WHAT DO YOU DO?
My clients are predominantly start-ups or small to medium size businesses in the fashion, hospitality and luxury property sectors but I am happy to work in almost any relevant field.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I moved over from South Africa and studied in the UK in my early twenties after traveling. I got a Diploma in Visual Communication and then a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design. I then worked for an Agency for 2 years before starting up Candy Black with my partner which we have now been running for 8 years.
How do you stand out in your field??
Candy Black is a boutique agency so we can offer a 360 service for our clients. We also have a strong collective of creative partners including photographers, copy-writers and web developers we work with regularly. Our value is that everything we produce is based on our branding experience, so we don’t only produce the designs for our clients, we can also art direct and manage processes like photography, print & packaging. The client only has to deal with us and we can make sure their brand is consistent throughout.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Right now we're working on the print and packaging design phase for luxury property 'Buying Agents' in Mallorca and we are organising a photoshoot, brand film and Instagram management for the company for the next 6 months. We completed their branding, stationery design and website in the beginning of the year. We are also working on a website design and build for a German 'Creative Media Agency' and have just started a website design and build for an 'Influencer Brand Partner Agency' in Toronto.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Our style and perspective on everything we produce is to keep it simple but powerful. I don't like to 'over-design' things, I like there to be balance in the medium and the media. Examples of this are mostly seen in our Brand Identity and Website Design where we want to team this up with strong visuals.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I think there is a great variety in the deliverables of the projects we work on so I don't really feel like I want to focus on anything more in particular. I would like to to officially partner up with brands more though, to work with them long-term and have an invested interest so to be a Creative Director for 3-4 brands would be great.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
There's been allot of discussion in eCommerce for us. I think there are some misconceptions in how to get a product 'sold' online. Many clients think its all about the platform you choose. The majority of the eComm websites we have done are in Squarespace but have also moved into offering Shopify. I believe the brand / content ultimately sells the product, the platform is secondary.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
If I could hire someone for $20/hour if would have them help out with art working completed projects and writing case studies for the portfolio.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would have told myself to not worry about trying to grow the agency and employ people. Rather travel more and meet creatives to partner with as and when.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would like to talk to a business consultant or mentor about strategy to create a roadmap of where I would like to take Candy Black for the next 5 — 10 years.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
We are always on the look out for new projects. Full branding and website projects are great but happy to come in for either or. Any excuse to head to California is always welcome and New York because we have not been there yet :)
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Our ideal project is one that excites us. Where the product or service is something we can see ourselves using.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
We do project based fees but are open to retainers. We don't do hourly rates for new clients but are happy to do this for returning clients. Project fees are varied and really are on a case by case basis.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
We love to hear from new clients from all over the world, the best way to get in touch is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org describing the business and what deliverables you think you need. A ballpark budget is favourable so that we can bare this in mind. Once we have the first email with all the info we need, we set up a call to have an intro chat to break the ice and get to know the client and project better before proposing a ballpark figure for the project. This is followed up by a formal proposal of cost once we have all the info we need.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Keep experiencing new things and places.
This member profile was originally published in May 2018.