Couples in Business, an ongoing series looking at how life is for couples who work and live together.
Luxury travel company Amazon Creek was established in 2007 by Tim and Lisa Davis. This bespoke holiday operator was started with two chalets. The portfolio has now increased to a total of six properties; three exquisite chalets in Chamonix; three high -end villas in the Languedoc and Corsica, along with two chartered yachts in the Mediterranean. There are also plans under way to add a fourth chalet.
Amazon Creeks’ success is a combination of high -spec properties set in stunning locations and first –class customer service reinforced by the Davis’ excellent attention to detail and hands –on approach; the couple oversee all aspects of their client’s stay thus ensuring the best level of care.
I asked Lisa a series of questions in order to find out what it is like to build a business with your ‘other half.’
1. What did you both do prior to setting up your business?
Tim worked in finance and I ran a fitness and yoga business.
2. What was the key motivation for going into business together?
Amazon Creek was set up when Tim worked in finance, when he built the various properties in France. Initially he had a manager running the business for him. When Tim left finance he decided he wanted to get more involved and be hands -on. Both Tim and I wanted a balance of work and lifestyle and to be able to spend more time together so we focused our time and energy on running Amazon Creek.
3. Do you have clearly defined roles in the business? If so, what are they?
Yes – Tim oversees the overall management of the business as well as managing staff and operations in the resort. He speaks fluent French so anything in the resort is his domain. I manage sales and marketing and client concierge from the UK office as well as overseeing accounting and administration.
4. How do you separate your working life from your personal life?
Good question – how does anyone separate work like from personal life when they run their own business? It requires a lot of our time, but with the right team in the resort we have our evenings and weekends, as well as some wonderful family holidays with friends at our properties so we do have a good balance, but you never switch off from it! Providing what we consider to be a very high end product in the leisure industry requires a constant focus and presence.
5. How do you manage any conflict?
Having separate roles in the business we do not really have conflicts. When we have overlap we largely agree on things. Occasionally we have different views but we talk them through and conclude on what is best for the business.
6. How has your business relationship impacted on your relationship?
It has strengthened it. We work well together and are a good team, we love the mountains and sea, skiing, hiking and sailing, which is a large part of what Amazon Creek is about. We do make sure we have personal time together outside of work at least once a week and do not talk about Amazon Creek (unless we get an urgent call from the resort!)
7. Are you stronger working as a team as opposed to separately?
Definitely, we support each other really well especially when one of us has a lot going on, be it me helping in the resort or Tim helping in the office, we manage things between us very well.
8. What are the pros and cons of working with your spouse?
Pros you get to spend time and travel together. Cons when you want to have some time off together as a family you can never switch off completely from the business, but that’s the luck of the draw with running your own business, I don’t think either of us would want it any other way. We enjoy what we do and it is a bonus being able to do it together.
9. Do you agree when it comes to household chores, childcare and business decisions?
Yes – we both have the same outlook, we want the best for our children and for them to be happy and healthy. And of course we both have the same ambition with growing the business, so we are on the same page with these decisions.
10. What advice would you give to couples thinking of going into business together?
Have a clear vision, but then have clear and separate roles.
For further information about Amazon Creek, please visit: www.amazoncreek.co.uk