Between the Spreadsheets

From partners in love to partners in business. In this episode we meet Julie Chen and Chris Forbes, the founders of The Cheeky Panda and hear their sensational story of growth and what the future holds.

Show Notes

Episode 3 is the really inspirational story of Julie Chen and Chris Forbes who met on the dating site e-harmony where building a global brand together was initially the furthest thing from their minds. But as Julie discussed the idea with Chris that she'd been researching around creating a sustainable bamboo tissue business, an early trip to China in their relationship really opened their eyes to see just what was possible and The Cheeky Panda was incorporated upon their return. That was in January 2016. 

Julie and Chris tell us about not having reached their full potential before creating The Cheeky Panda despite running their own successful lifestyle brands. Less than 4 years old, it is hard to imagine given what’s happening today that the brand awareness for eco products then was low and this made them nervous. As did just how much money it consumed to run the business and had they known this when starting out they would have definitely thought twice about it. Chris shares how they couldn’t pay themselves for 18 months and how stretched he felt when Leo, their baby boy was born with Julie being out of the business – but not for long as Julie shares more about the balance and how they make it work with their very complementary skillsets. This Couplepreneur demonstrate just how strong they are together, how the Yin and the Yang is working in harmony and how it’s less lonely building a company with a partner than carrying it on your own shoulders. They are creating a truly global sustainable bamboo tissue brand and are already exporting to over 22 markets. With much, much more to come. 

This is an incredible story of a wonderful couple who have achieved such greatness in so little time. A Couplepreneur and business to watch indeed.

I’m Tricia Bacon and I’m the founder of Couplepreneurs, a growing global community of couples in love and in business. This is a growing economic segment and one that I believe is somewhat undiscovered, unknown and undervalued. As I set up my consulting business in 2015 helping companies to scale, I started to attract couple owned businesses through no intention and as I began to research the market more it became very clear that there are many thousands of Couplepreneurs in the UK, millions globally and this is definitely a thing. It’s happening in all sectors and across all ages. There are ridiculous myths that exist around being a Couplepreneur not least that they aren’t a viable investment opportunity.
Couples can be stronger together, they have each other’s backs and complementary skillsets that enable the business to thrive. And Couplepreneur businesses are being set up in a myriad of ways whether through a strategic plan, falling upon an idea, at a particular life stage and also, at times, as a result of trauma. Many themes are emerging. And as we live the 100 year life we are witnessing more couples exploring ways of working together. The time now feels right to shed light on these incredible people and what and how they do this. We also need to bust open the myths and find out what it’s really like to be a Couplepreneur.  
Each couple we meet will share their insights into just how they juggle work, life, love and everything in between. These are real, raw and inspiring stories of their journeys together.  

What is Between the Spreadsheets?

Tricia Bacon, founder of Couplepreneurs - a growing global community of couples who live together and run a business together - speaks to inspirational couples about just how they juggle work, life, love and everything in between.