Entrepreneurship

World Friendship Day

Happy World Friendship Day 2019

What would we be without our friends? – People who listen to us, who support us or even honestly criticize us.

Bag Affair is very much a story of deep friendship – we have been friends before starting the business together and we still are. Here’s a very personal story today about how we met several years ago.

First impression last impression?

It was early September 2012 in the Brest business school, where we had our first day of our master program. We have been introduced by the head of our master program and immediately … we hated each other. Yes right, it wasn’t love at the first sight, we didn’t click, we had no interest in and both felt uncomfortable around the other.

You know these moments when you see a person and think: No interest what so ever, just not my type of person? – If not, let us tell you that we know.

We saw each other a week later for our first (forced) group assignment. It was the occasion to meet again and discover we both took school and work very seriously, didn’t want to just do the work, we wanted to do great work. We hit it off! 

R+T in love with a cork tree

Friendship is also about opposites

On the surface we are very different. Looks, temperament, cultures, a bunch of other superficial differences (we still argue if dogs or cats make better pets). Yet deeper we are alike, and understand each other a lot. Sometimes without the other saying a word. Yes, almost like an old married couple.

Taiseer has deep cultural and political knowledge as well as immense experience in marketing and it is great to exchange with her or just listen. Ronja knows how to sell- no matter if it’s a bag or just for fun, she will sell you things you did even not know that you wanted them.

Can Business and friendship coexist?

Though we both went different ways professionally, we reunited with the Bag Affair idea that kept us awake for many nights. We knew we had to do it. Here are a few tips of managing business and friendship:

We know that the mix of deep friendship, our different skillsets at work, and the common point of being hard workers, will help us get even more far with Bag Affair.

  • It’s all about balance.

Sounds easy, but when at the office we are partners, outside the office we are friends. Though exceptionally the lines may slightly blur, sometimes Taiseer jumps on Ronja for a hug at the office, or Ronja plays with Taiseer’s baby at home while she finishes an urgent task. Partnership all the way !

  • Saying it as it is

Having a friend in business sounds nice, but remember conflict often happens with the closest friends (Facebook is one of many famous ones). It is important to stay brutally honest with one another to balance the business as well as the friendship.

  • Making Space

Like we said earlier, we spend a LOT of time together, and this is great. It’s also good to set times to be with family, other friends, or together with a larger group of friends to add a different touch to our week, or conversations. Just keeping things fresh.

So, Happy friendship day to all friends out there – and as well to people who might not know yet that they will become best friends one day!

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