We Do

Indian,” says Nate. “With the Cold Stone, she is the chief and I am the Indian. You have to know where you stand.”

In 2006, with Tamiko’s help, Nate launched the second business, Wayne Transport, their dump truck service. The couple now has a fleet of four trucks that haul asphalt and dirt for seven major asphalt companies to construction projects throughout Atlanta. They also sell gravel. Nate manages the contracts and hires #drivers while Tamiko learns how to operate the company’s #dispatch system. Wayne Transport grossed $318,000 in 2007.

What’s more, the couple has also invested in several #residential real estate properties. Along with two partners, the Waynes own a single-family property in Philadelphia valued at $1.1 million. They have also acquired a luxury condominium in Jacksonville, Florida, worth $180,000; two condominiums in Green Bay, Wisconsin, worth $175,000 and $190,000, respectively; and 1.2 acres of land in Sparta, Georgia, worth $190,000, where they plan to build an investment property. Yet, despite their varied business #interests, the Waynes are careful to give their children and their marriage the attention both need. Tamiko goes into Cold Stone early while Nate prepares and sends their children off to school, after which he manages the trucking business. The weekends and most evenings are reserved for family time. “Our nightly pillow talk is what do you have planned tomorrow and what is happening with the business,” says Tamiko. “We are in this together.”

‘Til Death Do
Us Part
The tradition of black couples owning businesses is a long one, says Juliet E. K. Walker, a history professor and the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Black #Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology at The University of Texas in Austin. Black business activity in #America began in the 1600s and expanded in the period before the Civil War. Shortly after the abolition of slavery, black couples continued as business partners opening hotels, inns, restaurants, and catering companies, especially in the South, she says. Unfortunately, many of these businesses disintegrated #because there was no succession plan in place in the event of the death of either spouse.

Dawn Davis, owner of S.C. Franks Chapel of Remembrance in Greenville, South Carolina, and the late Melvin Davis Sr., planned for the inevitable early on by bringing their children on board and grooming them to take over the family’s mortuary business, which was founded by Dawn’s maternal grandfather in 1935. Dawn, 62, made the decision at the beginning of her marriage to be completely involved in the business while raising the couple’s five children. The family lived above the #funeral home, so the children frequently spent their free time there. At one time the family operated three funeral home #locations, becoming one of the largest black-owned funeral homes in Greenville.

“I told [my husband] from the beginning that we would be partners, both raising the children as well as working in the business 50/50,” says Dawn. “It was a challenging business venture, but it was enjoyable to work with him on a