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Neubau 8
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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.

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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.

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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.

Shop the sto­ry: Melisa is wear­ing Eva, and Dan­ny wears Adam.

07 Dec 2018 · neubau eyewear