With both of our families in Texas, we saw a lot of each other growing up. We both have two older sisters and the four of us spent many summers together. We were dressed in matching clothes, forced to play together, and probably were a handful of mischief. Interestingly, now we choose to match, are creating a life together, and are usually still up to no good #scheme.
We’ve heard mixed advice on doing business with family and wanted to share some thoughts and what has worked for us.
Priya and I really became friends around age 16. We bonded over things Disney Channel, Forever 21 and shopping for T Shirts in the Men’s section of Target (why do men always have the better cartoon shirts!?). Around this time, texting was 15 cents/message and writing on each others’ Facebook wall was the cool thing to do. While we did both of those, we also sent each other snail mail. Yup, write out a street address, put a stamp on it and drop it in the mailbox type of mail. We continued this as we went to college, sending anything from random letters to gifts. Priya’s letters were a constant reminder of our childhood spirit and mischievousness. I remember feeling awful after taking an exam that I likely did not pass my senior year in college and coming home to a surprise package from Priya - it was a Phineas and Ferb T Shirt! Get you a girl that knows how to cheer you up before she even knows you are down.
The spontaneity and creativity of our letters is something unique about our relationship as well. It not only makes us great friends but also good business partners. Who better to have open, non-judgemental and creative conversations with than your go-to girl. Of course, as in any startup, there are ups and downs. Priya has taught me to be strong and push forward. In building together, we have learned to focus on our goals, put our egos aside, and most importantly, have fun together - even when it comes to the not-so-sexy parts of business. No matter what comes, we both know we are committed to kriyā and more importantly to each other.
One of my favorite memories with Isha is when we went to Europe together back in 2012. We spent three weeks traveling, eating and taking in everything it had to offer. Some of our favorite cities we explored were Paris, Rome and Florence. We walked along the Ponte Vecchio and got lost (and hangry) in the, what felt like never ending, Vatican. Our one day trip to Versailles was unimaginable and of course this was the beginning of our serious love affair with Paris.
These incredible three weeks also brought me a lot closer to Isha and I got to see what she really was like as she came into her adulthood. I would usually see Isha a few times a year for weekends here and there, but three straight weeks with someone in a foreign place really makes you get to know their core. Not only did it help me realize more that we loved the same things and had similar interests, but it also helped me understand how different we were, in a good way of course. What I mean by that is Isha and I compliment each other! When there's something I lack in or don’t know how to do, Isha miraculously does. Even when it comes to our personalities and thoughts, we pick up what the other needs. And this is exactly why we work so well together, especially as business partners.
In any venture, trust your instinct! You know how you work best - whether that be with a partner or independently. And no matter what happens, your partner should be like pizza: always there for you, through thick and thin.
In crust we trust.