To celebrate International Friendship Day, instead of chatting to Hiro and Wolf I thought it would be lovely to chat to our fearless leaders for a change and talk about their journey as friends and what that has meant to them.
Me: How did you two meet and what was it about each other that made you feel you might be kindred spirits?
Amy: I met Bee when Hiro was a puppy, I used to take him for walkies at the same time every morning in London Fields Park and Bee would always be there with her puppy Wolf. I think I was drawn to Bee's dry sense of humour and the fact that she seemed to have had about 5000 lives already!! We started going for coffee together post walks and I loved hearing all of her stories of adventures around Africa looking for crafts.
Bee: I had not been a dog long mum and meeting Amy in the park was a breath of fresh air. Despite our age gap we had a lot in common and she was so easy to talk to. The other dog parents in the park had formed their little groups and I found it all a little intimidating, but Amy was easy going and our conversations flowed.
Me: Were Hiro and Wolf good friends immediately?
Amy: I can’t really remember but I guess they must have been. I can’t really imagine a time that there was a Hiro without a Wolf and I think Hiro probably feels the same!
Bee: Yes, a quick bottom sniff and they were besties!
Me: What do you admire most about each other that you’ve discovered since you met?
Amy: Bee’s tenacity and her ability to cook the best breakfast in the world!!
Bee: I admire Amy's fresh and uncomplicated attitude to life. If I cannot make a decision on anything (both personal and business related) just asking Amy can give me a fresh view and immediate answer. Over the 7 years we have know each other we have travelled together, shared our lives ups and downs and through this gotten to the essence of each other. We have a true meeting of minds and I respect Amy's artistic view that she brings to our business. We have become such good friends that when Amy asked her to be her Maid of Honour at her wedding to Freddy last year I was deeply touched and so proud to be at her side when she said 'I Do'.
Me: Being friends and going into business together is a big deal - what are the qualities you each admire in each other that keep the friendship strong after nearly a decade working together?
Amy: I love Bee’s ability to always surprise and delight me. We can be going through a really tough time with the businesses and then she’ll suddenly turn up with a delicious lunch she’s made or say cancel your plans on Tuesday we’re going on a surprise trip and it will be to somewhere amazing that maybe I mentioned the year before but she’s somehow remembered it.
Bee: Amy's got a very clear head and vision about what our business is and where it is going. I can sometimes run away a little bit and want to stock everything and be everything to everyone. Amy brings me back down to earth. Her work ethic is admirable and her creativity brings such joy to our brand. I would trust Amy with my life and her support during difficult times has been unmeasurable.
Me: What would be your advice for friends who might be thinking about going into business together?
Amy: Like any relationship you need to make sure you still spend quality time together. You might spend every day together in the office but it’s important to also go out and have fun. Bee and I love visiting gardens and galleries together and try to get out at least once a month to have a friendship ‘date’ which always involved lunch in a nice pub and coffee and cake!
Bee: It takes time. Compromise is everything and having an understanding of how each other work is very important. I can be quite moody and Amy is great when I am like this and does not take it personally. Give each other space to be creative and grow together. learn to laugh and cry together as equally these will make your friendship and business relationship stronger.
Me: What skill or attribute is your favourite thing about each other?
Amy: Aside from her incredible sourcing skills Bee is the Queen of Schlepp!! How she manages to juggle all of our artisans around the world with deliveries coming in, accounting and everything else she does I do not know.
Bee: I so admire Amy's artistic skills - whatever she does has an 'Amyness' about it which supports our brand. Amy is all about light and laughter and making every situation fun.
Me: What do you think are Hiro and Wolf’s favourite parts of each other’s personality?
Amy: I think that Wolf really likes that Hiro never finishes his food so there is always half a bowl left for him and Hiro likes that Wolf always has the energy to play with him on the beach.
Bee: Wolfie loves the way Hiro let's him steal his food, treats and boss him around. They also love to chase each other and their synchronised sleeping is legendary around the office.
Me: What friendship in the history of the world do you most admire and why?
Amy: I really love learning about friendships between dogs and people. I recently watched Togo and it was such an incredible story of love and companionship, I think we can learn so much from our pets.
Bee: Gertrude Stein And Alice B. Toklas were American expats who met while living in Paris. They met in 1907 and their friendship spanned 40 years. As lovers of art, Stein and Toklas helped create and propel some of the most iconic artists and writers of the 20th century. They hosted salons at their home that brought in names like Earnest Hemingway, Picasso, and Matisse. If I could ever invite any historical figures to lunch with Amy and myself, it would be these two!
Me: What are your aspirations for each other as friends?
Amy: I would love to see Bee take some more time out to relax more and to one day own the beautifully decorated dog hotel of her dreams so she can live in the company of as many animals as she likes!
Bee: We are at different times in life and I am so happy to have Amy in mine. I cannot wait to be Auntie Beezy to her children. I wish Amy nothing but joy and happiness and am so happy to part of her 'family'.
Me: And what are your aspirations for yourselves as working friends?
Amy: That we continue to always put our friendship first… and it will be nice to be able to go on another adventure together as soon as the current situation allows! Did someone say South Africa?
Bee: To continue the path we are on and for that path to wind through fields of beautiful flowers and forests of tall pines. I am strongly confident that our relationship as working friends will grow stronger and stronger as our business grows stronger and stronger.
Thank you both for this - it's been lovely to hear about your friendship and your journey so far! We'd love to hear from you our readers about a friendship that is special to you.