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How to Run a Business With Friends Without Killing the Friendship

Work with people you want to hang out with and speak up if you’re unhappy.

A white wine from Souleil Vin de Bonté.

A white wine from Souleil Vin de Bonté.

Courtesy: Souleil Vin de Bonte

Going into business with friends is a lot like going into business with a romantic partner: The pairing can either bring you closer together or ruin the relationship. That risk didn’t deter childhood chums Marianne Fabre-Lanvin and Thomas Delaude, wine industry professionals who this year launched Souleil Vin de Bonté, a trio of organic house wines. In fact, the idea of working together was at the very core of the brand, and they brought on other friends to develop the line’s visual identity and philanthropic mission. Co-founder Marianne Fabre-Lanvin shares her top four tips for doing business with friends—without losing the friendships.

Surround yourself with people you love to spend time with.
“Thomas and I are childhood friends, so trust, fun, and camaraderie were already part of our dynamic. It also felt natural to incorporate our network of talented friends living in different places. From production to photography, importation to retail, a vast majority of the people who contribute to the project are like (or actually are) family, and each of them brought their unique expertise. This can save time since you already know how to communicate with each other, you perceive one another’s sensibilities, and you know that everyone’s commitment is genuine.”