After realizing their dreams and opening their first location of Eye-Deal Vision in 2005, the Rogalinskis have been dominating the vision care business ever since.
Dr. Joseph and Tracie Rogalinski have been married since May 1999 and reside in San Antonio. There’s never a dull moment for this busy pair as they have five children together, ages 18, 16, 14,10 and 5, with the oldest four being boys and the youngest being a baby girl.
Joe is from West Allis, Wisconsin and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse. He also holds a doctorate from the University of Houston College of Optometry (class of 1999) and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Air Guard. Tracie Rogalinski is a San Antonio native and holds a BBA with a concentration in finance from Texas A&M University College Station, class of 1997.
We sat down with Tracie Rogalinski, Business Director for Eye-Deal Vision to discuss what it’s like being in business with your life partner and the experiences that follow.
How did you two meet?
We met downtown on the Riverwalk.
When and why did you start your business?
After 9/11, Joe was called to duty in the National Guard. He came back from his deployment with a laser focus on what he wanted to achieve next in his optometry career. He had asked several times before if I wanted to help him open a new practice but I’d never felt it was the right move for my career.
When he laid out his plan, I knew it was the right time to partner with my husband and realize our career dreams. I was pregnant with our second son, and I knew no other position would be as flexible with our children.
What have you learned about each other working together?
We both work in two completely different ways. I gather research to determine the best options and I make a decision. Joe will analyze and analyze until he feels he’s ready to make the right decision. While I find that frustrating it has worked to our advantage in many instances. And the reverse is true… Our capabilities and talents complement each other.
How are you handling the current 24/7 togetherness?
Interestingly enough, Joe was called back into service to conduct COVID testing around Texas—he was part of the first team that started conducting testing in North Texas. While everyone was enjoying new home improvement projects and lots of family time, Joe has been traveling the last few months. For the first six weeks of shutdown, I was managing our three businesses by myself and working to keep our companies viable. I was also helping four of our kids with distance learning.
Do you have a top tip for making a husband/wife business a success?
Treat your spouse like a partner…would you speak rudely to someone you worked with? Schedule time to meet about important work issues just like you would with any other business partner. Set expectations for each other that are clearly outlined.
Both of us are so invested in the success of all our businesses that we never have to worry that one of us isn’t doing enough. Recognize your spouse/partner with praise for successes…when you’re the owner you don’t necessarily hear that you’re doing a great job. Supporting each other in success and failure is huge. If we have a disagreement, we do our best to discuss it away from our team… At least that’s the plan! We try to laugh a lot—Joe is a jokester and always manages to put a smile on my face.
Would you go into business together again?
Absolutely! I couldn’t ask for a better husband and partner. Is it hard? Yes, it’s hard, but the experience and the outcomes are worth it!
Cover photo courtesy Capturing Life SA by Melinda Gutierrez
Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.