Many companies struggle to get their brand messages to connect with customers, or to grow their brand appeal with certain customer segments. That’s where South African niche company, BluMallow Social & Design, comes in. Founder Dené Carlile is on a mission to make the whole process of making powerful brand connections a whole lot easier for her clients.
LoA chatted to founder Dené Carlile this month to find out more about this interesting company and brand.
What does your company do?
We offer social media management, marketing, advertising and design to companies of all sizes at affordable rates. We help companies to grow their business across all platforms with beautifully designed communications that speak not only to the heart of their target markets, but also convey the true personality of the company’s brand while growing customer relationships.
"We help companies to grow their business across all platforms with beautifully designed communications that speak not only to the heart of their target markets, but also convey the true personality of the company’s brand while growing customer relationships."
What inspired you to start your company?
I wanted more. I am blessed that my gifts and talents are something uniquely useful in today's day and age, and I think combining that factor with an insatiable hunger for learning led me to the decision to become an entrepreneur. I am the kind of person that lights up when I have the opportunity to learn something new, it gets every fibre in my being feeling alive and full of purpose! I constantly want to develop myself and when I hit somewhat of a ceiling, I knew, it is now or never. I would rather try and fail than not try at all.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
After years of experience in marketing, design and social media, I can now say "when you love what you do you will never work a day in your life". Work is not work to me, it is an expression of everything I am gifted with and able to share. I live with passion and work with passion and am dedicated to becoming the best possible version of myself. I am blessed with a purpose, and I take on every new project and challenge with that exact mindset.
"We envision a company that encourages creativity and exploration without physical boundaries, and a team that brings the social back to social."
Tell us a little about your team
As a new start-up we are small, but courageous! Working completely online we work with a group of freelance experts from all over South Africa. We love the idea of not being office-bound and are always on the look out for new talent to join our team!
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Someone once asked me, if it was the last day on earth would you spend it doing what you are doing right now? And if I'm quite honest, at the time that answer was a raging NO! This sparked a journey that would ultimately change the course of my life as I knew it. Over 18 months I found myself searching for answers, what do I really want to do with my life? What actually makes me happy? What true potential am I not yet tapping into? What is my purpose?
I started listening to podcasts by Tony Robbins on "Living with Passion" at the recommendation of my brother-in-law. Every morning for half an hour I would take the time for one more 30 minute lesson and each time found a little more clarity. I searched through online tutorials and youtube videos on my interests and industry, and latched onto the advice of pioneers and leaders. I spoke with businessmen who came from nothing and made everything, and actively took insights from church sermons and respected christian pastors. By the time I was finished I had setup a foundation of confidence and resilience born out of a desperate need to learn more, and was raring to implement what knowledge and understanding I had gathered.
An opportunity arose quite suddenly at my then corporate job, for a crash course in social media, something I had always had an interest in. I had even done my honours thesis on "The incorporation of social media as an online marketing strategy". Being thrown in the deep end is, in my opinion, the best and fastest way to grow and find your feet and after a few weeks I was able to apply what I had learned on an international level. Months of practice saw refinement and new understandings and my passion only grew.
At the end of my journey I was faced with a great ultimatum, do I stay in what is comfortable or move forward towards new possibilities? And after a little bit of prayer and a whole lot of faith I took the leap. I left the comfortable desk job and went out on my own into the great unknown! And I have never looked back...
"BluMallow will be moving into the e-learning sector with online courses and e-books."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
BluMallow will be moving into the e-learning sector with online courses and e-books. We envision a company that encourages creativity and exploration without physical boundaries, and a team that brings the "social back to social".
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I am sure every entrepreneur would agree that the freedom to make your own business decisions as well as the flexibility in hours is something that cannot be replaced. For me and my specific line of work it is the ability to simply grab my laptop and go! I can work from anywhere, at any time.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Setup your foundation!! Do your research and do it well. Planning is so important. Take the time to give your business the best possible chance of success. Don't be afraid to ask questions, learn how to network, read articles, listen to podcasts, work late hours building up those first customers and give them a great experience!
Without a solid foundation, you will simply be blown over.
Contact or follow BluMallow Social & Design
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we are great believers in the power of following your passion in life and in business. For entrepreneur Dené Carlile, her passion was to be found in the world of social media and online marketing, and today, she is driven with a powerful desire to use her skills in these fields to help companies to better connect with their customers. This move into the world of entrepreneurship has energised Dené to keep learning, keep developing her own skills and expertise, and keep growing both personally and entrepreneurially. Her company BluMallow is definitely one to watch! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa