Love in the Workplace: The Newtons
At the end of the day, we have camaraderie. Brian Newton
By Kathleen Swift
Q: How long have you been married and working together?
Peggy: I started working here as an office girl before we were married, and we’ve been married for 22 years.
Brian: When Peggy started working here, we really didn’t like each other. I told my dad I thought we should let her go, but he said she was the best office girl we’d had for a while. Dad encouraged our relationship, and we became good friends before we fell in love.
Q: How do you delegate the tasks at work?
Brian: I’ve always thought two heads were better than one. The key as a couple is to figure out who does what best. I oversee repairs and the purchasing of gold and silver, and I work with estate jewelry. Peggy oversees new merchandise buying, displaying the merchandise, marketing and social media. She keeps me in line and crosses the T’s and dots the I’s.
Peggy: Our business is 105 years old, so it’s important to create fresh ideas and stay up-to-date.
Q: What’s the best part of working together?
Brian: At the end of the day, we have camaraderie.
Peggy: Yes. We work as a team with each other and with our staff. We’ve worked hard to earn respect. With a generational business, you have to be there for the long haul and earn that respect. It isn’t just handed to you. We know we’re a team, and we always use the term “we.”
We are in a happy business. What we do brings people joy, and we get to share in those moments when a person buys something as a gift to share with someone they love.
Q: Who gets to take lunch first?
Peggy: We never take a lunch hour. Brian doesn’t eat lunch, and all I can say is thank goodness Jimmy John’s delivers!
Q: What do you do for some “me” time?
Brian: When we get home, I generally go to my man cave. I like to work on my old cars with our son, James.
Peggy: I like to watch my girl movies, and I love to run. We don’t really get to take a lot of time off together, but we were able to close for three days over the 4th of July and take a family trip. It makes you appreciate the time you do have. I have to admit that I am the trip hog in the family, and I get away more than Brian does.
Q: How do you keep the romance alive?
Brian: We constantly have to work on making time for the two of us. We made a New Year’s resolution that is posted on our refrigerator to have a date night twice a month.
Q: How has working together strengthened your marriage?
Brian: We share responsibilities at work, and we share the household duties, projects and chores, too. We are a team at work and at home.
Peggy: I wouldn’t know any other way! We’ve always worked together. Even when James was an infant, I would go in at key times. I was always a part of the team. This is a family business in more than a name. Our 15-year-old son James likes to be around us and the business. I think our working together has helped him see what family closeness is like, and he’s a part of it, too.