Q&A with Debbie Hall

What is your position at Yellow Door?

Project Manager

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

I love being part of a dynamic, creative team and working on varied and interesting projects.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

Juggling tasks to make sure the most important work is prioritised and deadlines are met.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

Yellow Door has such a positive, supportive and productive energy. It is a happy place to work. 

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I like to step away from the task and go for a walk, or ideally a yoga class. A pause and a cup of coffee helps too!

What is your pre-work routine?

I am a mom of two little girls, so our mornings are a bit of a scramble to get everyone ready and out for the day. After the school drop-off I enjoy a cup of coffee to help shift into work mode.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

Wonder Woman – she is brave, independent and can do it all.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

A visit to the beach, or a walk in nature and then time with family, friends and good food.

What music do you like to listen to while working?

Anything goes depending on my mood – just nothing too heavy!

Introvert or extrovert?

An extrovert, who needs down time to re-charge.

Cats or dogs?

So hard to choose – both!

Shoes or barefoot?

Barefoot

What’s your favourite spot in Gardens?

Lazari – it always has a friendly vibe.

Q&A with Alex Mac Neill

What is your position in the Yellow Door team?

I’m a marketing intern.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy learning new things in a hands-on environment.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

Time management and meeting deadlines! I’m a perfectionist and can take 3 hours to do a task that could be done in 20 minutes.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

Everyone is really down to earth and genuine.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

Go for a walk outside or do some exercise.

What is your pre-work routine?

Breakfast, coffee and my favourite music at the moment.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I don’t really watch superhero movies, but if I could choose a super power I’d want to be able to teleport. I’m not a fan of Cape Town traffic!

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

My ideal weekend consists of going for drinks with friends at night, and spending the days outside – at the beach or hiking.

What music do you like to listen to while working?

It depends on my mood. When I’m feeling stressed I like to listen to something chilled, like the new Milky Chance album. Otherwise I listen to anything from Hip-Hop to Techno.

Introvert or extrovert?

Introverted extrovert. I promise that’s a thing 😉

Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I don’t know what to do with a cat.

Shoes or barefoot?

Seeing as I was just on crutches for having my foot cut by glass – shoes!

What’s your favourite spot in Gardens?

The Raptor Room is a vibe.

Q&A with Kirstie Duncan

What role do you play as part of the extended Yellow Door team?

I am freelance Graphic Designer and work on various projects for Yellow Door!


Which of the Yellow Door values do you resonate most with and why?

(Integrity, Authenticity, Consistency, Can do, Care why)
They are all values I hold dearly but I definitely resonate most with authenticity. If anyone knows me they know how much I value honesty and transparency. I think one of the biggest social problems we face is that people are constantly trying to be someone else, comparing themselves to others and being afraid to express their true selves. I strongly believe that honesty is the best policy and that the truth always comes out.


Tell us a bit more about your area of expertise, and why you are passionate about it?

I studied graphic design for three years, but because I went to a small private college we ended up having a lot of 1:1 time and extended our subjects to marketing, coding and motion graphics too! Which was great because I absolutely love to learn new things.

I have a twin sister and she always describes me as the creative one. I’m a self-diagnosed OCD designer and I try bring creativity into everything I do. I love how something I am so passionate about can help so many people. Wether it’s helping a client brand their dream business or helping people meet their goals through maximising brand awareness, it really does make me feel so good to see a happy client!


What do you find most challenging about this area of marketing?

I think the one thing that is challenging as a graphic designer is that once you’ve learnt enough about it, you start noticing design problems; EVERYWHERE! Whether it’s the font on a menu that’s not aligned, pixelated images, or a logo that’s been misplaced, you really cannot get away from it.


What trends are you looking forward to learning more about/ implementing as part of your

approach?

The best part about marketing is that there is always change. You can literally never get bored! Whether it is a new social media platform, an algorithm you have to work with or a colour that people are now more drawn towards, there’s always something more to learn.

Instagram is slowly taking away the like feature, I am excited to see how our marketing efforts will change to drive more engagement through comments instead.


What are your top three projects or brands that you’ve had the opportunity to work on?

With Yellow Door I am so lucky to work on so many amazing brands. The latest three I have been working on are CTA, TDI and GP/OKCID. They all provide such impactful services. And the best part is by doing the marketing for these brands, it feels like I am helping alongside them.


