18 Successful Businesses Ideas Started By Couples

Updated: April 22nd, 2022

Like a romantic relationship, starting a business is all about love and commitment.

For starters, you have to love what you're going to do. With such an amount of hours spent in starting a business, you better love it. And talk about commitment! There're going to be hurdles, obstacles, bad news,... be ready to never quite.

Some say that you shouldn't mix work and relationships, but we say: why not?

If you're going to devote so many hours and live one of the most exciting experiences of your life, why don't do it with your loved one?

Have you started a business with your couple and want to get added to this list? Submit to share your story here.

Below we have listed some successful businesses that we have featured that excelled and which have been kind enough to share their stories so future entrepreneurs can learn from their stories. Check them out:

1. Profitable real estate investments ($6M/year)

The real estate business, T. C. Lewis & Co. Real Estate, was founded in North Carolina, USA over 18 years ago.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 36
  • Location: North Carolina, USA

Case Study

I’m from a very small town in the Appalachians called Sylva, North Carolina. If you’re not familiar with that region, it’s a very diverse area. Sylva is in the north end of Jackson County, and Cashiers (and neighboring Highlands) are in the south end. Sylva is blue-collar, and a factory-type (now tourist) town and Cashiers/Highlands is a spot where some of the wealthiest people in the world have vacation homes and are all members of one of the ultra-exclusive private clubs.

Growing up, I worked at my family’s convenience store. I saw a lot of the folks headed through to Cashiers and Highlands up from Atlanta for the weekend, and a big portion of them seemed to be making their money in real estate. Some were making money buying the mountain land around my town at a low price from local farmers who had no use for the steep mountains, developing a portion of the top, and then selling it off for astronomical amounts of money to other rich people. I was amazed by that. And I couldn’t understand why no one locally had tried this himself.

I come from a fairly long line of entrepreneurs on both sides of my parent’s families. My great-grandfather on my dad’s side quit school after the fifth grade, and then he went on and started a convenience store business that I still help operate 85 years later as it has passed down to my grandfather, my dad, and now myself and my brother. And my grandfather on my mom’s side owned a heavy civil construction company building large-scale projects like interstates throughout the mid-1900s. My uncles and cousins still operate a part of that business, too.


2. Online marketing services ($1.2M/year)

The marketing agency, Impressions Agency , was founded in Denver, Colorado, USA about 11 years ago.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Case Study

Prior to starting Impressions, I had the opportunity to work for a tech start-up company as a senior sales rep. My wife (although we were not dating at the time) also worked for the same company as a project manager. During this time, we both learned invaluable lessons about what to do and what not to do in business. You always hear about how hands-on experience is more valuable than education and this was exactly our case. We helped grow the tech startup from our living rooms into a multi-million dollar company. Mismanaged leadership ended up running the company off a cliff within three years.

At the end of when this company was blowing up was when my wife and I got married. I was worn out from the hassle and dealing with the blows brought by the mismanaged leadership so my wife and I jumped ship and decided to move to Costa Rica--the hard lessons learned made the Costa Rica extended honeymoon look extremely attractive.

Just start. You don’t have to have everything figured out before you begin. In fact, to this day we are still figuring things out. Each season of your business will provide a new learning opportunity.


3. Digital products and courses to help you organize and simplify your entire life! ($240K/year)

The online course, The Savvy Couple, was founded in Rochester, New York, USA almost 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Rochester, New York, USA

Case Study

I was your average kid growing up wanting to be a police officer and changing the world one bad guy at a time. Brittany also knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, a teacher.

After meeting each other in 9th grade American Sign Language class the rest is history. We started dating at age fourteen and have never looked back. Best friends would be an understatement.


4. Romance concierge services ($42K/year)

The dating coaching business, Romance On The Go, Concierge Services, was founded in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA over 12 years ago.

  • Revenue: $3,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Case Study

Before I officially started ROTGO, I was planning and designing romantic rendezvous for my husband, family, and friends, for FREE!

I would get calls asking if I could set-up a room for this birthday, that anniversary, or help me get out the dog house!

I would get calls asking if I could set-up a room for this birthday, that anniversary, or help me get out the dog house! The defining moment that allowed for Romance On The Go to be born was in October 2010, when my bridesmaids and close friends surprised me on my wedding night. My bridesmaids and close friends very strategically sneaked off and decorated our Honeymoon Suite with candles and rose petals throughout the suite. Hear me when I say “strategically”, I mean I never noticed that they were missing from the reception.


