Heart to Art with the Georges
Darren and Samantha George met at a church hike, trekking from Mavis Bank in the Blue Mountains in 2006. One year post first encounter, they began dating, and three years later, said their I dos. Since then, they've had two wonderful boys, now two and three, and have settled into their careers in the arts. Samantha is into the culinary arts, 'cheffing it' in fine style. Darren is into photography, capturing moments one click at a time.
Darren, who dabbled in electrical engineering and worked for one of Jamaica's top recording studios, explained that his fate in photography was sealed after the passing of his father. "I had to carry on the power of my father's legacy. After he died in 2012, I started on his camera, learning photography and discovered a dormant talent. I wanted to know more."
Samantha was also inspired by family, and the tasty meals they prepared. "Growing up seeing how my mom would make spectacular breakfasts so quickly and how my nanny would roll dumplings with dexterity, precision and almost like an art form, it became a strong interest."
The couple not only excel in their individual areas of expertise, they support each other, too. Every time there are projects, they're trading services. Samantha helps Darren on shoots while Darren helps Samantha cook and plan. Darren, according to Samantha, is versatile in photos and videos so he helps with her campaign geared towards those initiatives. He also assists with the creation of content for the website and on social media. Darren said that Samantha has a good eye and is a really good photography critique. "Plus, she keeps me fed and rejuvenated. She helps with administrative work at times and is good in meetings with clients."
Samantha shared that she really loves painting with their children and interacting with them. She enjoys singing to them and kissing and hugging them. "How they look at me with such love is so hypnotising. And I really loved breastfeeding, too - it was a great connection for me. It's also very rewarding to hear them compliment me on my food."
She also treasures relaxing with her husband, in and out of the kitchen, since they love to cook together. But when it ultimately boils down to spending that well-needed quality time with family, the Georges confessed that there is no such thing as balance - it is all an illusion, they revealed with a laugh.
Their advice to other parents includes having sacred times that can never be broken. And by times, they mean, time dedicated to work as well as play
When the children are at school, it means work time for the two lovebirds. And they grind hard, getting stuff done and making sure that they're creating quality content.
Once the children are home, it's family time: meals together, story time, homework, (yes they're getting homework at two and three years old, Samantha admitted) horseback riding, shopping.
If one of them is hustling to complete a project, the other one covers for two. And then there are times when they have to call for backup - the babysitter.
Outsourcing comes into play too: they pay someone to help them to keep the house in order as much as they can afford to.
And once the children go night night, the couple takes after hours to reconnect, be romantic and just enjoy each other's company.
The reality is, they pointed out, that growing a business is in many ways like raising a child and is just as demanding. Here are their recommendations to aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Spend less than you earn.
- Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.
- Find that sweet spot where your gifts align with others' needs. Then create something valuable that solves as many people's problems as possible.
- Read lots of great books.
- Give because you love, because you believe in doing to others as you would have them do to you.