S2 E1 Conte – Creating an interactive creative portfolio

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Conte a creative design agency and an interactive gallery for artists

Charmaine and Amanda, are creatives who are determined to fulfill their dreams. From the very beginning, their passion has driven them to overcome a myriad of obstacles to bring a platform for creatives throughout the continent who have faced or are facing obstacles to them achieving their goals.

Conte was born and continues to grow, as two arms, one a creative agency that pays for the bills and the second, a magazine, creating a safe space for creatives to showcase their art.Conte Mag 2 Conte mag 3 Charmaine and Amanda Conte raw issue

Show notes

01:40 Charmaine tells us more about her background, from getting into a creative qualification to studying in New York, to working in corporate and meeting Amanda.
08:03 Amanda gives us her story, from studying animation, working as her father’s PA as she worked on ad hoc projects for friends and family, to getting a job that would introduce her to Charmaine and lead them towards creating Conte Magazine.
13:31 Charmaine describes how she and Amanda met and started a business just after 3 months of knowing each other.
15:33 Charmaine was impressed by how confident Amanda was, despite her age.
17:10 Amanda describes how they got to know each other and how a business idea grew organically.
18:33 Amanda and Charmaine would take obstacles and turn them into opportunities to help get their business going.
20:08 Charmaine explains why they chose the name Conte,  taking advantage of design thinking by testing out their name options with people
24:47 Co-working spaces proved to be pivotal in ensuring that the momentum of Conte’s birth was maintained.
27:13 Despite being designers, they hired someone else to design their logo to ensure they got a high quality design that wasn’t biased by their attachment
27:25 Amanda describes what JoziHub is and does.
28:45 Charmaine explains the two arms of Conte, the magazine and the creative agency, what inspired it.
33:50 Amanda describes the various themes of Conte magazine’s previous issues, as well as how they come up with themes, and the interactivity of their portfolio.
37:30 Charmaine explains how Conte Magazine is both print and digital, and why they keep both.
40:30 They have grown from being just the two of them to being a team of 6.
42:40 Amanda explains how they grow their database and network.
44:00 Charmaine explains how they got Conte Creatives Agency started, finding clients and some of the initial mistakes.
48:00 Charmaine explains how they raised enough funds to launch Conte Magazine.
55:00 The hard lessons learnt about having two businesses with only one making money, and the other losing money and how to handle that.
56:40 The magazine however, is now helping brand Conte Creatives agency as a quality creatives agency that can be trusted.
1:01:00 Amanda highlights how patience and time is needed to see real success.
1:04:20 Amanda highlights the importance of creating demand before building up stock that they may never be sold.
1:07:30 Charmaine and Amanda explain how they have stayed strong through the hard times over the past 2 years.
Significant quotes:
19:06 “We were literally jumping off a cliff, be cause ee don’t even know whether we’re going to get a parachute when we’re going down. Or what’s going to happen, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we want to jump. And that’s one thing we were both passionate about, not wanting to work for someone else.”
19:45 “Conte started at Wakaberry, hence I love it so much.”
20:24 “Instead of working and giving all our skills to “the man”, we could use them for ourselves and make money from that.”
24:57 “We didn’t want to get stuck in, oh I’m comfortable at home, because if we did that we would be stuck in a trap.”
31:58 “Its that missing link. Why can’t more of us creatives get out there?”
33:50 “How we choose a theme, is the consumer who chooses the theme.”
35:58 ” We try to not give our clients too many options, because they get lost. We want to keep it as simple as possible.”
38:00 “Go against the grain, don’t do something because everyone is doing it. Because everyone is doing it.”
43:44 “It’s just persistence, that’s all that is.”
51:45 “Your marketing needs to be on steroids.”
1:06:10 “The one thing about the digital magazine, is that we go fetch artists.”
1:10:06 “If you work hard for your passion, your passion will end up willing you [on].”
Conte Facebook
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Charmaine on Twitter for her Art and for her business

About the author, Charlotte

Charlotte, or Charlie as she likes her friends to call her, is what you would call a multipotentialite or a jack of all trades if you must. She been an auditor, an English teacher, a consultant, an executive assistant and product manager. She loves to read, watch shows, learn, tries to exercise, eats a lot, travels and tries out new things.

Entrepreneurship excites her not only because of its capability to bring joy (read freedom) to entrepreneurs, but also because it can vastly improve a country or continent for the better.

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