5. Dissolvable protein & pre-workout packs. ($6M/year)

The supplements company, VADE Nutrition, was founded in East Lansing, Michigan, USA over 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Case Study

I’ve been an entrepreneur and athlete my whole life.

I wrestled for Michigan State University and was actually the captain of the team. I got my degree in finance and I landed a job as a wealth management financial adviser for after graduation, which I turned down to go into full time athletic ministry at Michigan State.

We immediately knew this was what we needed to do. I turned down my job and started working on this full time while sitting beside Megan’s hospital bed.


6. Social media solution ($9M/year)

The social media analytics business, Metricool, was founded in Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain over 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $749,998/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 55
  • Location: Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Case Study

Both my wife and I are software developers. We decided to start building software that helps bloggers understand the results of their content and its impact on social media. My wife had experience as a blogger and for me, digital marketing is one of my passions, as well as Internet businesses. At the time, I had 14 years of experience in software development with different companies and I felt confident that it was time to build our own project.

My way of managing the business is quite conservative and prudent, I often question whether or not I should have taken a more aggressive path when it came to investments and funding.

It all started as a side project because we both had our respective jobs. Metricool was initially offered at no cost as an experiment. However, in a short time, between 4,000 and 5,000 people had signed up, which encouraged us to make the jump and test a new business model based on a Premium subscription. We included some professional features focused on social media managers and the results were promising. Six months later, we reached a monthly recurring revenue of $3,000 which was the final push to help us decide that it was the right moment to dedicate more time to the project, quit my day job, and start building a team to boost the growth.

The business started with $10,000 that we had earned during the first few months of Metricool. We contributed an additional $10,000 from our family savings and $30,000 that my mother lent us. We wanted to avoid external financing (such as Venture Capital or Business Angels) because with 50k and some recurring revenue we could proceed even if it was a little slower at first.


7. Lifestyle blog ($180K/year)

The business, Katie Did What, was founded in Sacramento, California, USA over 12 years ago.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Sacramento, California, USA

Case Study

I just mentioned having kids, but it never hurts to talk about them again! We’ve got 3 kids who as of May 2020 are 1, 4, and 6. Never a dull moment! I initially started my blog almost ten years ago as an outlet. I loved writing and just used it as an online journal. Pretty much my mom was my only reader for the first year!

I ignored Pinterest for way too long, I slept on Instagram too! The later you get into a new platform, the harder rapid growth is!

Around that same time, I started, my husband started a coupon and deal blog. He began making some money there and was really learning the ropes of monetization as I was growing my own audience.


8. Fun & colorful groomsmen gifts ($240K/year)

The socks business, No Cold Feet LLC, was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA over 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Case Study

During college, I (Matt) became enamored with startups, entrepreneurship, technology, and the idea of working for a company that combined all three of these. I ended up with a degree in advertising and anticipated working in that industry where people commonly job hop from one agency to another every couple of years.

I left college with somewhere north of $75k in student loans which largely meant a job at an early stage startup was out of the question. I ended up at a 90-year-old manufacturing company as a Marketing Coordinator where I have thrived there largely in part to an amazing manager and the nature of a small company where you can wear as many hats as you put on.

In hindsight, this was an incredible opportunity for me and largely what allowed my wife and me to successfully launch No Cold Feet. On the professional side, I gained experience in marketing, sales, e-commerce, product development, manufacturing abroad, hiring, and so many other skills that ultimately fed into operating our business. On the personal side, the stability of the company, some early promotions and raises, and living at home for three years allowed me to significantly pay down my student loans, buy a car, and save for an engagement ring...


9. Authentic thai food ($24M/year)

The online food business, Rosa's Thai Cafe, was founded in London, England, United Kingdom about 18 years ago.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 373
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

My wife and I used to own a small restaurant in Hong Kong called Tuk Tuk Thai, which is still going strong today, but it’s now owned and run by others. After 17 years in Asia, we moved back to London in 2005. After moving back to the UK we craved Thai food but were disappointed by the Thai offerings in the UK which felt more to us like a representation of what a Thai person thinks an English person would want a Thai restaurant to look like! Photos of waterfalls, elephants and mediocre Thai food didn’t feel representative of the places we’d eaten in Bangkok and Hong Kong. With this in mind we decided to set up our own business and do it better.

