Today is #NationalBestFriendDay, a holiday near and dear to our hearts. For those of you who may not know us, we’re Katy and Gwen, the co-founders of Minus the Moo. We have been friends since our college days at Villanova University and came together to create Minus the Moo based on our mutual love of ice cream! Our friendship is a key ingredient in every pint of Minus the Moo so, to celebrate #NationalBestFriendDay which just happens to also fall on #womancrushwednesday, we wrote each other super sappy surprise blog entries to express our love and appreciation. We encourage all of you to tell your Best Friend how much they mean to you too!
To Gwen, Love Katy
Villanova Graduation 2012. [Left to Right: Friend Erin Ogilvy, Co-Founder Gwen Burlingame, Co-Founder Katy Flannery, Friends Kaitlin Divinnie, Laura Bradley, and Megan DePippo]
Okay everyone, in honor of National Best Friend Day I want to share with you my ode to Gwen as my best friend and business partner.
I am going to take this opportunity to get a little sappy and start this off with some song lyrics… I apologize in advance. If you are ever wanting to have a little sob fest about how much you love your best friend, I encourage you to listen to “For Good,” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ0pXUb5jVU) from the Wicked soundtrack and enjoy all the feels that are associated.
“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…”
When I was in college I used to joke with my friends that one day I would find a way to make the best lactose-free ice cream there ever was. It wasn’t until August 2014 when I was at a reunion with my college friends that for the very first time I felt this dream might possibly become a reality. I was joking to the group about it when Gwen turned to me and said if you want to do this, I will do it with you. Her certainty in that moment changed everything and in my heart I knew something great was to come. All of a sudden this thing that I had dreamt about that had felt so abstract for so long turned into something tangible. Gwen doesn’t totally believe in fate but I do. I often ask myself how starting my own can company can feel so natural and settling despite all of the turmoil associated with it. In truth, I think a huge part of my happiness and sense of peace in this crazy endeavor is because of Gwen. For those of you who know Gwen personally know that she is one of the funniest, kindest and most level headed people I know. She obviously is plagued with the worst case of #fomo ever but, it is part of her charm. She works harder than anyone, can juggle 1 million tasks at a time and despite all of that will drop everything if you need her and never make you feel like you interrupted something important. During college Gwen was one of my friends who I wanted to be just like “when I grew up.” She had changed me even before all of this had begun. Without Gwen I do not know if I would have ever taken this huge leap of faith to leave my career in nursing and pursue my dreams of equality in a lactose free ice cream world. I have been challenged in ways I never knew possible but, with Gwen as my business partner I am somehow still here, excited for what is to come and thrilled to be on this ever so sweet journey with my best friend. I like to think that I have helped her to grow too but I know that either way, she has changed my life, for good. – Katy
To Katy, Love Gwen
And Today I’m crushing on my dear friend and business partner, Katy…
Katy and I launched Minus the Moo last May at the SOWA market and into stores in April, but have been working on the concept for this company for almost two years now and the majority of that has been long distance – Katy in Boston and me in NYC. With all the technological advancements of the day it would seem easy to work from different cities but the reality is that Katy has had to pick up a lot of production, in-person meetings, deliveries, presentations, errands, and other to-dos that could have been divided equally, had we been in the same place. While I did my share of traveling on the weekends, Katy has had to keep Minus the Moo up and running day-to-day in Boston on her own. I am constantly amazed at her ability to maintain momentum, uncover needs, and solve problems. She gracefully transitioned from caring nurse to badass business woman, while maintaining a strong sense of self. In addition to her magnetic personality and – my favorite part – her unfiltered sense of humor, Katy’s contagious passion for this project is one of the key reasons that I felt we could turn Minus the Moo into something special. Her passion is representative of so many other people who have lactose intolerance, but what makes Katy stand out is her desire to drive a change for others too.
We often joke that a business partnership is more like a marriage than anything else. Being a business partner you are truly committing yourself to another person, making important decisions with them, promising to stand by them in trying times, and trusting them to do the same. When I have felt myself losing steam, Katy has been there to propel us forward and never allow us to fall stagnant. When I am overwhelmed and I can’t keep anything straight (hello, Delta flight fiasco of 2015) Katy’s sharp mind and attention to detail helps sort the clutter. And when I honestly just need a friend to support me during this challenging journey, she understands what I am going through and offers encouragement – even if she may be feeling the same way herself. I think our differences make our partnership stronger and I am so thankful. I learn so much from her every day and feel lucky to call her my business partner and most importantly, friend. XOXO, Gwen.
Happy National Best Friend Day!