Couples that work together stay together. We're interviewing couples who own businesses together to learn more about their stories and experiences. This week, we met Mike and Stephanie McGaha, owners of Simple Abundance, a home store in Edinburgh.
Q: What’s your professional background?
A (Stephanie): I was a nurse, and I did that until my son was getting ready to go into high school. I was ready to give up the 12-hour shifts on call. We had an opportunity to do something different, so we jumped on it.
A (Mark): I was a brick layer. I did that for several years. I started doing that in 1983. Buying labor has dramatically changed. That was part of the reason for us to look to do something different.
Q: How did you and your husband meet?
A (Stephanie): Through a friend. It’s been about fourteen years.
Q: What is the inspiration behind Simple Abundance?
A (Stephanie): I guess our logo. The candle in Simple Abundance. The tree means that Jesus is the life, and the basket is that we aren’t to hide our candle, we’re to be the light. The biggest part of our business is to meet people, form relationships. It’s not a traditional thought on the business but just to be light in this world.
Q: What makes your business unique compared to others?
A (Stephanie): We offer delivery in Edinburgh. It is a small community. We like that community feeling. A lot of people come in and they say, “Oh my gosh I love it in here, it’s so peaceful.” They enjoy the atmosphere.
A (Mark): With any small business you have to try to offer something that the bigger stores don’t offer. We try to find unique things. We try to find quality products and offer them at a good price. Hopefully you can draw or create a base that makes it justified doing the business. We have layaway on bigger items which a lot of places don’t offer anymore.
Q: Do you run into any obstacles working with your spouse? How do you separate responsibilities?
A (Stephanie): Yes, I’m sure we do. If he has a strength in an area, I just let him run it. If I have a strength in an area, he lets me.
A (Mark): Yeah. We’ve gotten better with that. There are personality differences. We both have strengths and weaknesses and in time we’ve come to recognize each other's strengths. We rely on each other to use our strengths instead of bickering about what the others weakness is. So I do no decorating.
Q: How do you separate responsibilities?
A (Mark): There’s a lot of things that are shared. Of course, with the pandemic a lot of things changed as far as auctions. A lot of the auctions are just online now. When we used to go to auctions a lot we would almost always go together. We bounce a lot of things off of each other, but we do allow each other to run with whatever their strength is.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part about working with your spouse?
A (Stephanie): He’s my best friend. I get to witness something beautiful and a lot of times you don’t with your spouse. I’m with him all the time so I see his accomplishments. I see how strong he is. I see him interact with people in a way that I wouldn’t if I didn’t work with him. Just times that I can feel so proud of him.
Q: Can you tell me the funniest or more interesting things that’s happened while working with your spouse?
A (Stephanie): We have a trailer and it’s low and I find it interesting that he can bump his head every time he goes into the trailer.
A (Mark): I don’t find that all that amusing.
Q: What does the future look like for your business?
A (Stephanie): We started a bible study group before this last year. We stopped it towards the holidays but we’re going to start that back up again. We opened a room again and we plan on opening the room behind here with the possibility of looking into having vendors. Right now, it’s just him and I with the things that we buy. We’ve had several people interested.
A (Mark): The right vendor with the right product would definitely compliment us.
Learn more about Simple Abundance here.