Today Fred posted that 30 years ago we were married. 30 years married, 35 years together and 36 years best friends. At one point I used to laugh that we had been together more than half our lives. That time has long past.
There were the years in college where we first met, became great friends and eventually became one. Then there were the post-college years where we kicked that off with a two-month cross-country journey before planting ourselves in NYC where we had visions of taking over the world (well, at least I did). I began to climb the first ladder of my career at Macy’s and Fred worked for a naval architecture firm before going to graduate school taking his engineering degree and applying some business to it. Fred graduated and went to work in the venture world and I left Macy’s to work in the schmatta business. We got married and bought our first piece of real estate, a one bedroom apartment in the East Village. We were moving forward.
Then we entered a new kind of adulthood wherewe had our first child, Jessica and life changed…. We had very little cash, you could say we were bootstrapping our lives and in many ways, we still operate like that but that did not stop us. We then had Emily and shifted gears from living in the city to living in the suburbs. We knew that we could not afford the life we wanted to live in the city and so it was to be that suburban life was our next stop. I stayed home for the first few years as the full-time CEO of the Wilson Family. Although we could barely make ends meet, I figured it out by filling up at Stu Leonards once a month, buying a sewing machine and making curtains, painting old furniture, canning cucumbers and more. That time was truly a gift. At the same time, we had Josh and Fred began Flatiron Partners. Stress could be one word that would describe that time but so could thrilling and exciting as we both saw the future on the Internet.
Mentally I needed to return to work but under my conditions where I could continue to be the CEO of the Wilson family which has always been my number one job and joy. And so I began my career in the technology space starting as the CRO of Silicon Alley Reporter. Between being a parent and watching young kids grow, it was a roller coaster of a ride on the world wide web too. Flatiron’s first investment was in Geocities and when it went public, our lives changed again. We were able to return to our beloved city of NYC with three kids in tow who were ages 8, 6 and 3. Hands down one of the best moves we have ever made.
We returned, we bought real estate then we bought more real estate and we traveled, we ate, we went to art shows, we began to collect art again and we raised our kids. We relished the city every day and still do. I stayed home for a bit before figuring out my next road as after the technology world imploded in the late 90’s, I stepped away again. Fred decided his next road was to stay in venture and began Union Square Ventures. I decided I loved the technology space too but I’d take a different angle this time and begin investing our capital.
Of course, there are many, many other stories in between and now we have three grown-up kids who are the shining light of our lives. They have gobbled up everything available to them and seem to dig in with as much gusto as we did at that age. That is the most rewarding thing we have done together.
We are entering our next stage of life with the hope that there will be another 30 years together with the same curiosity, love of life and each other that keeps our never ending conversation moving forward.
Congrats — hopefully you have > 30 years left together!
Happy Anniversary to you both. Enjoy you special day in Paris! oxoxox
Congratulations Joanne, so much respect for you both. May your next 30 ‘victory laps’ be as adventures and full of JOY.
I have enjoyed both of your posts so much today. You two are both adorable and great models for partnership, love and fun. Even though I rarely comment, I always read and enjoy what you have to say. Happy 30 years!
Happy Aniv. We did 30 this year too. It doesn’t seem like a long time but I guess it is.
Lovely read, and not just because I am married 31 years to a Joanne who is endlessly interesting. Marriage success is hard to describe, but this enjoyable post makes it real. Marriage is two partners, but also something else, that elusive larger something that reveals one + one as more than a sum. Thank you for sharing the moment and how you got there.
Very touching. Congrats!
CONGRATULATIONS! You guys are an inspiration.
LOVE this. Mazel Tov Joanne and Fred!
Congratulations to both of you! Wishing you many more. Follower of both your blogs… so inspirational. Cheers!
My best wishes and Mazel tov to you and Fred! Here is to the future of a life well lived together!
I’m so inspired by the way you’ve navigated family and career choices. I just had my 3rd child and your posts resonate deeply. Congrats!