When we were planning for our wedding, Sojung and I both knew that if we dropped tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding, our hearts would ache. Instead, we wanted to devote our marriage to giving and loving on others. Of course, people had their opinions, and even commented on our less conventional honeymoon destination to Seattle. But we stood firm on our decisions and did what we felt was right for us. I created a website and named it SOHOSTORY; through the blog, we shared how we were going against the norm. After the wedding, we shut down the website knowing that SOHOSTORY would continue on as something more.
Within the first six months of our marriage, it was clear that I was not meant for a 9-5 job. With much prayer and consideration, we knew it would be best for me to quit my career as an accountant and become a professional photographer. So I setup a new website under the name SOHOSTORY.
For the past two years, SOHOSTORY has been known a photography business. When Sojung decided to quit her job as a teacher to pursue illustration 8 months later, she registered her business name as Merelypaper. She assumed that I wanted SOHOSTORY to be a photography only business. This was never my intention; I just never communicated this to my wife.
It was out of pure insecurity and not being honest with myself that Sojung did not know. In my heart, I was against her going in her own direction with Merelypaper, but I couldn’t say no because I didn’t want to change what I had already built with SOHOSTORY as a photography business. And partly, I thought it was a good idea to separate ourselves. So many people told me that “a husband and wife should never work together.” I should not have listened them.
Sojung started freelancing in June of 2013 and as the year went on, I knew something was wrong. As our separate business grew we were also growing apart in both marriage and business. Don’t get me wrong, we work hard on our marriage and we have a pretty awesome relationship. However, since we weren't working on the same projects and ran on different ideas, it took a toll on our personal lives. We had completely different schedules, communicated less, and got caught up in our own busyness.
A couple of months later, I apologized to Sojung and explained that doing our business together was what I really wanted, that we should have from the beginning. After a long and honest talk, we made the decision to combine our businesses and formed an LLC together, co-owners of SOHOSTORY LLC. At that point we had no idea what that meant so it was simply about sharing a business name and adding another joint bank account to our names.
I had the idea of working together in my head, but I was way too insecure to really do it. Being a former accountant doesn’t help either. My mind operates very logically and making huge changes to work together just didn’t seem like the logical thing to do. So we went about our ways as one photographer and one graphic designer.
After a day of goal setting and business planning for 2014 on the first Saturday of this month, we both left feeling very uneasy. Later that night, Sojung shared the video of Megan Gilger’s talk from the Circles Conference. After watching it, I felt completely helpless and didn’t know how to deal with it. I sent an email to Sojung explaining my fears and insecurities. I started off with "sorry about not being able to really tell you what i want. i still feel like i am alone in this. it’s not easy telling anyone how i truly feel. in my head all this is not possible.” I went on to explain that I want to create and work together but my head fights against it daily.
With constant prayer and many conversations, we decided to make a big change in our business once again. I am sure we will make many mistakes and tweaks along the way, but we will always share our stories of oneness as a married couple through SOHOSTORY.
SOHOSTORY is not just a business; it is our story.