How to Live, Love, and Work Together
Lovers, friends, parents—and co-founders. See how this creative couple makes it work when they're together virtually 24/7.
Marriage in itself can seem quite the insurmountable task for some, but not for Melisa and Danny. The quintessential creative Berlin-based couple have seemingly cracked the code on successfully co-habitating, co-parenting, and co-working. Below, details on their budding business—@renk.magazin—and what life is like when there’s practically no downtime.
You two are co-founders of renk. Magazine. What’s the idea behind the pop culture publication?
D: The Turkish word ‘renk’ means color in English. As the first German-Turkish magazine, we primarily focus on promoting multi-ethnic art and culture, and the interconnectedness that comes from merging those heritages and lifestyles. We like to think of it as an online space where you can deep dive into our articles to forget about all of the political discrepancies and debates happening now, and just focus on the creative work of the people.
Not only are you business partners, you’re also a couple. How did you meet, and how does work affect your relationship?
M: We met back in 2011 while studying visual communication at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. (We later enrolled at Berlin University of the Arts, where we studied visual communication at a masters’ level.) Now that our relationship involves us also working together, there is no clear division between work and our private life. Admittedly, we do spend a lot of time together, and are frequently asked how this works out…
D: We make it a point to make time for quality time, which is usually sipping drinks while Netflix-and-chilling on the couch. On the other hand, quality time also includes us working closely together to flush out a cool concept for the magazine.
Where do you source the subjects and topics featured in renk. Magazin?
D: Typically we focus on the things Melisa and I love and find particularly interesting. Also, we always think about what might be compelling for our audience to read.
And how do you generally split the workload?
D: There’s no crystal clear separation of duties — we’re both heavily involved with design, planning, and conceptualization.
M: I’d say my focus lies more with all things organizational, while Danny focuses on the more technical aspects.
You two seem quite in sync professionally. Do you ever disagree about work?
D: When it comes to the magazine, Melisa is ultimately in charge. She gets the last word, so there is no need for long, drawn out discussions. (Happy wife, happy life!)
What is your secret for striking the perfect balance between work and life?
D: For the longest time, that ever elusive work-life balance was merely a concept we read about…
M: We weren’t really good at it at first, admittedly, but we’re much better at it now. Our secret? Becoming parents!
What three words most accurately describe what it takes to start a business in your respective opinions?
M: Confidence, focus, and discipline.
D: Persistence, (a little) recklessness, and imagination.