This month, ten years ago, two actresses decided to start ‘making it happen’ for themselves. They were not the first, and won’t be the last, but they are among the lucky for whom that plan turned into a thriving company with a decade of success under its belt. In May 2006, Lisa and Sally registered Show Works Creative Entertainment and started work on an industrial theatre piece in Limpopo for Crown National. They had one client and a to-do list on a clipboard. After ten full years, Show Works has serviced almost a hundred clients, local and international, and the to-do list is networked. The former, growth. The latter…. pretty standard, but necessary to complete the comparison!
Growth, in every aspect, has been the theme of the life of Show Works, and looking back it is clear to see just how much things have evolved. We spent a morning chatting about the journey and discovered many things we love about where we are now.
Here is the Show Works, Ten Year, Top Ten:
1. Each having our own computer to work from. Lisa and Sally started the business sharing one computer, sitting on the floor of Lisa’s bedroom…now we have a lovely sunny office with our own dedicated workspaces and our very own Nespresso machine!
2. Using our OWN photos in presentations. We used to have to scour the internet to populate our presentations with promises of what we could achieve when we started out. You really don’t want to know what Sally was exposed to when she googled “giant balls” for a picture of an over-sized soccer ball for a Supersport presentation for the launch of the Fifa 2010 World Cup.
3. Working with our best friends. Who can argue that going to work every day to be greeted by friends is the best? Even in the most stressful situations – like when the logo on a bus is in the middle of a giant black and gold swirl instead of on clean white – we still have each other’s backs and as a team we enjoy the good days and bad days as best friends.
4. Knowing how to work a conference call. Instead of “faking it til we made it”
5. Having total bragging rights over a remarkable line up of clients and some pretty incredible events and campaigns. We love that we work with clients who trust us implicitly as their specialists in the SA market. When we started we had to use 100% of our best promo girl abilities to convince clients to take the leap with us!
6. Knowing how and when to say NO to a client. Just that!
7. Travelling to more places than just Johannesburg. We used to think doing a show or event where we had to travel to Jozi was exciting…now we have international events in Mauritius and Zambia under our belts! And because we do events at amazing venues, restaurants and destinations we have been fortunate to experience some once-in-a-lifetime treats.
8. Celebrity hobnobbing! Is this the correct forum to say: Oprah, Buddy Valastro, Johnny Clegg, Dynamo, Whitney Thore, Randy Fenoli, Hugh Masekela, Jeremy Loops, Danny K, MiCasa and many more.
9. The “OMG you have such a COOL job” comment from friends. No matter how stressful, exhausting or overwhelming it may sometimes seem…it really is TRUE…we have such an interesting, ever-changing, challenging, and exciting job. Being part of the Show Works powerhouse means that we travel to some awesome places, meet amazing people, experiment with crazy out of the box ideas, AND do it all with people that we genuinely love and enjoy being around every day. It is no small thing…
10. Being able to write a blog about the top ten things about turning 10. Such a privilege.
As part of our birthday celebrations, we have been running a #31DaysOfThrowbacks campaign, posting memories of past events over the ten years. We have had some great laughs, and felt particularly squishy about the past and very excited for the future. One of the stand-outs has been seeing the wonderful team of trusted suppliers and performers we draw on to help us create magic for our clients. We work with and for some great people, and we love it. And we love them. And they love us. And we all love each other. And we love that they love us. And they love that we love them. And we love that they love that we love them. And we love love. And we love loving love. And we love sushi.
And we love being ten.