This story appears in the Pre-Spring 2014 issue of Eidé Magazine. Read it here, or click here to read it in the issue.
Story by Alex Taylor | Photography by Max Eremine
Cassandra Connors (Casey), and Brian Froehling speak the same comedic language, making it easy for them to play off each other's humor and sarcasm. Considering what makes their relationship unconventional or unique Brian says, “Well, probably the biggest thing is that Casey’s into S&M.” “We’re swingers,” Casey jests without missing a beat.
But there’s an undertone of sincerity woven through their lives. Sitting next to Casey’s desktop computer in her home office lies a horizontal strip of paper with cursive writing on it and two small, dried roses. The note reads: “Your beautiful smile always puts me in a better mood.” Before Brian embarked on a two-week-long business trip, he left little notes around the house for Casey to find, including this one. As for the roses, they are from their wedding this past December.
They rarely spend time apart — “People ask me how do you spend that much time together. I don’t know, but we do,” Casey says. Their relationship is brought together by love, marriage, their beautiful 11-month-old daughter, Leah, and business, as well. In 2012, they became partners in Casey’s company Bella Bag, one of the largest retailers of used and pre-owned designer handbags in the country (that even supplies bags to online heavy-hitters like Rue La La and Gilt Groupe).
It’s not a stretch for the newlyweds. They both scratched the ‘entrepreneurial itch’ at a young age. Brian could be considered one of the great 6-year-old entrepreneurs of our time. When the rest of his cohort was working lemonade stands, he was busy selling the seeds from palm trees in his Ocala, Fla. neighborhood. Today, the Harvard Business School graduate is better known as one of the youngest directors of sales for the security software corporation Symantec, overseeing a team that manages relationships with Fortune 500 clients in the southeast. Before he started dating Casey, he and acclaimed sports psychologist Gio Valiante founded Fearless Golf, a conditioning program that helps golfers with their “mental game.” As a partner in Bella Bag, he has helped the company expand its market reach with e-commerce, retail and wholesale strategy. “Casey always knew how to present our product in the most attractive light,” Brian says. “She didn’t always understand the way companies and consumers wanted to buy.”
Casey also felt that she was destined for success at a young age. “I would have told you I was going to win an Os- car,” she says. “And nobody was going to stand in my way, and now that’s just so far from my reality.” Instead, she has made her mark in the fashion industry with her high-end resellables, estimated to bring in $10 million this year.
In business and love, Casey has learned “to be open minded to what you don’t know,” while Brian tries to not “get bogged down in a lot of the details.”
Currently residing in Atlanta with Leah and two goldendoodles, Gigi and Dexter, the couple says they “can’t pretend to know” where they will be in 10 years, except for the fact that they will have an 11-year-old daughter.