What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I try to immerse myself in nature, bring myself to the present and just do the things that I love. I think nature is root of all design, there are patterns, colours, compositions, sounds and scenes that can inspire any project.


What do you do when you’re not working?

You will find me surrounded by friends and my boyfriend Kyle, doing something sporty or outdoors or relaxing with a glass of red wine in hand! And most likely eating sushi! I don’t think a weekend has gone by since I started my studies in 2015 where I haven’t been on my laptop doing work, I really do value downtime but it’s hard when you love your job so much!


If you could be any superhero, who would you be?

I would be the little baby from The Incredibles. I think he is so damn cute, and why would you not want all the super powers in the world!

>> Take a look at Kirstie’s portfolio here: www.behance.net/kirstdunca687c.

Q&A with Vanessa Clark

What role do you play as part of the extended Yellow Door team?

I get called in to assist the team with brand and messaging strategy sessions, especially where there is a strong leaning towards technology or a content-driven outcome.

Which of the Yellow Door values do you resonate most with and why?

Authenticity. I’m lucky enough to know a lot of the team socially as well as professionally, and this is something that has always stood out for me. This resonates for me because it means I can bring my authentic self to any client workshop or piece of work, which always results in my best work.

Tell us a bit more about your area of expertise, and why you are passionate about it?

I am a technology journalist, and today that means I ghost write thought leadership pieces for tech leaders, as well as write editorial technology trends pieces. Alongside that, because it makes my job as a writer easier, I help companies figure out their sustainable competitive advantage, and then put this into words to create the golden thread that ties their story together.

Digital technology is an absolutely fascinating space to be in today. We’re busy building our future world right now, so the decisions we make and paths we choose are critical. If I can help that process by demystifying technology, and exploring the space where technology and people intersect, I’ll be happy about my career.

What do you find most challenging about this area of marketing?

It’s so busy, with a lot of hype, scare-mongering and undifferentiated jargon being thrown about the place. In amongst all the noise, you have to find a clear message, articulate that in a compelling way, and then be consistent, persistent and relatable in getting this message out to your audience.

What trends are you looking forward to learning more about/ implementing as part of your approach?

I’ve just spent some time with an incredible group of Agile practitioners and am fascinated with how this approach can uncover knowledge, insights and connections in a group. There is no doubt that this maps closely on to the future of work, where a group gathers together for a specific project and ideas come from anywhere. The top-down way of decision-making and idea generation is just not relevant anymore. Plus, Agile principles and approaches feel far more compassionate and inclusive than traditional ways of working (and having meetings).

Agile is typically associated with software engineering projects, but there is no reason not to (and very good reasons to) apply them elsewhere in organisations. I’m looking forward to experimenting with Agile techniques during branding and messaging sessions.

What are your top three projects or brands that you’ve had the opportunity to work on?

  • I ran Twitter’s local PR campaign when it launched Twitter for Business in South Africa.
  • An article I wrote that I am hugely proud of is a piece on immigration and innovation in South Africa for Brainstorm in print publication earlier this year.
  • Recently I worked with fintech JUMO on its updated brand narrative and new website.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

This sounds very mundane, but often doing the dishes helps! Or going for a walk. My process is to give my brain all the information it needs and then to let it percolate away, trusting it to do the work and deliver the goods. I’m also a big fan of cross-pollinating ideas from unlikely places, so reading something totally unrelated is also usually helpful.

What do you do when you’re not working?

At the moment, working on my Master’s in media theory and practice. And reading, walking, doing Pilates, Instagramming my cats, and getting better at riding my scooter, which I got earlier this year. (Top tip: scooting is super fun!)

If you could be any superhero, who would you be?

Doctor Who (13th incarnation, obviously). Because who wouldn’t want to be an eccentric, centuries-old, rogue Time Lord with two hearts, travelling through space and time, solving problems and having adventures with their human friends?

Q&A with Camille Eddy

What is your position in the Yellow Door team?

Marketing intern

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I like to use my creativity and find ways for it to work for our customers

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

To get my head around all the software that we use at Yellow Door! I already have some knowledge, but I can tell you that my colleagues have a really great level!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

I like the fact that they trust me, even if English is not my native language. I will learn a lot about the language and their different marketing techniques.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I put on my headphones, and I get on with another task until my inspiration comes back…

What is your pre-work routine?

