Love Stories: What John & Jamie Have Learned From Love
Cherishing differences and practicing patience are just two finely tuned parts of their healthy bond
With their restaurant and wine bar Omni an extension of themselves and their home, synergetic couple John Yip and Jamie Yeon describe the business as their proudest achievement to date — a fun, frustrating, and highly rewarding journey that is the fruit of eight years spent together.
How did you meet and/or what was your first date like?
Both: We first met through a mutual friend’s potluck dinner. Our first date was a lunch picnic at Shakespeare Bay, and we ate John’s very undercooked pasta salad. We're very much like-minded individuals and share almost identical tastes in food, wine, music and other interests, so conversations and humour are never dire. We both really enjoyed each other's company that afternoon so prolonged our date into a lovely dinner the same day.
What personal growth have you experienced in your relationship?
Both: The gradual change from a personal to a professional working relationship. I think we’ve adapted well, just from having experience working in such high-pressure environments. You realise nothing is personal and we’re both working hard towards a common goal.
How do you keep your relationship healthy?
John: We’re married and work together, so our personal and work lives are very much intertwined. I believe the key to maintaining our healthy bond is patience, sympathy and always keeping open-minded communication.
Jamie: Firstly, taking good care of myself so that I am in a healthy emotional state to take care of John.
What is your most significant achievement or moment as a couple?
Both: Opening our small wine bar together would be the proudest achievement to date. We literally converted a friend’s vintage furniture shop into a restaurant from ground zero just the two of us. We both love design, so the entire journey was really fun, frustrating at times but rewarding to see the end result. Omni really is an extension of our home, so to build something so warm and welcoming to showcase our passion is very natural for us.
What is the hardest thing about being in love, and the best?
John: Perhaps the internal pressure to always strive to do better so you can give the very best life opportunities to your partner. The best would be having someone to always confide in, and share memories, and knowing they are beside you no matter what.
Jamie: Discussing ambitions and planning a future together allows me to look forward to the bright days ahead. The hardest challenge would probably be to fully love someone exactly as they are, you wouldn’t want someone to change so it’s more about truly understanding and respecting differences from their point of view.
What do you admire about them?
John: Jamie is super courageous and a strong, independent being. She left her home country (Korea) and family at a young age to explore the world. She misses her family a lot but at the same time she’s building her own here in New Zealand.
Jamie: I admire John’s outlook on life and the way he encourages me to always try new things. He’s quite risk-averse and brave, so whenever something doesn’t go according to plan he takes these as lessons and just moves forward with a smile.
What do you find most attractive about your partner?
John: Jamie is really optimistic and always just so positive; I love to absorb her energy, and it allows me to radiate this aura on to others and it feels good.
What’s next for your as a duo?
Both: Slowly move away from the daily grind of being very hands-on operators, and focus on building a small family together and the pursuit of a healthy long-term work-life balance.