This couple took the leap... and started a business

This couple  took the leap... and started a business

It's often said that working in the same office as your spouse is a bad idea, but some couples can run a successful business, have fun in the process and avoid divorce. Rachel Scully speaks to the couple behind Ministry Of Retail to find out how they make it work.

There was no end of to-ing and fro-ing when entrepreneur Yvonne Tan and her boyfriend debated starting a business, until he posed the killer question: "If we can't even run a project together, how are we to plan for bigger commitments like marriage?".

That was it. Ms Tan knew they had to take the leap and try to turn what had been a hobby into a going concern, but it was still a hard decision.

A previous bad experience in a small business venture with some friends was still fresh in her mind, so going back into what would certainly be a stressful process with then boyfriend Vincent Goh looked daunting.

"I didn't want to spoil the relationship if the business was to fail," said Ms Tan, 25.

She had already planted the seeds of what was to become their Ministry Of Retail online shopping site.

Ms Tan was used to organised shopping sprees - where strangers collectively order in bulk from overseas brands to save on shipping charges.

She would then sort out the items and mail them to people in Singapore, all in her own time and at her own expense.

Mr Goh, 31, saw the potential of the venture four years ago and challenged Ms Tan, then an accountancy undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University, to think and dream bigger.

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