Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Incredible Woman #40 - Amy Oakeson. Tuesday's Question.

KARA: "You own your own business. Tell us about what you do. Why did you choose this particular business? Tell us some of the ups and downs of this business. What is your favorite thing about it?"

AMY: "I own the Utah franchises of Just Between Friends. JBF is the nation’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales event. We hold sales events twice per year (Spring & Fall) in Davis County and Utah County. We provide a venue for families to sell their outgrown, gently-used children’s items and put some money back in their pockets. They tag their items & bring them in. Then we sell them at a 3 day event, and pay the consignors 65%-75% of the sold items’ prices. It’s also an opportunity for families in the community to purchase items for their children at drastically reduced prices … usually 70-90% off retail. We get everything from clothing to books, games, toys, sporting goods … it’s awesome!

There are certainly a lot of ups and downs in this business. There is so much work going on “behind the scenes” to make a sale successful and it requires significant energy and financial investment -- I’m sure more than most people realize. And every sale is an exercise in faith. You just don’t know if it will be successful until it’s all said and done. But the ups far outweigh the downs. Seeing what a blessing the sale is to the families in the community gives me so much joy! I love writing big checks to consignors after the sale, and putting money back into the pockets of local families! And I love seeing families of all ages, sizes and situations saving money and stretching their budget so they can do more for their kids. And of course, being able to make a significant contribution to our partner charity – The Four of Hearts Foundation – feels wonderful!"

KARA: "How did you and your husband meet? Tell us your love story! How do you keep your marriage fun and exciting?"

AMY: "We worked together and we were great friends. Not the most romantic love story, really. But I already told you I’m not super girly – no mushy stuff for me! We were just great friends at first and, lucky for me, it turned into a whole lot more. We dated about a year before getting married in 1999.

I think our marriage stays fun and exciting because of a few things: what we have in common, what we don’t have in common, and good ol’ fashioned hard work!

We have a shared love for real estate and investing, so naturally we worked together in the area of investment properties. We started a rental properties business in 2000 and have been growing it ever since. It was such a sacrifice of time, money and effort. But we did it together and it felt amazing to build something as a team. Aaron found his passion through that endeavor and began managing property and finding investment property for others as his career. Today, we’re both licensed realtors / property managers but work in very different spheres and focus on totally different things. But our roles complement each other and, I think, come together to make a successful business as a whole.

It doesn’t sound like the most romantic thing, but spending time apart pursuing separate passions has helped our marriage stay fun too. Aaron is totally in love with his two sports: basketball and golf. He plays basketball anywhere from 5-7 times per week! And he golfs just as must as possible. I really try to accommodate his hobbies because it’s been great for our relationship. And he’s great to make sure I get to work out and snowboard as much as I’d like, which is a lot! I swear I’d spend every winter day on a mountain if I could! Because we work together, and we’re together probably more than most couples, time apart helps keep us interesting to one another.

Probably the most defining characteristic of our marriage has been WORK. We make a point to work together and serve others together every chance we get. We are the happiest when we are working together to achieve a common goal. It doesn’t even matter what the task is. It has been anything and everything from buying our first rental property to roofing on an August day to getting out of debt. And now, raising our family. We even have a little family cheer … Teeeeeaaaam Oakeson!"

Come back tomorrow, when Amy will answer questions about being a stay-at-home mom (kind of), and a little bit more about the rental business.


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