Saturday, April 16, 2011

Working with your Husband and Ex-husband without bloodshed!

There is one question that clients of Lucky 7 ask on a consistent basis. Once they feel comfortable with our funky modern family run shop,
the courage comes forth and out pops "How can you work with your husband and ex-husband every day !?! I couldn't do that!!!
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For those of you new to the Lucky 7 tribe - Corey is my business partner and a tattoo artist, AND my ex husband who I met while working at a Sacramento tattoo shop in the 90's. Russell is my tattoo artist husband who I have been married to for 5 years. And I, Kathleen, am the 4 times married body piercer who has married tattooers 75% of the time I walk down the isle.....

Back to the customers question of " HOW" we / I can all work under one roof.
One thing enters my mind right away. Corey and I worked together for a year before we got that thought of dating / getting naked in our heads. He was coming off of a 6 years relationship. I had taken my first husband through a drama and boozed filled 9 years. We came into the courting relationship with some barely healed wounds. But hey, we both love to gamble, so we decided to give it a go. Always having a great time together. Laughing our tails off at the same inside jokes, dining on mexican taquaria food at 3 am. Still managing to keep an easy, fun - yet professional vibe at the tattoo shop. The two of us together made the others at the shop view us as a team so tight we were not to be crossed. So the base of our bond was solid from the git go. Three years later we got hitched Reno style, became serious about creating our own tattoo and piercing shop and got busy doing just that.
The next year was non stop stress, striving and struggle to bring Lucky 7 to fruition. Our marriage got negated to a back burner while the two of us worked 7 days a week, giving the best of what we are to the business we love. Frankly both of us fell away from the romantic bond and reverted to how the relationship had started. A great twosome in the business world of tattoo. Seeming to never learn from my mistakes, I was the first to break away and became involved immediately with another TATTOOER. Corey followed my terrible example by snatching up a quite young, dumb and much spoiled girl 10 years his junior. And to add to the fun all these shenan
igans are happening while still living under the same roof! Boy we sure knew how to not waste a moment and move on quickly...sheesh..! But a very curious and really wonderful thing did take place. Both of us held our tongues! Except for early on in the split, a few brief moments during a disagreement, NO INSULTS passed between the two of us at anytime, anywhere. Not one truly terrible thing (the kind of hurtful statements you can never wipe away) was ever verbally thrown in anger at the other. No snide comments about the other said in haste to a mutual friend. Together and separately we behaved like mature adults! Lucky 7 was still so young. Our joint dream was still alive and kicking in our hearts. The only way Lucky 7 could continue was with us as a team. Our other option, to allow our shop to fade away before it got off the ground, was not okay with either of us. Somewhere within us both we gathered the manners and smarts our mommas gave us and we carried on! Neither of us listening to the well intended advice of concerned parties telling us it couldn't work. To hire expensive lawyers and put each other through the divorce court ringer. Instead we just did what we do really well together, we worked day in and day out to keep the business growing!
Now let us all fast forward- past my very brief, ill conceived marriage to THAT tattooer. Running swiftly across the mucky shores of Corey's much too expensive dalliance involving THAT dimwitted teenager in a training bra. Together we land in Summer of 2006 - at a growing, happy Lucky 7 Tattoo. Corey and I still living under the same roof. Amber, the young, smart and beautiful nursing student moved into Corey's life and bedroom. Me, Kathleen the Piercer, yet again tying the knot for the 4th time. The yummy icing on the cake being that this new husband, Russell, was the best man at my last wedding to THAT tattooer. Ha! Frankly the only good thing to come from THAT marriage was meeting the best man!
As my taste for bad boys never changes, my brand new hubby is also a tattoo artist. AND golly gee, wouldn't you know, Lucky 7 was in need of another artist to fill out the staff. Corey and I have a sit down pow wow, carefully discussing all the ins and outs of what may happen if my hubby comes to work at the shop. What others close to us will and have said about our crazy situation That it cannot work. Its just not done, blah blah blah...and wouldn't you know it...we once again roll the dice and come up winners! Against the odds, Against the grain, Against the naysayers, the three of us forge ahead and GET ALONG FAMOUSLY! The shop hums along just fine, thank you very much. Matter of fact, having another family member on board only improves the overall performance of the business. Very little drama to be had. Both men act like men, not little boys, managing to become friends as well as coworkers. The reasons for overall success boils down to this. Neither Corey or I talked a bunch of smack about our failed marriage to our new life partners. We kept civil tongues when describing our ex spouse / business partner.
Corey and I 's new loves never had to feel defensive and protective of our honor.
Russell and Amber never had to listen to the tedious, random bitching from bitter ex-spouses. I am forever grateful Corey and I have never put either of them through the crap of having to
nod their heads, feeling obligated to agree with casual trash talking of a bitter end.
Lucky 7, Corey and I, well- we beat the odds of divorce. Managed what so many others have not.

Know that each and every day I thank my lucky stars to have managed to hold on to my, to our, mutual dream come true of owning and operating our tattoo and piercing business. Even during the thick of divorce. Throughout the break ups of bad love. Moving towards to an end of our county's painful, long lasting recession - all of us in our modern family appreciate you for being a vital part of our happiness. Thanks for reading my business blog. If you enjoyed it pass it on to a friend of the shop. If you didn't, feel free to tell me why. Ta Ta til next week. Kathleen