From media to clothing to public health, four sets of women best friends-turn-entrepreneurs are making waves in the business industry – and maintaining their friendships through their success. We’ve rounded up four companies (and the friendships behind them) you should know about.
Jordana Abraham, Samantha Sage and Aleen Dreskler, Founders, Betches
Possibly the most well-known millennial besties turned business partners are Jordana Abraham, Samantha Sage and Aleen Dreskler, who co-founded what is now Betches Media in their Cornell University apartment during their senior year of college when a joke about sharing their college experiences on a WordPress blog turned into a viral company. This unique partnership was highlighted in a March 2021 letter to Betches followers celebrating their 10-year anniversary milestone.
“We’ve known each other longer than we’ve known pretty much anyone outside of our immediate families, and we’ve been in a business relationship with each other longer than any of us have been in relationships with our significant others,” the co-founders wrote. “The Betches Media that you see today is the product of our extremely unique situation, plus a lot of hard work, creativity, honesty and some boring shit, like figuring out how to pay taxes and stuff.”
Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine, Hosts ‘Girls Gotta Eat’
Having success in the podcast industry is all about being relatable and authentic, and Girls Gotta Eat hosts Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine have spent the past five years inviting listeners into the type of unfiltered conversations about dating, sex and relationships that can only be had between true friends. When it comes to conversational boundaries, the hosts told CBS Mornings host Gayle King that they “haven’t found” a line that can’t be crossed yet.
In a recent conversation with GQ, the hosts explain how they foster their friendship and set boundaries to keep the business partnership alive – like not sitting next to each other on planes or staying together in hotels when they travel for work.
“My relationship with Rayna is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, where we have this business together and spend all of our time together and and navigate a different airport every other day” Greenberg told GQ. “It’s like we’re family but we’re still friends but we’re also business partners—it’s a lot.”
Cologne Trude and Cammy Miller, Founders, Show Me Your Mumu
If it seems like the secret ingredient for creating a highly successful company with your bestie is to meet in college, you’d be right. The duo founded the e-commerce company Show Me Your Mumu in 2010 after making their own mumus while on vacation in Miami when they couldn’t find clothing they could wear at both the beach and out at the bars, Forbes reports.
In a 2019 interview with IGNTD, the Trude said one of the keys to success is remembering to have fun within the business partnership.
“The beginning was the hardest,” she added. “After year one we worked out all the kinks and the balance between being friend sand working together. Once we got in a groove, we maintained that groove. I do think you can go into business with your best friend, but you really have to separate what happens during the day and what happens at night. No matter what happens at work, even if we disagree all day, we have to be able to hang out with each other.”
Dr. Natalie Chan and Brandy Svendson, Founders, Be The Change Group
Rest assured: You don’t have to become friends during college to make it big in business with your bestie.
After starting Be the Change Group in 2012, the pair has worked with the United Nations and the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors on programs aimed at societal change.
Through their success, Chan and Svendson have credited their friendship as being the thing that made it all possible.
“For Natalie and I, all roads led to each other,” Svendson added. “Both of us had struggled in the sense that Natalie applied for med school a couple of times, I started a couple of companies. It was like we were just learning these things so we can meet each other to start this business.”