In the five years that I have known Dakota we have named a bartender’s signature cocktail, beat a mechanical bull, spent way too much time speaking to a phone psychic, developed a preference for whiskey, hung out with the crew from Jimmy Fallon, befriended countless strangers, have successfully been each other’s designated wing-women, and have even chosen puppies from the same litter. Adding ‘started a business’ to this list still doesn’t seem to scratch the surface of the force that is this friendship.
It all really began one weeknight at a local Chapel Hill joint, Goodfellows. I am sure there was a night before then that we had hung out one-on-one but, for all intents and purposes, let’s call this “Night One”. I think we were under the impression that we would simply make light conversation and try to build on what seemed to be the start of a solid friendship. Simply put, sparks flew. What followed a candid conversation on exes, a glorious stint of people watching, and a bonding with one of our favorite bartenders, was nothing short of controlled mayhem.
Dakota’s most understated quality is the one I admire most about her…she has a raw intelligence that can shut anybody up in a second. Dakota has a wit that sneakily creeps up on you. Once you get to know Dakota, it becomes very clear that her intellectual subtlety is pure humility. She is the type of person to enter a conversation on an unfamiliar topic and make a statement based upon intuition so eloquently that those proficient in the subject find themselves simply nodding along. With that said…nobody is completely invulnerable to those special moments (i.e. the boiling water story*).
Dakota’s acute insight is a trait not only highly desirable in a business partner, but also absolutely needed in a friend. She is one of the best listeners I know and will patiently listen to you talk zero sense for as long as you need to. Dakota will watch you rationalize and process all of the idiosyncrasies of a relationship, wait for you to finish, and then highlight that you just listed all the flaws yourself. While it may appear simple, when emotions overpower logic it takes someone with particular finesse to sympathize while also highlighting the harder truth.
Now – I hope that I have successfully argued that Dakota is an absolute gem of a friend. BUT, with all of that said, I would be remiss if I did not touch on the “fun” that is Dakota Whitworth. While I believe that through anecdotes I could capture the “Dakootz” that her friends know and love… I think it makes the most sense to pull in our friends to help us out with this. When asked, here are the one-liners that our friends came up with that encapsulate Dakota…
“Dakota was one of the first friends I made in college. When she showed up with a bottle of Pinot Grigio, I knew it was going to be a good time!” – CD
“I miss Dakota the most when I have an adventure and can’t find anyone to share it with. When it’s an adventure, I want her by my side.” – BB
“Dakota is just always game. Could be getting late night food at 3am, could be going to He’s Not in sweats on a snowy day. She’s first to go, last to leave.” - RI
“She is the Mary-Kate to my Ashley" - LP
Dakota truly has the go-getter personality that is going to make her a force to watch as we embark on this journey together. I never considered myself the biggest risk taker, but when Dakota presented her original vision for Harper & Tucker many months ago, it became clear to me that I was being introduced to something special, something I whole-heartedly and immediately believed in. Not many people can be inspired to have a new dream during a single conversation but, then again, not many people have Dakota Whitworth making the pitch.
*When making ‘family dinner’ senior year of college – Dakota turned to the group and asked, “how can you tell if the water is boiling?”