Dreams of owning a family business

Dreams of owning a family business

My wife often enjoys daydreaming about owning a family business.

While we are Bethel Park High School sweethearts who have been a couple for 19 years – married for 13 – I do often have to beg to differ with the love of my life.

For her, working with me would turn from a thing of dreams to a nightmare within about two days.

One major issue from the start is that we can’t seem to get past the daydream stage into the process of figuring out, or agreeing upon, what kind of business we would own.

That might just be a concern.

My wife, Jill, loves all things related to birds, fashion, shoes, our nieces and nephew, and cats – oh and did I mention shoes, the woman has a serious problem.

I love indie music, all things Pittsburgh sports, my BMW R1200c and my nieces and nephew. Did I mention that I am seriously a little too obsessed with the beautiful work of German engineering, sadly parked in my garage for the winter? It’s a serious problem.

About the only thing we can wholeheartedly agree on is our love of Bravo, specifically any of the Real Housewives franchises. Unless Andy Cohen is about to offer us some sort of opportunity for an entrepreneurial endeavor, we may not have much of a business on our hands here.

Jill also is a Major League lover of Christmas. If she had her druthers, our family business would likely be candy-cane coated, covered in tinsel and be named something like “Santa’s Surprise” or “Santa’s Christmas Cookies.”

Here’s another problem. I am not a lover of Christmas. It’s not like I’m a monster who ruins the month of December for those I love, but Scrooge himself would probably shudder at my disdain over the trappings of the holiday season.

So, yeah, there’s probably no business plan or trip to “Shark Tank” in our future with that one.

Aside from being unable to agree upon a type of business, the way we operate in a professional setting would likely be problematic as well.

I like to listen to music, loudly, at all hours of the day. I need to somehow incorporate noise of some sort into my life to achieve maximum productivity.

Jill, on the other hand, is all about all things serene and calm. She loves a candle, quiet time and anything relaxing.

To insinuate that the ambiance in our place of business might be somewhat scattered would be an understatement.

I’d be trying to blast the latest offering from Saintseneca – If you don’t know the name, look them up – during all hours of business. Jill would be adjusting pillows and placing treats for humans and animals alike around the premises.

Actually, that sounds kind of cool.

While we have been unable as of yet to turn Jill’s daydreams of wedded and professional bliss into a reality, this edition of South Hills Living may just offer us some positive role models to that end.

Harry Funk has several profiles of businesses run by South Hills families that are doing just fine.

The first is Madsen Donuts in Castle Shannon, owned by husband-and-wife team Brian and Milica Peltz of Mt. Lebanon. Madsen’s donuts have been enjoyed for decades by scores of people who vacation in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, and local reviews are also coming back favorably.

Funk also wrote a story about Vortex Helicopter Services, which is based at Finleyville Airport and owned by Jacqueline Geyer Cabral and her husband, Carlos, who is the pilot of their aircraft.

The success of Vortex was seen firsthand by Funk as he got a view from the cockpit of several areas of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

These families, and the rest of the stories in this edition, may just be changing my mind about the viability of business ownership.

Happy holidays and thank you for reading.

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