The Interview 1

15 Sep The Interview … and mens underwear

In this interview, Lisa from M.S Media talks to John Whitby, Director and Founder of Stagiversary™ and Heniversary™.

John let’s talk a bit more about the business and why you started it up but first of all, just a little bit more about yourself?

Sure, I suppose my Twitter bio sums me up well enough – man, husband, dad, drummer, businessman, lover of curry, chips, fast cars and good wine, and probably in that order, I think.

What is a Stagiversary™ and Heniversary™?

It’s the anniversary of your stag or hen do, but better! It’s the context for both partners to get away with friends, old and new, stop, chill, have fun, laugh and talk, and most of all just refuel!

And why did you start the company?

Because I believe in it, the principles and values behind it.

And what are these values and principles?

I’ve thought about that a lot. So it’s the promotion of a healthy marriage and the principles that lie within that, those principles being, marriage, time, rest and fun. I expand on this in our website under ‘About Us’, it was key for me to have explained on our site.

Regarding marriage – for me, so many end badly with or without kids, it’s heartbreaking when kids are involved as well. I’m keen to promote the fact that we don’t live in a perfect world, there’s no such thing as a Hollywood or pitch perfect marriage in my view. Life’s tough, often unfair – making a relationship work and raising kids is mega tough. There’s no A-Level or Degree in how to maintain a healthy marriage. You often have to make it up as you go along with the self-check of, am I doing this for me or for us and do I need to compromise?

For me, it’s key that you give each other the space to have fun and refuel outside of your marriage with good mates. Personally, I’ve really appreciated and needed time away to stop, reconnect to myself and my friends, or simply space to have a moan about life in general! My friends listen, I gave them permission to challenge my attitude as they did to me over the last few years. One of my key passions in life is to keep life real, relationships real, life’s just far too short to take each other’s day to day failings seriously. We’ll blink and it’ll all be over!

Yes, definitely, so how does the booking of an event all work then?

OK, so all you need to do is go onto our site and then add any of the activities to your basket. You’ll then be asked to fill in a few more details, like your contact info, rough party size, location preference and we’ll call you back to discuss in more detail or clarify and then we’ll quote for it.

What if you like the idea, but need some inspiration or extra support organising the event?

We appreciate life’s really busy with work, kids and other commitments, all you need to do is either just call us up or send an enquiry via the website. This would then be assigned to one of our event organisers who would then liaise with you directly. They would then lead things right through to confirming the booking of the activities to you and the wider party. Essentially we can do the job lot should this be the requirement.

What’s been the most fun thing so far?

Doing the research! I’ve obviously had to look into a number of these activities, along with a few others, (much to the resentment of my good lady wife!). Also, talking with folk about the concept and the feedback from groups of men and women, they love it, whether it’s local businessmen/women around me or folk who are engaging with us over our social media channels.

I see you’re on social media?

Yes, we are on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – come and follow us! It’s really nice to see how folk are interacting with us. We even had Vernon Kay engage with us recently, he then chose to follow us which was awesome. So nice to see someone of that profile who is married with children check us out! I’d love for us to organise his Stagiversary!

So where do you see yourself in 3 years or 5 years’ time?

That’s a good question. Where I’d like to see myself is the owner of a growing company that has helped facilitate time, space and fun, for both guys and girls who are on the journey of marriage and raising a family. It’s tough for us ‘marrieds’, we’ve got to stick together and cheer each other along, both through the good and the tough times.

Do you have anything else planned for Stagiversary™ and Heniversary™?

Yes, I do!  I can see us opening an online shop, products, t-shirts, kind of fun, tongue in cheek, but memorable merchandise, just to remind the individual of the experience we’re promoting and to others around them.

That sounds interesting, so what like?

Ha! Well, one idea which I’d appreciate your thoughts on is to have men’s underwear with the Stagiversary™ logo on the font with the words ‘Because once is never enough’ on the backside – what do you think?

No comment John on that one. So can we check in with you later this year to see how things are going?

Of course, it’d be a pleasure.

That’s greats John, thanks for your time.