Rosa’s started life as a market stall and office catering company, which served food cooked in our small flat in East London. We’d wake up at 4 am to prepare and cook, the kitchen was so small Saiphin would have to use gas canisters to cook the food, before ferrying it down in a taxi to the market stall in London’s famous Brick Lane. The stall was an instant success, we’d sell out every Sunday. Saiphin would cook amazing authentic Thai food using locally sourced ingredients, wherever possible, and in doing so adapted traditional dishes that are still incredibly popular in our restaurants today, such as the butternut red curry and soft spring rolls.

The market stall went from strength to strength, and so we opened more stalls nearby. I’d support all the logistics behind the stall, such as signage, electricity, pricing, and receipts. I’d jump on my bike to go back and forth to Chinatown to buy supplies as they ran out. During one of these trips, I saw a for rent sign in the window of a former English cafe called Rosa’s Cafe. I gave them a call, spoke to the landlord and put together a business plan, we then pitched against 20 other businesses to open a restaurant, and in June 2008 we opened our first brick and mortar site, using money we made from the market stall, some friends and family seed investors and Alex’s credit card! Due to our incredibly tight budget, we opened without a dishwasher and not enough money to finish the basement, it was left bare. We also had no money to change the sign, so we kept the name Rosa’s and so Rosa’s Thai Cafe was born.


10. A service to easily unsubscribe from unwanted emails. ($120K/year)

The email unsubscribing service, Leave Me Alone, was founded in Remote, Oregon, USA over 5 years ago.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Remote, Oregon, USA

Case Study

Leave Me Alone isn’t my first product, but it’s the first one that is on the right path to success. Getting there has been an interesting journey!

I loved computers from an early age but I only started coding at 18. I didn’t develop an instant passion for it and I only considered it as a career 2 years later when I went to university to study computer science. After graduating I worked at the UK government for a year, but the culture and heavy focus on climbing the career ladder wasn’t a good fit for me. I tried a stint in the startup scene in Bristol, but I wanted more freedom to work on my own projects. James and I left the UK to travel the world for a year - that was almost three years ago!

The first few things you try are probably going to fail, or you might have to pivot drastically based on unexpected feedback. This is perfectly ok and normal, and will help you be a better entrepreneur if you learn from your mistakes.


11. Robes ($120K/year)

The bathrobe business, Highway Robery, was founded in Austin, Texas, USA over 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Case Study

We are Jackie and Evan Streusand - a married couple, living in Austin, Texas. (When not robe-ing) Jackie works as an interior designer for SLIC Design. Evan has owned and operated a sustainable women’s shoe brand called Fortress of Inca since 2010. Highway Robery was the inevitable outcome of our combined powers - Jackie (design + production) and Evan (business development + marketing).

Early in the summer of 2016 we took a road trip out to west Texas and spent a few days taking scenic drives and lounging around. There were a pair of colorful robes in the place that we were staying and naturally, we put them on. For the better part of the next few days they didn't really come off. We ate in them, we drank in them, we yada yada'd in them, and we slept in them. We had a great time and eventually we came back home to Austin.

That first $7,000 is all we have ever put into the business. We have grown it organically since then. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.


12. Traveling tooth fairy ($96K/year)

The gift store, Passport 4 Change, was founded in Fresno, California, USA over 10 years ago.

  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Fresno, California, USA

Case Study

I've loved coins from around the world since I was a little girl. My dad was in the Air Force and he had coins from around the world including Taiwan, the Philippines and other places. These simple coins were magical entries into a much greater world. That probably greatly influenced me and put me on my current world-traveling path.

So when my niece didn't think about a greater world, I knew I needed to help her and other children expand their horizon.

My idea turned out to be a great success so I built a website and started selling my educational (and fun!) tooth fairy kits. I offer different kit options that I named the Business Class kit and my biggest seller, the 1st Class kit.


13. Board games ($360K/year)

The board game, Facade Games, was founded in Columbus, Ohio, USA over 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Case Study

I played a lot of board games growing up, especially ones that involved lying about roles and identities. I was also never afraid to “tweak” games or change the rules if I thought it would improve the game.

We were able to produce 12,000 copies of the game in our first print. This opened my mind to the possibility of making more games and potentially doing this full time. I quit my job and started to get my feet wet as I learned more about fulfillment, manufacturing, retail, and distribution.


