Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Did you see this magazine cover? We are pretty excited to be the featured family in our local magazine. You can read the article below to learn a little more about us!
In any marriage three of the most stressful events are moving, having a baby, and starting up a new business. For Anna and Sheldon Franklin, they did all three within two years time and still managed to stay happily married.
Anna grew up just outside of Appleton and Sheldon grew up in a suburb of Chicago. The pair met at a bar in Wrigleyville when they were both living in Chicago after college. “We joke that people do actually meet in Wrigleyville, although the relationship typically doesn’t typically last like ours did,” said Anna while laughing.
At the time Anna was working in fundraising and event planning for Old St. Pat’s with her claim to fame working on the world’s largest block party as their fundraiser. Sheldon graduated from Illinois State University and currently works for Employment Screening where they conduct thorough background screenings to help companies with retention rates. With his job being remote he enjoys working at various coffee shops, with Colectivo off Prospect being his favorite location.
The Franklins decided to relocate from Chicago to Milwaukee because it seemed like a great place to start a family. “When we were looking in the Milwaukee area it was between Shorewood, Wauwatosa or Whitefish Bay,” said Anna. “We say that Whitefish Bay picked us because when we went through our current house and walked around the street it just felt like home.”
One thing that the Franklins weren’t prepared for was the extreme segregation that is present in Milwaukee. “When you’re always a minority you aren’t surprised anymore by actions that occur,” said Sheldon. “I want people to see me and instead of just thinking ‘there’s a black guy’ view me as a successful guy who is doing something great with his life.”
The couple’s daughter Charlotte was born in June 2017. After Charlotte was born Anna dealt with postpartum anxiety. “As women we hold so many roles, and are expected to jump back into reality so quickly after giving birth. This made me so upset and I wanted to do something about it. This is where the creation of Stone House Stage + Design all began,” Anna stated.
While always having an eye for both fashion and design, having graduated with a degree in communication, the encouragement Anna needed came from friends after seeing the transformation of the Franklin’s own house. Sheldon and Anna took a leap of faith to create a one stop shop for anyone trying to sell a house. “We work with both realtors and individual home-owners looking to sell,” said Anna. “We like to think we do it all from selecting flooring, paint colors, swapping out light fixtures, professional cleaners, and helping the declutter process.” In addition to their staging business, Anna is also a photographer and enjoys shooting more documentary lifestyle images in natural elements.
With their own home transformed into a cozy space, they love cooking and make a point to eat at home as often as possible. Sheldon is an excellent cook and loves being in the kitchen making meals for the family. He is also a gifted pianist, and as a child was able to read music before he could read words. “Music has always been a huge part of my life with my grandmother teaching me how to play the piano,” said Sheldon. “She used to orchestrate an 80-person gospel choir and now Charlotte’s grandmother is trying to teach her how to play the piano. We did give Charlotte her own mini piano but she seems to prefer sitting on the bench with me at the real piano.”
They are active members of Eastbrook Church and Sheldon is the basketball coach for the Eastbrook Academy 8th grade boys team. One of the phrases they keep in mind when dealing with both professional and friend situations is ‘you’re never as good as they say you are, and never as bad as they say you are’. “Whenever I’m having a bad day Sheldon rattles off a bunch of phrases that always put everything back in perspective for me,” said Anna. “It’s great having a partner who believes in you and wants to be there for both your good and bad days. We really are a perfect match for the other.”
By Christine McBride
Originally appeared in the March Issue of the Bay Leaves.
Photo Credit: Boutique Photographer