Hey everyone! Angela here!👋🏼
Never ever in a million years would I have guessed I’d be where I am in my life right now. Like any aspect. (Except maybe that I’m single - cuz that seems to be my story🤣)
I’m living in Thailand (for the month, hopping around country to country, currently roaming Asia). I have a crazy, never boring, business called Hot Mess Consulting (branding and web design), which is now four years old and starting to stabilize in some really cool ways! Yet, my anxiety is always on high alert, cuz man, you gotta be ready to throw down at any moment in business as you never know what or when the next challenge will strike. And some of those challenges? Are truly enough to take most people out!
Anyway! I also have a fantastic team of 9 (including me) ladies and gentlemen who are so smart and creative and dedicated to our vision and clients. And most of them are from…. South Africa! Except for Jake, over in California (who’s also my brother - but don’t tell him I told ya that, lmao).
You’d definitely know this (that much of the team is from South Africa) if you’ve worked with us because you’ve heard your designers accent or struggled with your project managers timezone.
(BTW, please don’t struggle too hard, if you’re having issues with scheduling, please just let my team know, we will figure out how to accommodate you, we are here to HELP!!!!).
The truth is, I never intentionally sought out an international team. Our clients are in the United States. That’s where I thought to look first. But I guess fate would lead us in a different direction. We’ve also had team members all over the US (from California to New York and several states in between) and a copywriter who was helping us for a long while from Scotland.
The truth is it’s a big world out there, beyond our backyard, and there is some amazing talent to be found at all corners of the Earth.
But HOW did I end up with a mostly South African team? And how is that going?
Well, my first team member was Vicky. Stubborn, low-key hilarious, and determined. She found me in a digital nomad Facebook group where I had posted about needing extra design help. She messaged me like three different ways, I swear, and was not going to stop without me allowing her a practice assignment. Well, today, she is not only my longest-standing team member (she hits her three years in just a week here) but also one of my best friends. She’ll tell you, too; it’s been a long, challenging three years of growth, mistakes, celebrations, and exhaustion (at times). But we made it here!🥳
Anyway, a couple of years ago, I was traveling (like I am now) and decided to visit South Africa, and I actually stayed with Vicky for a whole month. We had a lot of good times (and some questionable times, like both vomiting off the side of a shark cage diving boat together), and she truly treated me like family (bringing me along to every Christmas gathering even!).
I met a couple of gals that would later work for us too on this trip, Karla being one of them. In fact, I was sitting in a pool one day with Karla, drinking champagne. And just casually asked if she’d want to give a whirl working with us on the side (of her regular job) part-time. Just to see if she liked it and how she’d do at it. Cuz I thought we could use a little more extra help.
Well, a year later (after months of working with us full time on top of at her job where she’d been for nearly ten years), she was ready to commit to Hot Mess and leave her day job. And today, she’s even my digital nomad travel buddy. And word on the street is she’s soon to be our new Operations Manager too (yay!! I’m so excited for this level of help)!
We pulled Jan, Jessica, and Melanie (and even Chantel, our newest team member) on the team in a similar fashion (Vicky has had a friend for every problem we needed solved)! And each had to prove themselves too. But, boy have they!!! And they could also put up with me, so bonus points there.
And finding our designer Sharlene!!! It was by pure magic! Because I put the call way out there for another designer! And we had several amazing applicants from all over the world whom we went through trial work and interviews with. And no one knew Sharlene super well prior or anything either! But she absolutely took the cake! Her level of skill, positivity, creativity, and kindness with our clients is so refreshing. And where does she live? In the same South African city as Vicky, Karla (when she’s not with me), Melanie, Chantel, and Jessica! It was meant to be! And I’m just honored to have her on our team.
Left to right: Sharlene, Jessica, Karla, Me, Vicky, Melanie, and Chantel
We still hope to diversify as we grow - just because it’s still a big world out there! But for now, we are a mostly South African team. And I couldn’t be prouder of that. This year, we even got all of us together for a team retreat and a team photoshoot (both things I once thought were long shots of happening, not knowing how I’d get the business from where we were to where we are now).
Happy four years, you guys. You rock my boat. Fill my cup. And ARE the reason we are still here fighting the good fight today!🥂🍾