Photo by Ja'Mon Jackson
Photo by Ja'Mon Jackson

In the two years they’ve been married, Will and Shalyce Counts have launched three independent ventures. Now they’ve set on merging their entrepreneurial aspirations with the launch of Love Counts. This business — named after their wedding hashtag — will bring young, married couples on retreats to discuss aspects of their union and strengthen their bond.

Love Counts, scheduled to be launched this summer, comes on the cusp of Will’s foray in the investment and financial literacy spaces, and Shalyce’s growing reputation as a provider of unique fashion and desserts.

The end goal for these millennials centers on encouraging fidelity and longevity among married couples in their 20s and 30s.

“It’s not just about us leading it, but providing a healthy environment for people expressing themselves and couples learning from other couples. We don’t have many resources offered for young couples to encourage building and maintaining a strong foundation,” Will, 28, told The Bridge.

“We just came back from an excellent marriage retreat. Usually, it’s older couples that take advantage of these retreats,” he continued. “Those couples are usually looking to learn if they can resolve their marital issues, or if it’s best to just separate. We want to encourage couples that it’s important to build a strong foundation, and learn to effectively communicate in order to work through any issues that may come.”

Shalyce and Will, both of whom are native Washingtonians. have known each other since the age of 6 and 7. respectively. The couple said they’ve maintained a bond over the years — and through many changes — based on mutual respect, communication, and knowledge of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

When it comes to matters of managing the home and business, Shalyce often relies on her people skills to interact with clients and partners, while Will crunches the numbers and guides the financial trajectory of their plans.

Last fall. Shalyce, 26. launched Iconic Fashion House and The Sweet Spot. With Will’s blessing. she left her career in health care to focus on her businesses full time. People who patronize Iconic Fashion House often peruse through Shalyce’s collection of casual business wear, sports apparel, sweatshirts, and outfits more suitable for the nightlife.

For those hankering for dessert, Shalyce channels her lifelong passion for baking to create various treats — including cakes, cupcakes. cinnamon buns, and cookies. “You work on your own time. If you’re taking on a project, it’s your choice of what your work consists of. rather than someone telling you what your tasks are and when to clock in and out,” Shalyce said.

“I know what I’m making based on what I produce. I love fashion. I love dressing nicely. Owning a boutique is something I wanted to do for a while. Baking [also] became a form of therapy for me, which led to a second business” she added.

Meanwhile, Will — an investor and business owner in multiple financial industries — helps others navigate and boost their finances through his business, Every Moment Counts. With this venture, he utilizes the Forex market as one of his tools to help clients accumulate income outside of their jobs and inch closer to financial freedom. This business, now in its third year, allows Will to work toward mastering various forms of wealth building he said would be of great benefit to his family for generations.

Experts cite better tax and health insurance benefits, lower stress, and lower likelihood of risky behavior as some of the benefits of marriage. Millennials — somewhat traumatized by the marital dysfunction they’ve witnessed among previous generations — have approached this institution differently. with some choosing to cohabitate with their partner and accumulate wealth before getting married, and others signing prenuptial agreements before they tie the knot.

As a result, millennial marriages have fueled a declining divorce rate — nearly 25 percent since the 1980s. according to analyses of U.S. Census Bureau data. Research has also shown that couples who launch a business together reduce income inequality within the household.

Shalyce and Will said the magic in any relationship lies in seeking the right qualities in a potential mate, and establishing long-term goals. With Love Counts comes the opportunity to create a community of young. married people eager to build a foundation on which their families can flourish.

“Everyone isn’t always destined to be on the same path. I’ve tried doing business with family multiple times, and I’d rather just keep that great relationship with them],” said Shalyce. “That’s why I chose to do business with my husband. We have the same vision, and can find balance between the personal and business. The end goal is generational wealth.”

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Sam P.K. Collins

Sam P.K. Collins has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, columnist and organizer. Sam, a millennial and former editor of WI Bridge, covers education, police brutality, politics, and other...

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