14. Pimple popping simulator ($644K/year)

The pimple popping product, Unique Obsessions, LLC, was founded in Florida, USA over 6 years ago.

  • Revenue: $53,675/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Florida, USA

Case Study

The idea came to me while my husband Billy and I were driving. As we were driving down the I75 on our way back from seeing a sick relative, we were bouncing different business ideas off of one another like we’d done many many times in the past. When all of a sudden I said to Billy what if we could make a pimple that actually popped like a real pimple? Just like the video’s we watch on YouTube?

Following our first viral video, we did over 100k in 8 days! At this time and up until December 2018 we have been making them by hand! We hand built over 10k POP IT PALS in that year!

Billy instantly looked at me and said I think I can make that! I immediately searched all over the internet to see if there was anything like this that existed. I couldn’t find anything at all. That’s when I grabbed a pen and paper and we started thinking what it would look like, what could we make the pimple pus out of, what to name the product & our business.


15. Surprise vacations ($480K/year)

The surprise travel agency, The Vacation Hunt, was founded in Washington D.C., Washington, D.C., USA about 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Washington D.C., Washington, D.C., USA

Case Study

The Vacation Hunt was a melding of several ideas actually! Jeff and I often just buy plane tickets to somewhere on a whim when we know we’ll have time off from work and when we see a good deal to a place we haven’t been.

When we came back from the trip, we told a friend about the whole surprise aspect and she asked us to plan a similar surprise vacation for her - and it just kind of went from there!

For his 30th birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Patagonia in Chile! He knew he was going on a trip to celebrate (and he knew that we were going somewhere wild since I had him pack his hiking shoes) but apart from that, he didn’t know much else until the day before the trip!


16. Dog treats ($180K/year)

The dog treat business, Treats Happen, was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada over 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Case Study

We started making dog treats for ourselves when we weren’t happy with the options in stores. After seeing a few others selling online, we thought why not us.

Most products in stores were pretty unhealthy (think cookies but for dogs. High in carbs and sugar, and a lot of chemicals and preservatives). The healthier products were all aimed towards people with smaller dogs. We’d go through a bag of treats in half a day.

Way too many people have great ideas. At the end of the day, the ultimate litmus test is if someone will buy your product. Sales is one of the best skills you can learn. If you want to grow and scale, you’ll be pitching/selling for media coverage, investors, even suppliers.


17. Jewelry ($3.44M/year)

The online jewelry store, Desires by Mikolay, was founded in Chappaqua, New York, USA about 20 years ago.

  • Revenue: $287,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Chappaqua, New York, USA

Case Study

Scott of course had such incredible experience and was a Master Jeweler at a very young age. But his ambition would not let him stop there...it was a natural progression when his father wanted to retire to consider growth.

Scott & I have always been such a great team in every sense of the word. We truly balance each others skillset. We sat down one night in our home, opened a bottle of red wine and discussed what the options where. While the thought of opening a store was intimidating, we felt we could do it better and with more HEART than other jewelers in the area.

What I have learned from this is to slow down, take the time to review information properly and make educated decisions.


18. Bodysurfing handboards and accessories ($960K/year)

The surfboard business, Slyde Handboards, was founded in San Clemente, California, USA almost 14 years ago.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: San Clemente, California, USA

Case Study

The Idea of Slyde Handboards started back on the beaches of Cape Town South Africa where I grew up. My Mother would take me and my brother down to the beach a lot to get us out the house. We spent most of the time bodyboarding or bodysurfing. We used to find all sorts of objects that we would use as a planning device to get us a little more speed and lift on the wave from frisbees to flip flops, some worked well others not so much. It wasn't until my teens that I decided to break open an old surfboard and re-use the foam to shape into a mini handheld board that would later become the very first prototypes for Slyde.

I figured we were the only ones doing this, but It wasn't until I went travel surfing around the world and met other surfers and water men and women and heard their stories of growing up using all sorts of found objects like lunch trays or even making boards themselves. It was then I realized there was a possible opportunity to create a brand around this awesome growing watersport movement, as no other company was doing this.

There is definitely a defined problem that we solve, in that a handboard is easy to learn, hassle free and fun to take to the beach. The idea was really born from simple enjoyment that I was having using one. It felt almost selfish to not share it with the world. It turns out I wasn't wrong, because almost immediately we started to form a community and movement as more and more people started to find out about us either online or through friends.


meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.