These pairs mix marital bliss with major business moves; here’s how they make it ‘work’.
There's an old cliché that you're not supposed to mix business and pleasure, and there's a good reason for this. Going into business with a romantic partner can lead to challenging dynamics such as power struggles, disagreements over business decisions, and even financial stress. With over 40% of marriages ending in divorce, adding the pressures of co-owning a business to the relationship might seem like asking for trouble.
However, if you can overcome the potential difficulties, building an empire with your significant other can be incredibly satisfying and allow you to create a lifestyle you are both passionate about. If you have ever aspired to be a power couple but had your doubts about it, these celebrity couples who double as colleagues are proving that it can in fact be done.
Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil
Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil are no strangers to working together. Salim, an executive director and producer, and Mara, a writer, director, executive producer, and creator of the show Girlfriends, have worked together over the past 20 years on a variety of shows such as The Game, Being Mary Jane, and Love Is_. In 2000, the pair founded Akil Productions, a production company created with the goal of bringing individuals together and highlighting shared human experiences.
David and Tamela Mann
David Mann, an award-winning comedian and Tamela Mann, a Grammy award-winning recording artist, are best known for their roles in Tyler Perry’s movies, plays, and television shows. Married for over 30 years, the couple has spent a majority of their married lives working together. Most recently, the Manns announced The Overcomer Family Tour, an evening of joy, music, comedy, and family entertainment, featuring David and Tamela, as well as their son, David, and their daughters, Tiffany and La’Tia.
Ron and Shamari DeVoe
Formerly in the music industry, Ron, as a member of New Edition, and Shamari, as a member of Blaque, the DeVoes have been through many different iterations of their careers throughout their years together. The couple now owns DeVoe Real Estate, an upscale, full-service real estate agency and are also trying their hand at reality television, starring on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta and VH1’s Couples Retreat.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé
It’s not possible to discuss celebrity couples who work together without mentioning Jay-Z and Beyoncé. From “03 Bonnie and Clyde” to “Crazy in Love” to an entire album – Everything Is Love, the power couple has set the standard for mixing business and pleasure, getting married and creating a family along the way. Most recently, the Carters starred in a commercial campaign for Tiffany & Co where Beyoncé became the first Black woman to don the world-famous 128.54 carat Tiffany diamond. With combined assets of well over a billion dollars, there isn’t much they haven’t accomplished together.
Iman and Teyana Taylor
From reality tv to the cover of Ebony, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert are successfully merging work and family life. Teyana, a singer, songwriter, actress, and choreographer, and mother of two, and Iman, a former NBA basketball player, father, and co-host of a podcast entitled, Iman Amongst Men, make balancing their many roles look easy. The pair of entrepreneurs is continuously growing their empire, and the whole family is involved, including their daughter Junie, who already has her own clothing line.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Married for over 20 years, Will and Jada have one of the most famous Hollywood relationships. While they don’t work together much onscreen these days, behind the scenes is where they thrive as a team. The couple has produced several films together, including After Earth, Annie, and The Secret Life of Bees. The actors also own a production company Westbrook Inc., a media company which also houses Red Table Talk Productions, made famous by Jada’s show, Red Table Talk.
Russell and Ciara Wilson
The House of LR&C, a Seattle-based fashion house, is one of the newest business ventures of Russell and Ciara Wilson. Co-founded by the couple in 2020, the company houses both of their fashion lines – Good Man Brand, created by Russell, and Lita by Ciara, created by Ciara. With love, respect, and care as their core values, the pair is on a mission to manufacture sustainable fashion and create large-scale positive impact, giving back 3% of profit towards empowering today’s youth to achieve their dreams. The brand originally started online, but the couple has now opened several storefront locations.
Barack and Michelle Obama
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are obviously not strangers to working together. After 8 years in the White House, the couple continues to work together. In 2018, the Obamas formed Higher Grounds Production to tell powerful stories that entertain, inform, and inspire, while elevating new and diverse voices in the entertainment industry. From Netflix deals producing television programs and films to podcasts, Barack and Michelle continue to build their empire.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
Married in 2014, Dwyane Wade, former NBA superstar, and Gabrielle Union, a world-renowned actress, are not new to entrepreneurship, with both of them owning a variety of businesses. However, in 2021, the duo decided to launch a new business together – Proudly, a baby care line specifically formulated to nourish all shades of melanated skin. Inspired by their daughter, Kaavia, and their joint desire to teach their daughter to embrace her skin and beauty, the pair set out to create baby products for people of color by people of color, and that’s exactly what they did.
Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker
After meeting on the set of 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker formed an instant connection. Burruss, a business woman and member of music group Xscape and Tucker a television producer. The couple's romance was documented on the show until they were married in 2014 and went on to have two kids of their own. Today, the couple works together as business partners overseeing theater productions, their successful restaurant Old Lady Gang, and several Bravo spinoff series including their newest show 'Kandi & The Gang'.