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5 Creative Companies Started By Friends

 In Culture

It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. Or so goes the saying. When it comes to starting a project, we couldn’t agree more.

As our very own Constantin and Kick discussed in a recent edition of the Skandl Talks podcast series, Skandl itself was born through their mutual appreciation and enthusiasm for all things creative.


In dedication to keeping things strictly friendly as well as business, we thought we’d run down some of our favourite examples of companies started by friendships. We know there’s examples of broken hearts and falling-outs, too, but why spoil the mood?

1 - Daily Paper

Shout out to these guys, an example from our home city of Amsterdam.

Daily Paper was started by Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini as a way to celebrate their African heritages and become involved with their beloved streetwear scene. Since they started their blog in 2008, their brand has since become one of the most recognisable in the city and beyond, with collaborations with the likes of sportswear giant Puma.

2 - The Skimm

This daily digest news site was founded in 2012 by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.

The pair actually met at work, when they both worked for US broadcaster NBC. They obviously bonded over doing things a bit differently, as The Skimm is orientated around once-daily updates of essential news items rather than rotating news coverage. The venture also published a life advice book and hosts events around the USA.

3 - Appelsap Festival

Appelsap is one of the hottest events in Amsterdam’s festival calendar. That’s an impressive feat considering the hundreds of summer events that compete for attention in the city.

The hip hop culture-orientated one day event was founded in 2000 by friends Joris Methorst, Wiecher Troost and Rogier Smalhout. The first version of the festival took place in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark, around which the three friends grew up. Since then, internationally acclaimed artists such as Lil Wayne and Mobb Deep have performed.

4 - Boy Better Know

Long before it was endorsed by Drake, Grime was being cultivated on the streets of London. Boy Better Know has been one of the main supporters of the musical movement, and was co-founded by two of the city’s most famous sons: Jamie and Joseph Adenuga. More than friends, the pair are brothers, better known as JME and Skepta.

Since its inception in 2005, the brand has been one of the ways that the scene has sustained itself, and has been instrumental in propelling its artists onto the world stage.

The project is deeply DIY and independently minded. Until recently, JME’s Twitter bio summed it all up by stating: “No label, No pr, No publisher, No manager, No pa, No stylist, No Instagram, No meat, No dairy, No egg & No Fluoride.”  

5 - Studio ALOT

We also love projects that promote sustainability. That’s why we love Nathalie Boeri van der Zee and Layla Brizzio Brentar’s Studio ALOT.

The pair met while they were both at fashion school, more specifically on a long bus ride to London. Studio ALOT is about making high-streetwear out of saved materials from high street stores, and discouraging fast fashion by promoting artisanship and the recycling process.

In a conversation with us, they said that “We see the sustainability “trend” as a first step to create awareness and make sustainability the norm of the future of fashion.” Amen.

Thanks for checking out our list of 5 favourite creative companies started by friends. Don’t forget to find out more about Skandl and other creatives and creative projects via Skandl Talks.

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