Sarah and I met in 2005, on our first day of vet school. Full of nervous excitement, we bonded as we studiously pondered the answers to a series of ludicrous questions, set as a con for the first years.
The desire to work together started early and throughout university, we continually plotted how we could run a practice that provided services for both horses and birds (nothing weird about that, right?!). Following graduation, we both went our separate ways into small animal (me) and equine (Sarah) practice to learn our trade. World domination could wait until we had a bit more experience!
Clinical practice ticked a lot of our boxes. Sarah thrived doing an equine internship and I built my avian interest after a short stint of specialist training in California. Slowly but surely though, we both developed an itch. We never actually spoke to each other about it but there was something that clinical practice wasn’t fulfilling.
Sarah went travelling, I fell off a mountain.
Unable to walk for 12 weeks, and in rehab for 6 months, I had a LOT of time to consider my next career move. That headspace to really consider what it was that I enjoyed and was good at mattered to me was invaluable. Injuring myself and the fall out was horrible at the time but with the benefit of hindsight, I consider it one of the best things that happened to me (even if my leg does still occasionally give way – often with perfect comedic timing!)
I realised that words was my ‘thing’ – using them, crafting them. I wanted to work with words and I wanted to use them alongside the veterinary knowledge I had accumulated over the years. I saw an article in a vet publication about PR in the animal health industry and I reached out to the author – she invited me for interview, and so began my life in comms agency work. Eventually, I moved on to a bigger agency. I learnt a LOT!
Meanwhile, Sarah was working her way as a vet round Asia, Oceania and South America with her future husband. All very romantic but she still had the question to answer about what to do when they returned home.
We talked. I told her about my job. I knew she’d love it and I knew she’d be good, so I floated the idea with her… One Skype interview on some random hotel steps in Vietnam later and she was flying home to join me at the agency I worked at! Our dream of working together was coming true at last!
Years of fun, emotional outbursts, babies, more fun, freelancing and more babies brought us to a crossroads. Because you see, we’d spotted an opportunity.
Words were powerful. We could do big things with words. We seemed to have a knack with making them work really hard for our clients and that, coupled with our technical knowledge gave us something that we felt was very unique indeed.
So we set up Roar.