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James and Jayne Brown

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Married nearly 29 years, James and Jayne Brown aren’t stark opposites, but they have distinct differences. Where she’s outgoing, he’s a bit more reserved, but their differences have created a symbiotic balance.

Jayne, a program host on QVC for 19 years, began in management at JCPenney and other retailers. Her first gig at QVC, though, wasn’t as glamorous—she began as an assistant buyer. But after just nine months, she transitioned to on-camera.

While Jayne’s career has her center stage, James’ is more behind the scenes. He has navigated the nonprofit and entrepreneurial worlds through digital marketing, and he is currently the senior strategy executive and vice president of analytics and customer operations at Philadelphia’s QBrands.

Both have made career changes over the years. “I think what helped us was the fact that we wanted the other to be happy and fulfilled, even if that meant sacrificing something for happiness,” Jayne says. “When I left my management position at JCPenney, I had no idea I would end up as program host, but it was never a question as to whether or not I would have support.”

Part of that philosophy includes pursuing their own interests, like exercising for James and painting for Jayne. Beyond their pursuit of happiness—something they’ve instilled in their adult daughters—the couple also recognizes that letting little things go goes a long way.

“We have very similar values—different ways of viewing them—but the same values. And even though it’s cliché, it’s the communication that makes it work,” says James. “I credit Jayne for that. That part of her personality as the big communicator—that’s a driving force and has been important to us in addressing differences. I don’t know that there was any magical formula.”

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