When Stephen Barnes first encountered Kristin Lowe, he knew she was everything he had waited for. But the feeling wasn't mutual. 'She didn't exactly throw herself at my feet,' says Barnes, one year after that first meeting. 'I thought he talked too much,' says Lowe. 'It wasn't so much his voice, it was how long he went on.' But Barnes didn't give up and, after 'a lot of dancing round handbags' (as he calls it), he won her over. Now the two are inseparable and happily describe their getting together as one of the best things that happened to them. And Barnes' wife and Lowe's husband agree. Lowe and Barnes - or 'Barney' as he's known - are Hong Kong business partners and working spouses. In many ways, their working relationship is like that of a couple. They're happy to spend all their working hours - and many non-working hours - together, they share similar goals and work ethics, support each other, bring different skills to their partnership and can talk for hours. But at the end of the day, both go home to happy marriages. Barnes to Yuka and their two girls, aged 10 and 12, and Lowe to husband Courtney and her three daughters, aged two, six and eight. The two met a year ago. Lowe, a teacher-turned professional organiser, had set up her company, Organising Solutions, in 2004 and Barnes was four years into his own organising venture and in the process of launching his e-mail organising software called empty-inbox! 'Everything happens for a reason,' says Barnes. 'It was serendipity. I needed to take my part of the organising business into the training dimension and Kristin is right in that space. She recognised that what I had was a perfect fit for what she wanted.' In those early days, their relationship was all-consuming. They would spend hours together or talking on the phone planning the 'marriage' of their businesses. The big day arrived recently when they signed all the documents formalising their partnership. Both say they've been lucky in that all this has been done with the support of their partners. 'Courtney is supportive to the end and sees tremendous value in the relationship Barney and I have,' says Lowe. 'Occasionally, we have our Mars-Venus issues and when I try to seek solace in my husband, he pulls his Mars card out and supports Barney.' Like any newly-weds, they're now looking forward to the future, planning to take their company going global. 'It really is a marriage made in heaven,' says Barnes. 'No other business organisation is doing what we're doing.' Lowe feels similarly optimistic about what they can achieve. 'In our case, I say one plus one equals five,' she said. 'For me, this is such a strong and healthy relationship for a lot of reasons. It's very intellectually engaging. We have some interesting and long debates. It's enjoyable for both of us, and gets us and the business somewhere. It's a very productive partnership.'