Just for laughs

Things are taking off here – a poem (you’re welcome)

What do you do when you have a million things to get through and a meeting in 20 minutes and a dinner party to get to that you will most probably be late for because you’re so busy being a successful businesswoman?

Write a poem. Obviously.

Things have taken off here
They’re moving really fast
We’ve had to get in first gear
As the work pile is quite vast

But how flippen’ exciting
To be running our own show
And see it move like lightning
As the biz-ness starts to grow

It must be my new power-dress
Or Liz’s so-profesh phone voice
That are the secrets to our success
And inform the client’s choice

So while we may be yawning
In the days and months to come
We’ll still be smiling night and morning
Because man – look what we’ve done!

The one where we go to Super Tubes for our inspiration day

By now, you’ll know that every month, Pomegranite takes some time to get out of the office and talk about the bigger picture of the business. We’ve gone for lake-side picnics and forest walks, we’ve been surfing and wondering in tree canopies – anything where we get to do something a little out of the ordinary. And fun. But I don’t think we’ve ever had an inspiration day that was this much FUN!

Allow me to present: Muizenberg Water Slides, better known as Super Tubes.

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Look at all that FUN! And thrilling speed!

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… (yes, this is their scariest slide).

The park’s retro vibe continues next door with some bizarre tuckshop advertising and a putt-putt course straight out of ‘The Jetsons’.

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As we arrived, some dark clouds moved in over Muizenberg and a chill settled in the air. Taking a single layer of clothing off seemed less and less appealing, never mind getting wet. We made a deal, we’d only take an hour’s pass and then treat ourselves to hot chololate afterwards. We were here. We were going to make the best of it.

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We were tickled by the spectator fee (and a maximum of two spectators per slider) but didn’t even notice the sign above. The place reminded us so much of The Way Way Back  – it even had it’s own ‘cool guy’ lifesaver complete with aviator shades and an ankle bracelet (à la Sam Rockwell). If you haven’t seen the film, it’s about a teenager who goes from this cringiness…

to this awesomeness…

…via a summer working at a waterslide park.

I can honestly say, there is nothing in the world like a good old water slide to make you feel like a kid again. After the first whooshing, whizzing, giddy go down the slide, we didn’t notice that we were shivering (or that we made far more noise than all the other kids in the area put together).

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And now, for your enjoyment, a snippet of a slide from both of us. First up, Sarah. You can tell she’s on her way because of the shrieks, but the best part (as your can hear by my chuckling) is Sarah getting swept up in the white water of the (very shallow) paddling pool.

Next up, here I come down the curly whurly, good momentum assisting in my dismount complete with a little yelp.

Guys, things got CRAZY. We did a few slides lying down (which makes you go way faster) and even backwards for as long as we could stand it (which wasn’t long). What a marvellous day. It turns out the sun came out and we didn’t even need that hot chocolate.

Do you have any bright ideas for our February inspiration day?

Let us know – we’re always looking for something new and exciting!

The importance of a dance break

Dancing is rarely associated with office culture except, perhaps, in the regrettable case of Christmas parties when a few sad strings of tinsel and too much free booze compel people to reprise their famous air guitar solos.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. At the Pomegranite office (which we share with the awesome Agriprotein crowd) we take fun dance breaks seriously. It’s not about dancing well and it’s not about looking cool (as the story of how it started shows). Bored of working on our accounts, I decided to recreate this amazing music video:

It was so good that Sarah had to take a photo (everybody cheering me is just out of frame).

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Spitting image right?

Since then, we’ve been cranking up a great tune, having a singalong and moving our bodies. It’s about getting out of your head and back into your groovy body for a little bit. The benefits are SO worth it:

  • getting up and moving gives your back and stiff muscles a break
  • the music (and laughter) help clear your mind and improve your mood
  • those couple of minutes are transportative – you return to your desk renewed
  • having some fun and (most importantly) not taking yourself seriously bring your office mates closer.

So go, turn up something you can’t resist and get on down!

Five random things heard in the Pomegranite office

When you spend a significant amount of time in the same place with the same people, ridiculous things are bound to tumble out of someone’s mouth at some point. What makes this even more interesting, is that the Pomegranite office is not just home to us pomegranites (Liz and Sarah), but also to the staff of Agriptrotein, an innovative, award-winning start-up that develops protein sources for the agricultural sector and who happen to do it with maggots.

