How to Work with Your Best Friend - Advice from the PLD Founders

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June 8th is National Best Friends Day, and as you may know, at Peace, Love & Decorating, we are all about friendship. Our co-founders, Jana and Jennifer, were best friends before they became business partners. The main tenets of their personal and professional relationship: respect, collaboration, and support, set the culture by which we all live at PLD. To celebrate National Best Friends Day, we sat down and asked them some questions about their friendship and working relationship.

Jana Contardi | Peace, Love & Decorating

Jana Contardi - Co-founder


Jennifer Cook | Peace, Love & Decorating


Jennifer Cook - Co-founder


What is your favorite thing about working together?

Jennifer: I love collaborating and developing ideas together. We value each other’s design style and opinions on projects; it’s very helpful to bounce ideas off each other.

Jana: My favorite thing is getting to do what I’m best at with someone whose company I enjoy. We’ve been best friends and business partners for over 15 years, and I still look forward to seeing her at our office every day! We value each other’s approach to design, so we make a point of coming together to share our ideas and opinions. I always leave our meetings feeling more creative and energized.


How has your friendship evolved in the time you’ve worked together?

Jennifer: Luckily, our friendship has remained close. We still rely on each other personally, outside of anything to do with the business. We enjoy spending time together just the two of us, and going on double dates with our husbands.

Jana: Our friendship has only grown deeper, and for that I am extremely thankful. I always say, ‘Her success is my success,’ and vice versa. For best friends and business partners, it’s a beautiful thing.


How do you stay in sync when it comes to accepting or rejecting trends in the marketplace?

Jennifer: As the interior design market has evolved, so have our personal styles. Neither of us embrace fads or extreme design concepts. We both remain classic in our styles, moving toward a decluttered and simplified look, with a nod toward transitional elements.

Jana: As we have grown individually and through our partnership, we’ve remained consistently timeless in our personal styles. We’re careful not to get entangled in the trendy elements of design, and focus on a ‘less is more’ approach.


What advice would you give burgeoning entrepreneurs on working with friends?

Jennifer: Working with friends is like working with family! You must treat each other with respect, value each other’s opinions, and make your personal relationship a priority. Make sure you truly like, trust, and value each other before starting a professional relationship.

Jana: Like any relationship, communication and respect are vital. Don’t start a business together just because you like each other; make sure you share the same business goals, and have clear, defined roles. Most importantly, your friendship should remain a priority.


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