An apple, black tea, some R’n’B music, and I’m ready to start my tasks!

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I’d say Wonder Woman, because I’m a brunette and I can show compassion, like her.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

I’m in Cape Town with my three best friends from France, so I’d say have a little drink on a Friday night with them to start the weekend. Then on Saturday, to go to one of those little markets in Cape Town where there’s an incredible choice of meals from all around the world. Then go out on Saturday night with friends, and on Sunday rest before resuming the week!

What music do you like to listen to while working?

I would say, that it can vary from French rap to Bob Marley, through to Moby when I feel a little stressed.

Introvert or extrovert?

Before I get to know people, I’m a little introverted. But once I’ve talked to them for 10 minutes, I become totally myself : that means I speak and laugh a bit loud…

Cats or dogs?

Dogs, for sure! I always wanted a Labrador, but my mother never gave in.

Shoes or barefoot?

At home, definitely barefoot. But I think it’s better to put shoes on on the street…

What’s your favourite spot in Gardens?

Roots Café has very good bagels and carrot cake !

Q&A with Jessica Pitman

What is your position in the Yellow Door team?

Junior account manager

 

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

How diverse it is in terms of what I cover with each client – you’re never bored or unstimulated. It’s also a role that provides me with huge growth in many different areas, whilst being in a supportive and uplifting environment. What more could I ask for?

 

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

Presenting quarterly strategies to clients is nerve-wracking! I’m also learning how to appreciate constructive feedback and not to take it as criticism, which is something I look forward to working on.

 

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

It’s rare to find a team of people who are both striving for the best, whilst also remaining authentic, properly supportive and non-egotistical. This is what attracted me to the team from the beginning.

 

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I plough through the Book of Life archives (a sub-section of Alain de Botton’s The School of Life), read, talk to people who I love most, troll Pinterest, or get stuck into an art commission whilst listening to music.

 

What is your pre-work routine?

I’m still figuring this one out, but my ideal pre-work routine would be to make myself a delicious cup of coffee, read one Book of Life article that appeals to the section of my life that needs reflection, do a small meditation, and lastly to walk to work whilst taking in the beautiful Cape Town landscape. This is certainly not how every morning starts, but that’s the ideal one.

 

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I can’t think of a comic book hero, but when I watched the movie About Time, I thought about the ability to go back in time, to moments you miss deeply and with people who are no longer close by. I would want, more than anything, the superpower of being able to go back to those times.

 

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

I would replicate the weekend I just had. I’d work on my art, playing music and eating delicious food at my apartment in Wembley with my closest friends around me reading or doing their work. I’d have a braai the next day with friends, and wind down on Sunday with my book or a good series and my twin sister close by.

 

What music do you like to listen to while working?

Anything except for hard rock, rap, or country music.

 

Introvert or extrovert?

Both, but slightly more extrovert.

 

Cats or dogs?

If you had to make me choose – cats.

 

Shoes or barefoot?

Shoes.

 

What’s your favourite spot in Gardens?

The lawn in front of my Wembley apartment, because my sister and our Wembley friends all gather there with the dogs playing around us.

Q&A with Dean Palmer

Q&A with Dean Palmer

By Dean Palmer

Posted on 28th August 2019

I’m Dean Palmer - my actual name is Dylan but everyone calls me Dean! Originally from Delft I now live in Woodstock in a shared digs. I enjoy reading and keep to myself mostly but I can be an extrovert too, when the situation calls for it. I love Harry Potter, fashion and food - I'm not fussy about what, and I'm also a qualified bookkeeper!

What is your position in the YDC team?

I am a community manager for Yellow Door.

When did you start working at YDC?

Monday 22st July, been here a little while!

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

Finding ways to improve the customer’s experience.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

Navigating through the various platforms was a bit of a challenge.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the YDC team?

The relaxed environment 🙂

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I listen to music to get me going, I usually listen to pop or R&B. I currently enjoy Sam Smith’s new music.

What is your pre-work routine?

I just show up!

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

Superman! It would be fun having x-ray vision.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

I enjoy reading a good book, I read anything from philosophy to romance. I’ve read ‘The original sin’ by Marius Gabriels, thrice.

