As this (our very first!) blog post is being written, we have briefs flying across the studio, deadlines to meet, pitches to pitch, evocative brand stories to tell and a fresh cuppa brewing; filling the air with that distinct smell of creative-genius-meets-creative-chaos. A mouthful, yes. But this is where the magic happens. We have Zumurrud digging deep to recall 10 years of C&C moments for a story, Mush is plugged into Zoom to get the latest project debriefs, while simultaneously keeping the team on their toes, and Yumna is busy crafting stories from dust (with footage so old it belongs in a museum basement).
So who are we really? Curious & Creative is a culture-first digital marketing agency based in Cape Town, South Africa; composed of a dynamic team of trailblazers. There was a gap in the market for a full-service advertising agency with quicker turnaround times and better rates, so our fearless leader decided to fuel her burning desire to create a space for authentic creativity with a diverse team of creators.
But before becoming the digital powerhouse it is today, at the beginning of 2013, C&C was a one-woman show with a strategy to connect with ex-clients. The goal was to further client relationships and secure ongoing retainer work with 3 – 5 retail brands while simultaneously figuring out how to run a business. The five-year plan for Curious & Creative back then was to create opportunity, network and grow to hire a team that would support the agency.
In the second year Zumurrud joined a business incubator to assist in growing the business; receiving mentorship, funding, and the opportunity to attend courses to upskill in new areas, like finance for non-financial managers and women in leadership. Starting a business is never easy, but she turned her dream into a reality with passion, determination, and hard work.
The agency has grown into an all-women team and is not only about creating visually impactful work. We are intentional with our approach, representing with purpose, and taking on the responsibility of building a network with a mutual love of creativity in business. Being unapologetic and fearlessly breaking barriers are what knits the team together. It’s about creating a space where personal growth and creativity can thrive and creating special memories along the way– all while collaborating with brands that span multiple industries that share our values of creating meaningful work. Though being an all-female team is not at the forefront of the sales pitch, C&C’s passion, empathy and masterful story-telling shines through in our work ethic and energy. Our love for creativity and willingness to embrace change and explore new markets make us a force to be reckoned with.
Some of the highlights of our journey include pitching an idea to our incubator partner after identifying a gap at a women’s networking conference, which was then pitched to Vodacom, leading to an incredible contract to assist SMME’s on the Vodacom network with marketing solutions for their business in the COVID pandemic. Our incubation partner awarded our MD with the Business woman of the year. A personal favourite memory was when we created the #curiousandcreativeCRUSH influencer campaign targeting incredible women making waves on social media, which led to a growth spurt on our own social media and a disruption that shifted our business to a digital agency.
Over the past decade, C&C grew from 3 local brands to garnering meaningful, trusted relationships with a growing client base of over 20 brands, pitching to industries beyond fashion retail and securing business in multiple sectors, leaving a footprint throughout South Africa and the Middle East.
As we celebrate C&C’s 10-year anniversary and the significant milestones we have achieved – from moving into a new office space to growing to a team of ten women. Our commitment to excellence in creativity and design continues with competitive intelligence and conversion through various marketing channels and services. And through the busyness of it all, we laugh and cry together and still make a conscious effort to stop, reflect and be grateful. So here’s to another 10 years of curious and creative excellence fueled by dopamine yellow, uncontrollable laughter and many more milestones.