*This article can be found on the Red And Yellow website.
It’s crazy to think that 7 Billion people will have experienced this day in a different way. So much can happen in one day; you can fall in love, you can lose a loved one, you can have an accident or perhaps even become an overnight success. I’m one of those soppy people who lives each day as it comes – but I’ll give you a rough idea of what goes on in my chaotic and busy day as a student!
I was actually influenced to study marketing by my roommate from last year. I’d always perceived marketing to be as simple as “make it look nice and people will buy it” – but I soon realized that there’s so much more behavioural analysis and statistical data behind consumerism than I’d thought and I’m infinitely appreciative that I gave it a go.
There’re two pieces of advice in particular that you should know before studying marketing: love people and be an independent thinker. Before Red and Yellow (R&Y) I wasn’t always open to other opinions and it’s shown me that loving people for their individualism essentially enables you to work successfully in not only a team; but life in general. Loving people will help you become a better team player and will enable trust to flow within your group – two essential parts of a successful marketing unit. You won’t always get the group you want, but that’s life!
Secondly, you’ll never contribute considerably to a team if you merely go with the flow. Being an independent thinker will highlight you as an asset to your team and will make you effective in any facet of marketing that you assign yourself. You’ll never make an impact in the marketing industry (or in the larger sense, society) if you’re a conformer. Therefore, develop an independent approach to your work and you will be rewarded. Creativity and ingenuity are at the forefront of every project — merely ‘following the crowd’ will never enable you to create an effective and long-lasting marketing strategy.
My journey to R&Y is rather extraordinary because I never saw myself as one for the marketing world and studied Film and Media Production at UCT. One of my UCT projects included a blogging assignment – we were instructed to create our own blogs and had six blog posts with which we had to prove our English proficiency. It was then that I realized the significance that fashion holds in society; regardless of one’s race, size, gender or academic capabilities – every person has their own individual approach to fashion.
Much like most love affairs I was of course hooked from the get-go and my blog (https://hollyhocksblog.wordpress.com) has become somewhat of an obsession. I’m grateful that I kept my blog quiet until only a few months ago because I’ve been able to analyse my direct audience (who knew I had a following in the U.S and Norway?) and sharpen my online marketing skills. I try not to overthink when writing my posts – I prefer for them to come naturally rather than be a forced attempt to appeal to a mass audience and I think that this translucency is what appeals to online readers. The best article I’ve ever written has been as I’ve jumped out of the shower and was completed in 10 minutes (my towel unsteady and my hair still sopping wet, haha!).
(The first public blog post I wrote, “New kicks made me think“)
Any advice I would give future bloggers would be to understand how to communicate effectively with people. This is because at the end of the day you need to speak to an audience in a way that not only resonates with your true character but also appeals to their own lifestyles and that is the hardest, yet most important part of blogging. Therefore understand people and you’ll understand blogging.
Secondly, have a large circle of friends. It has been pivotal in not only keeping an open mind to life – but fashion, too. The other day someone asked me where I get inspiration for my blog posts from – and my answer is people. People are more inspirational to me than any expensive fashion show or trendy retail shop. I may not be similar to the people whom I spend time with or dress like them, but I draw massive creative inspiration from them. I personally connect strongly to people who are independent thinkers because those are the people who are impactful in society and who will go on to change the world in some way.
The fashion industry tends to be remarkably shallow and therefore I always intend for my posts to be multifaceted and meaningful – consisting of adventure, humour and social observation in addition to fashion. So if you’re planing on becoming a blogger – determine first how your writing will set you apart from the million other writers.
That leads me to the subject of Red and Yellow..
Behind the scenes at R&Y we have certain rituals. Firstly, Origin is the watering hole of our supreme animal Kingdom! It’s slightly perturbing how much we abuse this coffee shop because one moment it’s a gentle café on the corner of Durham Street and the next it’s turned into a raucous shouting house of boisterous students.
Another ritual of sorts includes our Whatsapp group. Our underground group of 30 is titled “The A-Team” and tends to be much more of a tool of abuse than a means of communication between students. This explains why when one person’s phone goes off a resounding chorus of “pings” usually follows. It even consists of mandatory traditions such as capturing all members eating a banana (I don’t think I need to explain the reasoning for this). Unfortunately there are much too many members that are ready to catch you when you fall – I’m still recovering from an awkward modelling photo that one of the guys found and forced as the group icon for considerably too long. Hazardous nights on the town, boring guest-lecturers and embarrassing fashion malfunctions – nothing escapes the discussion on this group.
The last ritual I will disclose with you is The Taproom. It’s mandatory that we all congregate for beers on the unreliable benches of Devil’s Peak Brewery after Friday presentations. This is often where awkward tipsy comments are made and regular personal jokes resurface once again. No presentation slip-up is ever forgotten and you’ll probably hear me laughing at the guys’ comments from a mile away.
Coming from an all-girls private school and all-girls UCT Residence – it’s been refreshing to bond with people who remind me not to take life too seriously. The banter is akin to that of any KZN boarding school and it’s no wonder that amongst this herd of anarchic men there’s usually only two or three of us girls.
Currently – I don’t have much free time. If I’m not at R&Y, I’m either blogging about fashion or blogging for an Italian coffee company, Emozione Coffee and I’ve just signed a contract to be a fashion journalist for a company from Hong Kong. Hence, time is a massive luxury to me! These last few months have absolutely blown my mind! Beyond the fact that my view rates have exceeded my expectations, I’ve also been asked to be the face of an eyewear company in Cape Town. Blogging has therefore been a platform that has provided me with so many opportunities. And I’ve only just begun – so I can’t wait to see where this will lead me! But if you’re thinking of starting a blog – just know that the chances of you becoming an instant success are very slim. Society’s attention span is dwindling as the months go by – you need to be well-educated about what you’re writing on and you need to be passionate about it. There are so many good writers out there – you need to be better!
In my free time I’m either eating or frowning at my Macbook – examining my various blog’s view rates while Soundcloud blares through my ears. I’ve had sleeping problems since I was little and therefore I head off to gym every evening to let off some steam and burn off the chocolate I probably ate at lunch (a day without chocolate is a day without sunshine!).
Every day brings with it new challenges and surprises but by the time my head is on the pillow, I intend that mine has been filled with love and lots of laughter. So I guess that’s my one-day amongst 7 billion others… :)