Seeing a gap in the marketplace for the creation of world-class game concepts, design and illustration initially for the online casino gaming industry, led to the creation of Bla Bla Bla Studios. Today, Carmen Granger’s vision for the company is to grow the online casino client base globally, expand into mobile app development and animated educational tutorials for large corporates and government.
LoA chatted to Carmen this month about her creative inspiration for her business and her vision for the future of her company, The Bla Bla Bla Studios.
What does your company do?
Bla Bla Bla Studios is a Cape Town based animation house servicing the land-based and online casino gaming industry with creative, world-class game concepts, design, illustration and 2D, 3D and hybrid animation. Our capabilities span the on-line spectrum as we cater for PC, mobile and tablet platforms. We are expanding into application and card game development, as well at stop motion educational animation videos for the private sector.
"The vision for Bla Bla Bla Studios is to grow the online casino client base globally, expand into mobile app development and animated educational tutorials for large corporates and government."
What inspired you to start your company?
I have always been a creative person at heart. The business started when I began mentoring a struggling animator who was working on slot game animations. We identified a gap in the market for high-quality and visually creative online casino game designs, as there was a lot of poor-quality work out there. As it turned out, the animator didn’t have what it took to be an entrepreneur, so I took over the business and we went rapidly from one client to having clients on five continents around the world. My passion for entrepreneurship, job creation and love for creative design inspired the birth of Bla Bla Bla Studios.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We have clients in Europe, South America, UK, Hong Kong and Australia, and pride ourselves on world-class creative products, high-reliability delivery and production, and the ability to add creative and player experience value in terms of characters, features, effects, game mechanics etc. Our clients tell us that we are on a par with the best in the world – if not better.
"I love empowering young, talented and creative people by creating opportunities for them to realize their potential."
Tell us a little about your team.
The Bla Bla Bla Studios team come from the movie and cartoon design industry. Together we have over 40 years of experience in animation and design. We have different styles, characters and backgrounds so that our creative and technical versatility can handle virtually any brief.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
As an entrepreneur I have always tried to blend the creative and the business sides, to ensure I am creatively fulfilled, whilst also building value in the businesses I am involved in. I was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Creative Publishing, a division of the Concept Group where I was also a director and shareholder. I launched and published the largest magazine in SA at the time, SABC TV talk television guide which increased over 3 years from 1 million to 1.7 million copies, with a readership of over 3 million monthly readers. With the TV Licence Supercard, I co-developed a concept to transform the boring TV license into a loyalty card and managed its implementation over the contract period. I directed the production of a weekly TV programme linked to the card. With Shell as our client, I revamped and managed the largest talent search in Africa prior to Idols, the Shell Road to Fame. I secured the television contract and directed production of the talent show, and negotiated promotional contributions from numerous artists around the world. I also negotiated record deals for top performers in the contest and ensured the project delivered the country’s top amateur music talent into the industry. I negotiated the sale of Concept Group to a major listed black empowerment group, Union Alliance Media, owned by the the 12 largest trade unions in South Africa, whereafter I worked with my business parter to launch Traction, a company focused on small business incubation programme design, development and implementation for close on 10 years. Today Traction is acknowledged as a leader in small business incubation strategy, funding, business support, operations and project implementation and I play a key role in project design and management.
"Job creation and job retention is key to this growth, as, in this industry, talent is everything."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
The vision for Bla Bla Bla studios is to grow the online casino client base globally, expand into mobile app development and animated educational tutorials for large corporates and government. Job creation and job retention is key to this growth, as, in this industry, “talent is everything”.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I love empowering young, talented and creative people by creating opportunities for them to realize their potential. The creation of new ideas or products that can be commercialized, and are best of breed, is always an exciting process that rewards not just financially, but in terms of creating something that people can value, enjoy or appreciate.
#EntrepreneurAdvice: "Always look for opportunity in chaos."
- Carmen Granger, founder of Bla Bla Bla Studios
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Believe in yourself, your ideas and your product. Always look for opportunity in chaos. Have a vision and set goals - by doing this you will find purpose and direction. Don’t be afraid of failure. Make mistakes because that’s the only way you will learn!
Contact or follow Carmen and Bla Bla Bla Studios
WEBSITE | EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Why LoA loves it….
Carmen Granger is one of those highly creative entrepreneurs who have a real passion for what they do, and also a vision to create a genuinely world-class business that is a leader in its field. Today, her Bla Bla Bla Studios is harnessing the wealth of talent from the movie and cartoon design industry, together with over 40 years of experience in animation and design, to create a truly unique business. It is poised to bring its creative and technical versatility to the world and make a real impact. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa