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On Being a little bit British

Posted on September 08 2022

The news that Queen Elizabeth the II died has caused us to pause for a moment to reflect on her life and to think about how we've been influenced by our brothers and sisters in Britain.    

As a child, our founder Kebby, lived for several years in a large village called Cobham which is in the Borough of Elmbridge in Surrey, England. Her father had been transferred overseas to open up an office for his accounting firm. 

House in England

The house Kebby's family rented in Cobham

While she was only overseas for a handful of years, they were very formative and undoubtedly they helped shape Kebby as a person.  As you might expect, a founder's personality invariably makes its way into the DNA of a company and there's no doubt that Coeur itself is, for the lack of a better phrase, just a little bit British.

Now, as the world starts to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II and begin the transition to a new Monarch, we took some time to reflect on traits that tend to be associated with the English people as a whole and to which we aspire as a company.

The first is calmness in the face of adversity.   "Keep Calm and Carry On" was printed on posters during the hardships of World War II and the phrase has taken on a life of its own.  

Keep Calm Poster

For sure there are some hilarious parodies such as "Keep Calm and Pretend it Wasn't You" or "Keep Calm and Buy Shoes", but when times get tough we see a lot of benefits in "Being British". 

Second, there are things we love about the British sense of style. To be fair, there's certainly more than one type of style in Britain, but we once heard British fashion described as the place where convention and rebellion intersect.  

 That's a pretty cool approach.  Keep what works and then have some fun with everything else. We certainly do that with our triathlon, cycling, and run gear.  

Third, there's the famous sense of Fair Play.  There's no doubt that British athletes compete and they compete hard. If you ever had the good fortune to see Triathlon legend Chrissie Wellington with her game face on, you'd know what we mean. But, the British also seem to have a deeply ingrained sense of fairness.  Yes, winning is important, but only if the victory is gained honestly.  

We love this combination.  Work hard, compete and on those occasions where it's just not your day, commit to trying again and congratulate your opponent on a well-run race.  And for goodness sake, Do. Not. Cheat.!!  After all, doping or cheating to gain an advantage..."just isn't Cricket."  

Fourth...Manners.  It seems that the British catch a bit of good natured grief about how quickly they will apologize, but they are equally quick to say "please" and "thank you".  Look...life is tough and words alone might not solve a problem, but politeness can sure help take a bit of the edge off of a tough situation. 

Finally, we love the British sense of humor. Oh that wonderful British sense of humor. As a company, we try to mirror the self-deprecating and occasionally...scratch that..."frequently" sarcastic sense of humor that is so often associated with the United Kingdom. 

Whether it's a subtle comment told without a hint of a smile, but with a twinkle in the eye or an institution like T.V's "The Office" (yes...that started over there) or a history-laden stand up routine performed by a comedic great like Eddie Izzard, we love, love, love that British humor. 

So if you happen to see a post or an image from us that makes you look twice, we hope you know we're just having some fun!

Coeur holiday card

 One of our favorite holiday cards

So with that, we send our condolences to our friends overseas, we wish good luck to the new King and we give three cheers for the many great things that have come from Britain. 

Your friends at Coeur.