On working with friends

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“Never go into business with friends.” That phrase is lost on me. After five years of starting up Bondir, we are still exactly that, friends. Maybe even better friends.

K.C. Brown:

During the two decades I worked as an advertising creative on Madison Avenue, K.C. Brown was making inroads into the PR measurement world. As weekend warriors, we cycled over New England's narrow roads countless mornings together. This is where I first heard many of his enviable life stories. K.C. was published in the Wall Street Journal before getting his Bachelor's Degree, became a reporter in Cairo a short time later, motor-scootered every day to yet another job in Taiwan during Monsoon, and in Cambodia, rented a rickshaw for the day but insisted he be the driver.

Full-time, K.C. runs Lone Buffalo. The rest of the time, he provides Bondir with high-level guidance. His unique “outsider view" always plays in Bondir's favor. With his up-to-the-minute world perspective and global experience, K.C. reads a room quicker than anyone. His motive? To find where he can do the most good. And that's a fun room to be in. **K.C. **is the company you want to keep.

Ben Maher:

Co-Founder Ben Maher is the "meaning" partner. He ushers clients through Bondir's brand development methodologies to a point the rest of us can take action.

I met Ben shortly after trading Madison Ave for Southern Utah. He was working as an interior designer and sold me furniture for my new creative studio. Being a poet at heart, he later approached me about making a career change to creative writing, and I’ve been collaborating with him ever since.

After more than a decade, I have a fiercely loyal friend in Ben; always standing up for the underdog, and willing to speak the unspoken. While his mind has few peers, he reserves no room for self-importance. And while he has rescued me countless times, Ben has also continued to call me out when I am in the wrong. Ben is Bondir's bedrock and soul. Ben is the company you want to keep.

Tavish Calico:

Though I met Tavish Calico over 15 years ago and shared some clients along the way, we didn't work shoulder-to-shoulder until Bondir was formed. And it's been a total blast. Bondir's street-cred is primarily due to him selflessly folding his design studio to become Bondir's Creative Director.

Tavish is one of the most fearless designers I've known, yet when folks ask us to skip steps, he reminds them, ”We can't guarantee a Bondir result without the Bondir process.“

Creative leadership is a tricky art, but it comes naturally to Tav. "I trust you more than I trust myself." And Tav means it. When he's in flow, everyone feels it. And like a school of fish, we follow about a nanosecond behind. Tav is the company you want to keep.

So, never mix business and friends? Thanks, but I’ll take my chances with this crew.


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