The history of Two Flounders

Two Flounders began five years ago in Abi’s 4-Runner, but neither Chris nor Abi realized it at the time. They were returning to Ohio State after her senior year Spring break. During that that ten-hour drive, they talked about how incredible it would be to be business partners. To be the masters of their own time…with no clock to punch or no boss to answer to. They made a pact. They would make it happen. Someday.

Abi graduated, returned to Virginia, and they began months of business meetings where they would pitch their ideas to each other. Ideas from Tidewater travel guides/planning to home maintenance records to party planning to a donut/beignet truck ("Geaux-nuts!") …there were a lot of ideas.

In the middle of these discussions, Abi found a marketing job with a medical technology company in Norfolk. A few months later she bought a condo. 

While she was getting settled into adult life, they decided to set aside discussion of the business ideas joint business.  They agreed that it was the time for Abi to establish herself in her career.  To pay her mortgage. To save for their future business venture. 

A few short years later, Abi married her life’s great love in a beautiful Eastern Shore wedding.  

All the while, Chris kept at his job with the Navy.

The pay was pretty good for both of them, and along with Marcia and John, they had settled into the lives they we’re supposed to settle into.  Annual vacations, a new boat, good friends, nice clothes, good restaurants. Abi started graduate school. John had a good job with the city. Marcia was moving up in her company. They were comfortable. Their hours in the office were reasonable, and their work fulfilling. Like anyone, they had moments when they would half-seriously resurrect the business ideas, but it was easy to convince themselves that they had found a good balance. It was easy to accept the path they were on. It was a really, really good life and the path was full of promise and hope.  

Then last February, Abi – only 26 years old – was diagnosed with stage 4 neuro-endocrine cancer.  

The cancer was inoperable.

Abi was given a 50% chance of surviving the year.

And in that moment, it became impossible to continue to push away the gnawing feeling they had betrayed the vision they had shared on that trip back to Columbus.

These grand ideas that time mattered more than money, that nice nobody was guaranteed even another minute, that relationships mean more than status - these ideas that sound so grand and noble were no longer just hypothetical/philosophical niceties.  It was time to face the music. Either we believed these things, or we didn't. Either we were willing to trade some of the things that made us happy and comfortable for moments and memories, or we weren't. 

Crisis has a way of making things pretty clear. 

In a few months, Chris (with Marcia's support) went on an extended leave of absence, and dedicated his time to soaking up every single minute with Abi that he could, and along with John and Marcia, to filling Abi’s heart with as much love as she could take.  Abi also stopped working, and set out to collect every precious moment.

Both of them began sharing these moments, whether on Caring Bridge, Medium, Instagram, though Abi’s company, Outwrite Design.

Then Abi had the idea that it was time to consolidate all of this material in a single place.

And that seed, planted in a 4-runner in the spring of 2013, finally germinated into Two Flounders.