Idris Elba wasn’t looking for marriage before meeting model (and future wife) Sabrina Dhowre.
“We started dating and I fell head over heels,” the actor, 48, recalls to PEOPLE in this week’s issue of first encountering Sabrina in 2017 at a Vancouver jazz bar. “Everyone was like, ‘Hey man, you seem so much happier.’ I didn’t realize I was, but the truth is that it really sparked a lot of conversations around how a partnership can bring out the best in you.”
Married since April 2019, the Elbas are now taking their relationship to the next level with the launch of S’able Labs, a new lifestyle brand focused on relationships, which includes a blog, their Audible podcast series, Coupledom, premiering June 24 and a full line of wellness products coming out later this year.
“It was us wanting and finding ourselves having these conversations about what makes partnerships work,” says Sabrina, 33, of creating their Audible podcast. “Just naturally as a couple, you meet other couples, you start talking about, ‘Hey, how has this worked for you guys?’ We quickly realized that that community is so much more than just romantic and reaches so many different kinds of partnerships. It just became this great conversation we wanted to share.”
The couple were drawn to creating their brand after feeling empowered by their own relationship. “I had famously said I’d never get married again [after two previous marriages] and here I was about to marry Sabrina, and we really got into questioning why,” Elba explains. “What has changed? We found ourselves saying, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be interesting to develop a community of people that felt the same?’ Not just romantic couples- familial, business partners. Each one teach one. That’s how we came up with [the project], which is our name backwards, S’able.”
Certain components of the brand were equally important to the couple. For the podcast, “we interview another significant duo, a partnership that we feel we could learn from, or maybe that anyone else could learn from,” says Sabrina. “It’s been such an enriching experience. You really have the best conversations when you’re just being open.”
The actor “really wanted a blog entry about how to buy a gift,” he says, laughing. “Where do I go when my wife has impeccable taste? The best way to get people to embrace this idea with us is to come from our own experiences together. We’re learning every day that sharing is a good thing.”
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Now working together, the couple describes their marriage as “one that’s forever growing and changing and evolving,” Sabrina says. “We’re newly business partners, but we’re also newlyweds. Idris is my best friend. I want to be around this guy every day of my life, so it’s really great to be able to see what that morphs into.”
Adds Elba: “I’d say we’re in a good place. It was a challenging year, but ultimately, when you look to the side and you’ve got someone that’s been there, ride or die, that’s really comforting.”
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