“Raise a family, Build an empire”. (K.Frazer 2017)
If you were to type power couples into Google, the likes of Jay Z and Beyonce, The Obamas, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats and for some strange reason Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey would come up. What is the definition of a power couple? Just two celebrities coming together and having children? Two people being in the spotlight? Or is it about building an empire to leave a legacy? The following couples are what I believe to be power couples but they are seldom mentioned, some of them are divorced now but if there were any purpose for partnership why not be productive while doing it.
Ed and Betty Gardener
Co founders of the Soft Sheen hair care line, Ed and Betty Gardener have been married for over 60 years. The couple started the business in 1964, Mr Gardner who was a school teacher at the time decided to sell hair care products to make extra money for his family. During this time he began to make his own products in his basement. This idea allowed the couples business to gross $100,000,000 annually at it’s peak. In 1998 the couple sold their company to L’Oreal,”The business was not the only objective of our company. We were still a family that felt that we needed to give back as much as we possibly could,” said Ed Gardner. In 1983 they started an anti violence programme called ‘Black on Black Love’ promoting non violence within the black community.
Sheila and Robert L. Johnson
In 1969 the couple founded the company BET with just $15,000. When the couple was bought out by Viacom for $1.3 billion it made them the first black billionaires (and I thought Oprah was the first). The entertainment network was suppose to be an extension of the Ebony magazine. Although the couple have divorced now, what Sheila Johnson had to say about the company now was an eye opener, “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids [a twentysomething daughter and a college-age son] that they don’t watch it… I’m ashamed of it, if you want to know the truth.” I guess the vision was morphed into something other than what they had originally had hoped for.
Reggie and Rene Webb
The couple own 17 McDonald’s restaurants and are known as The Webb Family Enterprises. Their real estate business started in the mid 80s when the Webb’s purchased two McDonald’s restaurants. Prior to their purchase Reggie worked for 12 years in the McDonald’s chain, in the latter years as regional vice president. “Initially”, says “Rene, when we bought the stores it was stressful to make the transition from the corporate side to the franchise side. We depended on each other more than we anticipated” (See Black Enterprise 1990, page 54). Rene also goes on to say “This opportunity has allowed us to grow financially and spiritually” (P54). Their Daughter Kiana Webb Serverloh has followed in her parents footsteps and owns three McDonald’s franchises, their son Karim Webb owns three restaurants…Talk about keep it in the family…I’m Lovin It!!!
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22v6)