What music do you like to listen to while working?

Anything except country music.

Introvert or extrovert?

Ambivert.

Cats or dogs?

Dogs.

Shoes or barefoot?

Barefoot.

What’s your favourite spot in Gardens?

Yours Truly – I love the vibe and everyone’s always friendly.

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Q&A with Debbie Hall

Having worked in the FMCG Manufacturing industry in International Sales and New Product Development for many years, I am very…

Q&A with Sarah Brownlee

Q&A with Sarah Brownlee

By Sarah Brownlee

Posted on 3rd April 2019

Reading time: 4 minutes

I’m Sarah Brownlee. Hailing from a small town in the Eastern Cape, I’ve been a resident in the beautiful Mother City for the past five years. A lover of fine wine, engaging conversation and interpretive dance – I love to spend hours soaking up the sun and sea on the exquisite beaches of the Cape. When not beaching, you can spot me running on the promenade, cycling Suikerbossie, exploring the mountains or sipping on a fine Chenin with friends.

What is your position in the YDC team?

Marketing strategist and account manager

How would you describe your role?

Strategic thinker, brand builder and compelling content creator.

When did you start working at YDC?

Monday 1st April #ThreeDaysNew 😊

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

It’s still early days, but strategising enticing ways to initiate audience engagement with a brand excites me a lot.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

At the moment, it would be getting acquainted with the different systems and procedures followed in day to day account management.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the YDC team?

Its super exciting to be a part of an energetic, talented and passionate team of creatives. It’s great to see the different dynamic each member brings to the team.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

Go for a run to clear my head – I tend to conjure up my best ideas/ campaigns whilst pounding it out on the pavement.   

What is your pre-work routine?

A run on the promenade or spinning class. Starting the day with a fresh sea breeze restores the soul. One of the fore mentioned followed by a cuppa Mastersons (Eastern Cape’s finest) coffee 😉

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I’m not that well acquainted with superheros but if Game of Thrones characters can be considered I’d want to be Khaleesi, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Who wouldn’t want to leap onto a wild animals back and fly around saving lives and conquering land.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

A combo of a long run/ cycle with my husband, walking our pup in the forest followed by fine wine and catching up with good friends. With one evening dedicated to Netflix and chillin’ 😉

What music do you like to listen to while working?

It’s very dependent on what I’m doing… if I need to concentrate I put on some chilled house or instrumental music. If I’m doing a mundane task that requires less focus, I pump up the Tomorrow Land remixes.

Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert – I love getting to know people, hearing about their journey and finding out their stories (and sharing my own of course 😉)

Cats or dogs?

Definitely dogs. I’m even mother to a fur-baby boxer fondly known as Mumford.

Shoes or barefoot?

Barefoot all the way.

What’s your favourite spot on Kloof Street?

Bombay Bicycle Club. I went there for the first time at the end of last year and it was love at first site/ bite. Swings around a bar and chocolate chilli steak… what more could you want from life?

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Q&A with Debbie Hall

Having worked in the FMCG Manufacturing industry in International Sales and New Product Development for many years, I am very…

Q&A with Jonny Field

Q&A with Jonny Field

By Jonny Field

Posted on 6th March 2019

Reading time: 5 minutes

I am Jonny Field, your average quirky tall person! I was raised in Windhoek, Namibia but moved to Cape Town for a fresh start at life in 2011, and it was one of the best things that happened to me. As a person that attended international schools, most of my friends deserted the country after leaving school and I have a thirst for travel as a result of that ordeal. I studied Interaction Design at the Cape Town Creative Academy in Woodstock, which was the most influential choice of my life, as it set me down a path I never knew I wanted to go down, and now here I am working in the design industry in one of the design capitals of the world… I love it! I have always been a creative and abstract person, so I always knew that art and design would be where I ended up in my working life.

My interests on a personal level really resonate with what one considers “geeky”, as I am a fanatic for fantasy, Sci-Fi and all things adventure. I think we can all agree that Harry Potter is the best thing ever, maybe a little Riddikulus to some, but not me. But don’t get me wrong, I would like to think I am quite a rational person who can look at things from several perspectives before going forward with things. I believe neutrality and a more empathic approach to life is what everyone should strive for.

 

Other than that, you’ll either find me hiking, reading, playing board games and just outright chilling. That’s me!