There are several lines that divide the office: tea drinkers | coffee drinkers, maggot wranglers | online presence magicians, men | women, those who think it’s hilarious that people think I’m the Agriprotein secretary because I’m the first desk you see when you walk in | me.

Here are five quotes from life in our office:

1. Sarah, busy building a website:

What do you call this thing that your tabs are in on the internet?

2. Source remains anonymous for obvious reasons:

Yes, they have a bootleg. Don’t tell my wife, all my jeans are dirty and she hates it when I borrow hers.

3. One of our excited clients:

OK great, where do we start with the website, fonts?

4. In a client workshop:

So it’s going to be maggot biltong, essentially.

5. Liz getting teased for her occasional make-up use:

Going on a date or seeing a client?

 

Image source

10 quotes to inspire the hell out of you

Everyone loves a good quote. Especially when it’s in a sexy font. Perhaps written over an evocative image. I am a big fan of a well-timed quote that seems to have been created just for me – and the other how-ever-many-thousands-of-women are trolling through Pinterest on a Tuesday morning.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I’ve put together a little montage of my 10 favourite quotes that apply to the work we do – but also the lives we live (or the lives we wish we were living when we read these quotes in sexy fonts).

When you get rid of all the other superfluous stuff, this is what it all comes down to.

When you get rid of all the other superfluous stuff, this is what it all comes down to.

Don't love what you do? Stop waiting around for it to find you. Life is happening right now. Each day you spend in a job that doesn't inspire you is a day wasted.

Don’t love what you do? Stop waiting around for it to find you – get out there and look for it! Life is happening right now.

Once you start, it will get messy before it gets amazing. But sometimes, in the midst of the mess, it IS kind of amazing. Because it's yours.

Once you start, it will get messy before it gets amazing. But sometimes, in the midst of the mess, it IS kind of amazing. Because it’s yours.

What makes you different? Embrace it.

What makes you different? Embrace it.

Set goals. And keep coming back to them. Sometimes that goal is trying not to lose your sense of humour that day. And that's ok.

Set goals. And keep coming back to them. Sometimes that goal is trying not to lose your sense of humour that day. And that’s ok.

Corny? Perhaps. True? Mmm-hmmm.

Corny? Perhaps. True? Mmm-hmmm.

There's always a way to figure it out. Sometimes you just need a dance break in between.

There’s always a way to figure it out. Sometimes you just need a dance break in between.

Sometimes clients come with their own drama. And you need to step back and realise what's theirs and what's yours.

Sometimes clients come with their own drama. And you need to step back and realise what’s theirs and what’s yours.

Also - THIS. You'll need it from time to time if you start your own business. But you know what? It's one hell of a party in those pants.

Also – THIS. You’ll need it from time to time if you start your own business. But you know what? It’s one hell of a party in those pants.

Follow Pomegranite on Pinterest for more of this cheesy goodness.

How to choose a business partner: The Pomegranite model

Today, Pomegranite celebrates making it through its first year. And what a year it’s been. Sarah and I have travelled an incredible road together and though there were blisters (and injured ankles), we are now getting into our stride, getting fitter and running faster. This journey did not begin 365 days ago but a long, long time before that and I’m going to impart the wisdom we have learned about choosing a business partner.

1. Share some common ground.

Sarah and I were at Rhodes University together all the way up to honours. We weren’t particularly close friends but good enough that when the end of the year came along and I had no idea what to do with my life, I accepted Sarah’s invitation to join her and another classmate, Harry Davies (more about him later) on a trip to Ireland to find their fortunes.

2. Have similar dreams.

Find our fortunes we did not. It was early 2008, the recession had just hit Ireland in a BIG way and the only work we could get was going door to door getting people to sign up to monthly charity donations for deaf kids in India. It was a pretty devastating turn of events, going from becoming accomplished academics to not being able to fill in a form on someone’s doorstep because it was snowing and you were so cold you couldn’t feel your fingers. But it was character building and fantastic life experience.

We actually ended up fantasising together about getting a job, you know indoors. With a desk perhaps and maybe even a phone!?

Sarah and I in Ireland before I’d learnt how to not look creepy in photos.

3. Be able to have a laugh together

Despite our day jobs, we had an absolute blast during those few months. We drank Guinness, we danced, we went on adventures, we had philosophical discussions and we made roast chicken. The third memeber in our merry trio, Harry Davies, started Harare News, which also celebrated its one year anniversary yesterday.

