OKC Couple Turns Pink Slips Into Paychecks

Thursday, July 21st 2011, 11:39 pm
By: News 9

Havonna Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The number of people applying for unemployment rose by 10,000 last week. Applications have topped 400,000 for 15 straight weeks.  With so many people struggling to find work, some are getting creative.

Newlyweds Cody and Libby Ross had a new mortgage and two kids to support when they both lost their jobs, but instead of heading to the unemployment line they pieced together what they had: $500 and a dream.  Two years later they have a successful business.

Cody began filling his days looking for odd jobs on Craigslist. But when his new bride lost her job as operation manager the couple decided it was time to rethink things.

" You make your life.  You create your own luck. Finding your skills will make you money in the end. My husband has one talent and I have another and together we make a life," Libby Ross said.

They created Two Buddies handyman service. He does the heavy lifting and she gets new business.

" I like the fact that I don't have to punch a clock. Our hours vary so much it doesn't matter if it's the middle of the night and that's the only time a customer can be there for us to work. We work overnight, during the day, it doesn't matter what time someone needs something done, we will be there to make sure it happens for them," Cody Ross said.

Experts say creating a niche and filling a void in the marketplace is what can turn a pink slip into a paycheck. In addition to getting new business, Libby markets Two Buddies and is a personal concierge

"People would ask us to do some of the unusual things.  'Can you run to the courthouse and get this document for me?'  I thought, well, we should pursue that more. There has got to be people that need help managing their lifestyle."

The couple is always finding creative ways to add services to their booming business.

For tips on starting a business after a layoff visit: http://career-advice.monster.com/career-development/Changing-Careers/Starting-Your-Own-Business-the-Answer/article.aspx