What is your position in the Yellow Door team?

Interny intern.

How would you describe your role?

To help out with various tasks, liaise with suppliers and learn as much as possible about the company.

When did you start working at Yellow Door?

The 4th of March, 2019.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

Learning new things as well as gaining new skills in the world of web and digital design, also the people here are fun to be around!

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

Learning all the ins and outs of what each client wants us to do for them, how to handle all the different situations at the company and the daunting task of starting working life.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

The team seems inviting and ready to help me understand how the industry works, all while being fun and warm.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I usually go to Pinterest and type in the topic of my mental block if it’s visual inspiration I need to find, otherwise I will do a searching session on Google for the info I need.

What is your pre-work routine?

I usually have a slow morning with my cat and a good book while I have my coffee, then I do all the basics and get going.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

An unconventional choice; I would be Avatar Aang from The Last Airbender series:

As a public figure that has to portray neutrality and resolute care for the world, I believe this superhero to be one of the most caring, amazing and talented heroes out there. He always looks at things from an unbiased perspective and displays a neutral footing on any topic before drawing a conclusion, which I like to say we have in common.

Plus, the added benefit of having the ability to make infinite ice cubes on a hot day and start fires really easily for cold ones is pretty cool.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

Sleeping in, reading my book, seeing friends and playing board games, walking my dogs on the beach or hiking a mountain and probably watching a movie with my family to end it all off. Oh, and of course lots of good foodies!

What music do you like to listen to while working?

Usually something relaxed and without lyrics if typing out words is the task, something like Chill Radio or Lo-Fi Chill Pop because it is warm and unobtrusive. Otherwise for design work I like to listen to anything from generic pop to the golden oldies, my feel-good track would be anything from Fleetwood Mac.

Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert, with a desire to be more extroverted, but also not really, introverted-ness is cool.

Cats or dogs?

I’m a cat person with cat like tendencies, but still love dogs much the same!

Shoes or barefoot?

Depends on the weather, however foot freedom is always amazing.

What’s your favourite spot on Kloof Street?

Unframed Ice Cream, because they have ice cream that won’t make me sick, yay!

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Q&A with Debbie Hall

Having worked in the FMCG Manufacturing industry in International Sales and New Product Development for many years, I am very…

Q&A with Blessing Katona

Hi, my name is Blessing. I’ve just started at Yellow Door, which is my second experience working in an agency. I love the fact that you get to deal with different types of brands and people, and get to experience a completely different atmosphere to the everyday working life. My life can’t be explained in a paragraph but all you need to know about me is that there are three words that describe me best: passion, love and cars!

What is your position in the YDC team?

I am a fresh intern.

How would you describe your role?

At the moment my role is to learn as many skills and experiences as possible and show the team that I am eager to learn new tricks anytime.

When did you start working at YDC?

On 1 October 2018.

 What part of your job do you enjoy most?

There is a number of things that I enjoy about the job I do, but out of everything, I enjoy coming to work and always learning something new and engaging with people from different backgrounds the most.

What part of your role do you find the most challenging?

The most challenging part is the pressure. As an intern I feel like when given a task, I need to show my colleagues quality workmanship at a productive rate.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Yellow Door team?

They are all close knit, help is literally always a desk away and everyone gets to know each other on a personal level.

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?

I either go hiking with my girlfriend or meet up with a few friends, pick a road and just follow through and see where the road takes us.

What is your pre-work routine?

A phone call with my girlfriend. This is really important to me because she is the person that inspires me to wake up every morning and give my all at work.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

Superman – because he can fly. I am always moving around and if I could move around without being worried about traffic and petrol prices, it would definitely be flying.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend?

Spending time with my girlfriend or going out to spend the day at a car show or the race track.

What music do you like to listen to while working?

My ears are versatile. I listen to anything from deep house to soft rock.

Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert with a little bit of extrovert. I am talkative when I need to be but at times I can be very quiet.

Cats or dogs?

I would say both but at the moment but I am more in love with cats because I have one.

Shoes or barefoot?

Barefoot. I like walking barefoot. There is just something fascinating about being barefoot and just having your feet out in the open or with some flip-flops on.

What’s your favourite spot on Kloof Street?

Yours Truly because as a student or a young person, that is the spot to be at.