Amy Wood wants you to be happy. To help, she’s going to find you a best friend. The 28 year-old co-head of creative agency 100 Acre Wood verrrry recently (like, yesterday) launched Yes New Friends, a new venture that sets strangers up with compatible pals for the purposes of friendship. Simply check out the website, input some personal info, and wait. Soon, a new best friend will be delivered to your inbox, complete with a fun, local friend date suggestion. It’s like Just-Eat.ca for FRIENDSHIP.
It’s also a fantastic idea—who has time to make new friends these days, and more importantly where do you find them when everyone is avoiding eye contact and looking at their phones and staying in because it’s starting to get cold and we all remember the True Hell that winter can be? Yes New Friends cuts out a lot of the looking. All you have to worry about is which emojis to use in your preliminary friendship-texts (I recommend silly ghost, nails hand and that cutie pizza slice, but you have to find your own truth).
We caught up with Amy to find out more about her new endeavour, what makes female friendship such a goddamn gift, and why it’s hard to meet people in Toronto.
SDTC: So, where did the idea for Yes New Friends come from?
Amy Wood: I’ve been mulling this idea over for a few years. It was really just inspired by the growing popularity of dating services and matchmaking in general. I think it’s really cool that the internet is facilitating human connection with just a couple of taps or clicks, but I always wondered why no friendship-based services had really taken off, especially considering how hard it is to ask a cool lady out for a platonic friend date (or maybe that’s just me since I live in perpetual fear of rejection). Sure there are meet up-based sites which are rad, but I think friendship is about more than just bonding over a shared hobby. Sometimes you just want someone to watch Law and Order: SVU with.
Sometimes it’s fairly instant, but in some cases it might take me some time to find the right person. I make no guarantees—right now this is just a personal project I’m doing in my spare time, but my dream would be to find a friend for anyone who wants one.
It’s been pretty fast-moving. You’ve had like 2000 visitors in what… 24 hours? Why do you think it’s resonating with people so hard?
Yes, I’m slightly overwhelmed— but I think it’s going to help widen the pool of potential besties to more than just my immediate friends. Whether you find yourself lacking in friends or you’ve got plenty to go around, no one can resist the idea of meeting a cool new lady who has stuff in common with them. Or a dude—I’ve matched up three pairs of platonic guy friends already.
How are you matching people up? What do you think makes a good friendship pairing?
Friend chemistry is hard to predict. You can have so many things in common with someone but just don’t vibe together, and that’s fine. You know how the saying goes: you have to chill with a bunch of frogs before you find the frog that’s gonna be your new best friend.
Right now I’m keeping it simple and pairing people up based on a combo of common interests, age range, and personality. It’s never going to be a science but I feel pretty confident in my ability to find someone that, at the very least, you’ll be able to do a fun activity with.
Female friendship is fucking magical, man. What do you think makes it soooo goooood?
Ugh I KNOW. Female friendship is the realest. When I was in highschool, making friends was really hard, and I spent a lot of time thinking I must not be cut out for platonic female friendship. It took meeting considerate, smart, hilarious women to really make me appreciate how much better life is with ride or die ladies. The idea that I could be giving that gift to someone else makes me feel really warm and fuzzy. And maybe I’ll steal a few new besties for myself along the way, you can never have too many.
Why do you think it’s so hard to make friends, even (or especially) in a big city filled with people?
Once we leave school we enter this world where we’re not really united by any one social activity and it becomes less likely that you’ll just stumble across new and interesting people in your daily life. I consider myself a fairly social person but even I can’t remember the last time I made a new friend who wasn’t directly introduced to me by a mutual friend or was maybe my internet friend first. Like, please don’t make me do cross-fit just to make friends. That will literally never happen.
What’s your dream Friend Date?
Pizza, rap music, shotgunning Palm Bay in an alleyway, karaoke. Repeat until we’re elderly.
Brb, texting u til we’re dead. #YesNewFriends