLC, is a professional circus company that offers many forms of professional entertainment as well as both recreational and educational enrichment programs. Mickey is a professional clown and acrobat. His outgoing, charismatic personality is perfectly suited to the sales side of the business in addition to having a big-picture vision and being good with numbers. Jesse is an aerialist, stilt-walker, and partner acrobat. Her creative and analytical personality is best utilized for marketing.

“We both love the circus! They always say that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life! We're just doing what we love, and by doing so, we hope we can reignite the curiosity and magic of the circus for others!”

Clowning around is not without challenges. They started the business in March of 2020 at nearly the exact moment that Covid hit. They, like most of the world, had to pivot and adjust.

Blending marriage and work with your spouse can also be a challenge. “We've really struggled with removing emotion from business discussions. Communication is key! It's all too easy to let that familiar tone creep into your voice when you disagree, but in a professional setting, it's completely inappropriate and extremely detrimental! So we've had to really focus on treating each other like colleagues instead of spouses in the workplace.”

Love means different things to different people. To Mickey and Jesse, “Love changes over time. Love is being with someone with all of their flaws, and loving them anyway. Love is being able to be your true self, only better because of your other half. Love is being with your best friend and sharing laughs, tears, and every emotion in between. Love is not being able to imagine a life without them in it.”

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