When two creative, driven, and devoted entrepreneurs like Michelle of Michelle Kim Photography and Kelly of Dlux Entertainment decide to marry, the result is nothing less than spectacular! Michelle and Kelly, married for just over two years, share with us some of the things that make their balancing act work while balancing their joint lives and separate growing businesses.
They met while Kelly was in grad school with Michelle’s roommate, who invited him to become a part of a new church in Long Beach. Michelle was the Creative Director of the church at the time, and their chemistry was evident immediately! Kelly wasted no time writing his number on a piece of paper and telling her roommate, “Give this to Michelle and tell her that when she’s ready for an upgrade, I’ll be right here.”
With two growing businesses in the family, keeping business separate from time together is challenging but necessary. When focusing on work, Kelly puts emphasis on customer referrals and excellent service. Michelle chooses to keep room in her life to do personal projects and often logs out of social media in order to focus more on her own businesses and less on others. She says, “When I create out of a place of freedom, my audience can relate and that is when my business grows the most”.
Fun is an integral and essential part of what makes their relationship work. Although their businesses take up much of their time, they work hard to create time for the two of them, which they call DLUX SABBATH. Once per week, they spend the day together and away from the daily distractions that work can create. They also seek to succeed by keeping their priorities straight–making time to serve in church and practicing forgiveness and encouragement with one another. Michelle says, “Kelly LITERALLY lives life to the fullest and makes every little thing a blast”, so there is never a dull moment even on their days of rest!
However, being married and devoted to their careers can create tension at times. Recognizing their stress trigger points has been key for both Kelly and Michelle. Michelle mentions “I am definitely not fun to be around when I’m hangry (hungry + angry). When I’m in work mode, it’s best not to interrupt me or you will get zapped”. Kelly agrees and shares that “When we don’t have enough food, tempers start to rise…but nothing that can’t be cured with a little bit of counseling and Honey & Butter!”.
In giving advice to newlyweds, Kelly say that one thing he and Michelle have done well is to become a part of a group that is supportive of their relationship. He says, “You need people around you to remind you what is really important”. Michelle believes that not sweeping issues that come up under the rug is also key. “I grew up in a home where conflict was never discussed, so when Kelly wanted to talk about issues, I would freak out. Fortunately, he has pushed through the resistance of my pride/fear/shame and pursued resolution so that we make sure both parties are heard, understood, and healed”.
What does the future look like for Michelle and Kelly? More projects and goals, of course! Kelly shares that he would love to finish his Apologetics degree at Talbot Seminary and Kelly wants to grow her personal project, Creative Marriages expand.
Kelly and Michelle, we look up to you as a beautiful example of how love and work fit beautifully together!
Luxe Tip: Invest in marriage counseling BEFORE you need it! Having a great counselor to check in with every so often can help offset issues before they become to big to talk about.
Images by: Justin Jay