Navigating the Friend-Business Partner Relationship

‘Never mix business with pleasure’.

That’s what they say, isn’t it? That or ‘Never work with children or animals’ – neither of which is 100% avoidable when you’re parents and when you are working in customers’ gardens!

But, what if we turn that on its head? What if the ‘pleasure’ part is what makes the business? It’s early days. Look back to the logo debates and things were definitely looking precarious for a while! Ask us again in a year and the friendship landscape might look very different! But we have faith.

Luckily, we are all very good at compartmentalising our lives (that probably says more about our neuro-make-ups than we’ve ever given time to think about). We even have separate WhatsApps: Together Tents, Boys and Pennies (not to be confused with Boys and Penises although you could be forgiven), Jo to Helen, Craig to Matt, Jo to Craig, you get the idea. We aren’t always good at posting in the right one but the fact that they exist is testament to the culture that we are trying to create in our work and friend lives.

The story of our friendship is quite a fabulous one. A bit of careful match-making behind the scenes (along with our mutual friends Steve and Emma who are less convinced about this tent life that we lead), led to the Nixon collaboration. By default, Helen vacated the teaching job that I then got (back in the day). There is a wonderful web of how we got to where we are today. We’ve seen each other through our wedding days (oh wait, no, Craig didn’t make ours – and he will never be forgiven #justsaying), house moves, babies, sleepless nights, all the stuff you would expect. Our children aren’t 100% sure whether they are friends, siblings, cousins… And now we are business partners. If our friendship can survive those early days of parenthood where, let’s be honest, life is not kind, we are sure that our friendship can survive this!