After being introduced 17 years ago by a mutual friend and dating briefly, Donnell Baldwin thought Courtney Arrington was “the one who got away”—until he got a second chance, five years later. Reconnecting, they braved a long-term, long-distance romance which eventually turned into a commuter marriage, after Donnell, the former menswear style manager for Ralph Lauren and style director for Mr. Porter, wed Courtney, then a civil engineer.
Finally settling in New York, the two took another leap together: Inspired by their own wedding, the couple combined their complementary talents to target a largely untapped market in style, grooms. Together, they launched Mr. Baldwin Style, where menswear expert Donnell primarily focuses on the fashion and Courtney handles logistics as they style weddings and big brand shoots alike. In the process, they became an authority on groom style, even writing a book on the topic, Grooms: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Day Apparel for Every Budget.
If running one business together wasn’t enough, during the pandemic they launched another, Courtney’s brainchild, Sanctuaire. A hub for luxury-level, BIPOC-founded lifestyle and wellness brands, the online marketplace ironically arrived at an ideal moment, as many of us were seeking newfound comforts at home.
While their love story sounds idyllic (and adorable), working, living and building new income streams together is no easy feat. How does this power couple balance being partners in business and life? As they tell us on this week’s Big Beauty Tuesday, the secret is remembering to take time out, celebrate each other’s differences and making sure to also celebrate the collaborative wins. Easier said than done, no doubt, but it’s how Donnell Baldwin and Courtney Arrington-Baldwin having been making wedded life work for them. Maybe we should just consider it marriage, Baldwin style.