Harry, Sarah and me in Ireland. He called us his wenches and we loved him for it although we were the ones getting free beer, not him.

4. Have common interests

Patriotic partying in Ireland.
Going surfing with our friend, Tracy. Read more about these escapades here.

5. Like your partner enough to want to hang out even after work hours.

Up the Creek music festival 2013

6. Trust your partner enough to take risks together.

Sitting on the edge of a cliff on the Aran Islands. Can you tell who’s more comfortable?

7. Choose someone you respect.

This, above all. If you respect each other,  you can have those difficult conversations that are a part of running a business together. I’ve had some practice at this.

2008 – Me to a very ill Sarah in Ireland while drying her hair: “I don’t want you to panic, but I think your hair is stuck in the hairdryer. I’m just going to fetch the scissors…”

2013 – Me to Sarah on the eve of showing the client our first ever website: “I don’t want you to panic, but I think I just deleted the website and I don’t know how to get it back…”

Look at us out now. A job indoors. With a desk and everything! And a great partnership.

Happy Birthday, Pomegranite.

Photo by friend and client, Kate Davies.

Partnership, a possum and a flying bulldog

For this month’s Inspiration Day, we decided to get out of the office and get into “the nature”. It was a little chilly for skinny dipping in Silvermine dam so we went for a walk in one of Cape Town’s gems, Deer Park. It’s a tranquil forest nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, just a stone’s throw from the CBD.

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A classic case of a city photo bombing a forest.

We’d just started our stroll when I saw something dash into the brush to our left. It was swift and agile, moving low to the ground – not a rat or a dassie – but it was long and skinny – it definitely wasn’t a squirrel. I stood aghast, filled with the excitement of big game spotting, pointing at it where it was a moment ago, willing Sarah to see the creature but completely unable to find its name. Eventually, I uttered, “possum!” at which point he popped his head out from behind a bush and looked at me as if to say, “Seriously?” and Sarah doubled over laughing. After a few moments, she managed to get out the words, “It’s a mongoose!”. Satisfied that he had been correctly acknowledged, he scampered off again after throwing me a disdainful scowl.

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Sarah, the river sprite.

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Pondering the path of least resistance.

We clambered over some rocks to sit next to a stream in the wintry sun. With some exciting new things happening for Pomegranite very soon, we had the chance to talk about how we wanted our business to work and how we would work together. A guy ran past with a dog trotting behind, obscured but the long grass. Our conversation stopped abruptly when we witnessed a stocky bulldog flying through the air in mid bomb-drop. She landed in the little dam with a glorious splash and I’m pretty sure her flapping cheeks were curled upwards at the edges. Soon enough, she bobbed to the surface, under-bite first and paddled back to her human for more, curly piggy tail wiggling.

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The site of the flying bulldog

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We saw a path striking out from the clearing around the waterway and decided to see where it would go. Once I had got us properly lost and we were wandering around just trying to find our way back to the car park (all romance of the adventure long gone), it struck me how similar getting lost together is to running a business. Both can be tiring and uncomfortable situations where you have to negotiate choices and make decisions. You have to rely on your partner’s skills and trust them. There’s no one else but you and your partner to get through challenges and so you have to stand by him or her and figure it out. Most importantly, you don’t split up. Ever. Because that’s a classic start to a horror movie.

What you really want to say on Valentine’s day

Fancying someone makes you a little crazy. The early stages of a ‘something’ with someone (heaven forbid you actually put a label on it!) are fraught with doubt and tentative steps. Throw in a whole day in which you are expected to create the magic of romance, the swoops of desire and affection, the wonder of finding a soul mate, and it’s bound to freak both of you out. Here are some cards that say what you actually want to say this Valentines day (unless you’re all gooey in love, in which case move along to Hallmark!)

awkward-valentines-card-1 card31 o-I-HEART-YOU-570 o-VDAY-CARD-4-570 o-VDAY-CARD-7-570 o-VDAY-CARD-8-570 o-VDAY-CARD-9-570 o-VDAY-CARD-10-570 o-VDAY-CARD-11-570 o-VDAY-CARD-12-570 o-VDAY-CARD-15-570 o-VDAY-CARD-19-570 o-VDAY-CARD-21-570 o-VDAY-CARD-INTO-YOU-570 o-VDAY-CARD-THING-570 o-VDAY-CARD-TOGETHER-570

Got any great finds to add? Hit us up in the comments below.

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