Ever After

Love comes in many forms. For these South Bay couples, it comes in strong and exuberant. They open up to us and tell us how they make it work.

Jenine and Brett Cravatt, Co-Owners of Cupcakes Couture, Internet Entrepreneur (him), Manhattan Beach
Around Town: We enjoy walks through the neighborhood with our two dogs, Toro and Kaia, and we love spending quality time with their family and friends.
Surprise! We found out we were pregnant two months after the wedding and just two weeks after our store opening. Of course it was difficult to spend the first year running the business coupled with morning sickness and all the changes a woman goes through when pregnant. Little Saylor Bleu was born last year, and we couldn’t be happier with our new bundle of joy.
Best Friends: We always are the first to offer support to each other no matter the situation. Especially when balancing our store, our relationship, and being parents, we work together to ensure each other’s happiness!

 

Cristina Fadale and Chad Richardson, Singer & Actor (her), Music Producer & Songwriter (him), Redondo Beach
How We Met: We were both working as performers in the Broadway show RENT. We were introduced by the stage manager as he took Cristina around to meet the entire cast. Chad turned to his dressing roommate and said, “There’s trouble!” We spent a lot of time together at work doing eight shows a week and became friends. The rest is history.
Perfect Harmony: Both of us are artists, and we can always enjoy a night at the theater or listening to music. Depending on what projects Chad is working on, Cristina will track vocals for songs that Chad is writing. It is also amazing to “play” music making with our son, Luca.
Try, Try Again: In marriage things can be great and not so great. But the key is to always try. So many people don’t work at their marriage, and it inevitably falls apart. But we try to work really hard to stay connected and get through the good times and the bad.

 

Jessica and Steve Kemochan, Co-owners of LaLicious, Hermosa Beach
Working Together: We started our all-natural beauty business out of our kitchen in 2003 and now have a 6,000-square-foot warehouse. It’s a challenge finding a manageable balance between being there for our identical twin four-year-old girls, Kasey and Megan, and meeting the demands of a growing company. We are so lucky to have a flexible schedule that allows us to spend more time with our girls.
Snap Decision: When Rob proposed, Jessica got up and asked the first person she saw to take a picture. It happened to be Rod Stewart, and he thought she wanted a picture of him. He got all flustered when she said, “No, I want a picture of us!”
Saving Grace: Laughter, a weekend away without the kids, and wine in the fridge.

 

June and Dave Leach, Community Volunteers, Retired High School Teacher (him), Redondo Beach
Love at First Sight: We met on a lucky blind date in March 1949 at a formal dance at UCLA. We’ve been married for 57 years. We have five children and seven grandchildren.
Building a Brood: When the kids came along, everything became rich. It didn’t do anything to solidify us more, but our lives just blossomed.
Staying Together: Faith has helped a lot. We respect each other. We back each other up. We’re not perfect, but we read somewhere, “Don’t expect perfection, because then you’re going to be disappointed.”
Words of Wisdom: Be a friend to one another. Be thankful for the small things as well as the big things.

 

Kristina Ripatti-Pearce and Tim Pearce, Former partners in LAPD South Central gang unit, Redondo Beach
Relationship Motto: “Work hard, play hard.” We loved our jobs, but off duty we love living an active lifestyle. We enjoy surfing, working out, fishing and off-roading.  We also love taking “adventure vacations” and exploring different places together.
Overcoming Challenges: Kristina’s spinal cord injury has certainly added a big challenge to our lives, but we have been extremely fortunate to have tremendous support from our family and friends. 
How They Do It: Keeping an open line of communication, making each other laugh, and not being too proud to ask for help from others when we need it.

 

Barbara and Larry Moore, Children’s Advocate (her), Real Estate Broker (him), Rolling Hills Estates
Chance Meeting: Destiny led us to each other. Our eyes met across a hotel lobby, to which Larry said to himself, “Be still my heart.”
Common Ground: We share a passion for the simple things in life: family, friends, and nature. We are dedicated and tenacious about our ongoing work with underserved and at-risk children.
Going Strong: We minimize challenges by facing them together. One of our mantras is, “your challenge is my challenge.”
Keeping It Real: We still have date nights and convene at the end of every day to share our stories. We start and end each day together, each feeling grateful for the gift of love…real love.

 

Janice and Steve Coy, Co-owners of CL!X Portrait Studios,  Rancho Palos Verdes
Dynamic Duo: These days we share the passion of building a successful business. We also both love music, and for many years we sang together in our church choir. That was before kids. Once we had kids, they became our passion.
Favorite Memory: Building our dream home in the South Bay.
Love Lessons: Understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and allowing each other to be in charge where we are strong and not being afraid to ask for help where we are weak.

 

Monica and Samuel Sim, Self-Employed, Rancho Palos Verdes
Shared Passions: We like to travel, take self-improvement workshops and participate in charity functions.
Keeping Traditions: We raised our kids in America with both the East and West cultures and try to balance them.
Teamwork: In 1991, we started our business on our own for the first time and have great memories of all the happenings.
Key to Success: When we make a decision, we put family first instead of individual ego.

 

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