Love Is in the Air: Self-Storage Couples Share Their Stories
They say good marriages require a lot of work. But what if you’re married and work together?
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Storable chatted with some self-storage industry couples to learn more about their experiences working together and what makes their relationships tick. Here’s what they had to say:
Cheli and Chris Rosa
Years married: 12
Years worked together: 11
Work location: OpenTech Alliance, specifically StorageTreasures.
Job roles: Chris a Business Development Manager, and Cheli is a Strategic Account Manager. Both are auctioneers as well.
Answers provided by Cheli Rosa
How did you meet your spouse? In college at Kennesaw State University in GA
How did you or your spouse first get into the self-storage industry? Right after college, my spouse started working part-time at a storage facility for something to do in addition to his bartending job. I HATED my serving job and a full-time opportunity at that same facility opened, so I decided to go for it. A few months later, the principals in the management company we worked for started an auction company. They asked my husband to be the Principal Auctioneer and Managing Partner. This was a live auction company and the job that forced us to move. I started working as an auctioneer as well. When I had my son, I went into operations (marketing) for a few years until we launched our online auction company StorageStuff.Bid. We sold SSB to StorageTreasures in 2018 and here we are.
What was the decision like to work together, did it feel like a big step? Yes, but my husband had to move for his position, so I ended up getting a position with the same company because of the move. We graduated with teaching degrees in 2008 and could not get a job due to the economy, so we decided to go where life was taking us.
Are there any rules you have established that you follow at work? I am not his personal assistant. That one took a while to get through.
Do you and your spouse have a storage unit? What’s in it? Unfortunately, yes. We are in the process of building a new home, so pretty much everything but our clothes are in the unit.
How do you not get on each other’s nerves? Oh, we get on each other’s nerves, but after 15 years together we have learned when to walk away.
Any advice to other working couples? Try to find your own hobbies and things to do outside of work and your relationship.
Chrissy and Wes Edwards
Years married: 22
Years worked together: 1
Work location: Bluewater Boat & RV Storage in Round Rock, TX.
Job roles: Chrissy is Facility Manager and Wes is Facility Maintenance Supervisor
Answers provided by Chrissy Edwards
How did you meet your spouse? I’m his city girl. Wes and I met at a country and western dance hall. He is the cowboy of my dreams.
How did you or your spouse first get into the self-storage industry? Total God thing! Wes works for one of the Bluewater owner’s other businesses. I was furloughed from my previous job in property management due to the pandemic. Wes happened to be talking to one of the owners one day and they told him they were looking for a new facility manager. Wes told him, “My wife would ROCK this job!”—and I have. I’ve doubled the income and brought occupancy to nearly 100%!
What was the decision like to work together, did it feel like a big step? It was an easy one for sure! We love being together even after 22 years. You could say that this was like a dream come true. Wes finishes his “regular job” mid-afternoon and then heads over here to Bluewater to take care of any maintenance issues that we may have. Sometimes, it’s just picking up litter around the outside of the facility, but we do it together.
Are there any rules you have established that you follow at work vs home? Yes, I am the boss here and at home! Hahahaha!
How do you support each other at work? Wes and I encourage and cheer each other on in every aspect of our lives. Work is no different.
Do you think your relationship gives you an edge in the workplace? How so? Absolutely! We are both very dedicated to our jobs and owners. They get a double-dose of excellence from having us both.
What is your favorite activity to do with your spouse to forget about work? We have a small home on two acres out in the country and we are always doing something. We also have a rescue horse, three miniature donkeys, chickens, three dogs and one ornery cat. We recently built an enclosed garden together out in our pasture.
Do you and your spouse have a storage unit? What’s in it? We do have a couple of small mini storages here at Bluewater. We have some extra furniture that I’m not ready to part with and our fall and Christmas décor. Wes says it’s much easier to load the Christmas boxes in the back of the truck and into the mini storage rather than climbing up and down the attic ladder.
Any advice to other working couples? Encourage each other to excellence! Our owners love that we love and care for Bluewater as if it were ours. They trust us fully to take care of everything here just as they would.
Juan and Melanie Martinez
Years married: 14
Work location: William Penn Storage in Easton, PA. They also run a restaurant group under the name Martinez Hospitality.
Job roles: Owners
Answers provided by Juan Martinez
How did you meet your spouse? Melanie and I met through a coworker. I’d been invited to dinner, and Melanie was there. As soon as I saw her, I asked my friend, “Who is that?”, and the rest is history.
How long have you worked together? We started our first company 13 years ago, a year after we married.
How did you or your spouse first get into the self-storage industry? Our restaurant chain requires us to buy equipment and supplies in bulk, and we were running into issues finding storage space for it all. We started looking for properties with enough space for our own needs, and we stumbled upon a large one. It occurred to us that we could turn it into a self-storage facility. (That facility opened this year.)
What was the decision like to work together? Did it feel like a big step? We complement each other: she’s really good at the things I’m not and vice versa. It was a perfect combination. We also enjoy each other’s company.
Are there any rules you have established that you follow at work vs. home? We respect each other’s decisions and don’t get in each other’s way. It’s all about knowing what we’re good at and executing freely in those areas.
Do you think your relationship gives you an edge in the workplace? How so? Yes, our relationship gives us an advantage because of how well we know each other. We’ve been together almost twenty years now if you add our time dating, so we know each other well enough to predict each other’s mistakes. This helps us to avoid pitfalls.
Any advice to other working couples? Respect each other at all times. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Don’t focus on the weaknesses; focus on what you’re good at, and everything will work out. Be patient with each other. Our value system prioritizes family in our business, so we remember that business will come and go, but family is always first. When you make a decision, make sure it’s family-driven. Business can go bankrupt, but family remains.