Three years ago, Jerry and I got married at a summer camp in the north Georgia mountains. We usually recognize birthdays and anniversaries with a nice dinner, a weekend trip, and/or a small present somewhere between a week and a few months late.
Quite serendipitously, it turns out the traditional wedding gift for the third anniversary is leather. Leather, a material that is strong yet flexible. It holds its shape over time, but also matures and molds depending on the person who uses it. Leather gets better with age.
This year, we already gave each other our presents. Rather than give each other a present made of leather, we've built a leather company together in this third year of marriage.
If you had told us three years ago that we would be where we are right now, we would have said you were crazy. But one reason that we were ready to get married was because we knew that being committed to each other would open more doors for us; we knew that we would push each other to pursue new opportunities. Though we couldn't have anticipated then where we are now, we did know that we wanted to build our lives around each other.
Though much conventional wisdom advises against working with family, ultimately we made the decision to start Restrepo Leather the same way we usually make decisions together: one part careful thought, one part gut feeling, and ten parts trusting each other. The values that make our marriage strong also apply to running Restrepo Leather as a team - communication, trust, hard work, and having fun.
Who knows where we'll be another three years from now, but I feel damn lucky to know that Jerry will be there. Happy leather anniversary, mi amor.
Wedding photo courtesy of Phil Skinner, all rights reserved.