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Category: Blog

working from home tall pink gumboots
by Liz December 13, 2021

What Working from Home Taught Us in 2021


In February of 2020, we installed our Tall Pink Gumboots signage outside our office space. We had been working there for roughly a year and were excited to finally put our bright pink gumboots up on the wall for passersby to see from the road. A month later, the country went into lockdown. Oh, the sad irony! Our team retreated to their homes to weather the storm and we’ve been working from home ever since.


All things considered, it’s been a successful and healthy work dynamic, despite the decision to give up our office space during the pandemic. At the end of 2020, we felt like we were starting to find our rhythm. At the end of 2021, we’ve learnt many valuable things about working from home remotely with our team while still staying connected and motivated. Here are just some of the things working from home in 2021 taught us:


1. Trust your team

Whether you’re the boss or the employee, without trust a healthy work from home team dynamic is impossible. Teamwork is about relying on your colleagues to do their part and making sure they can rely on you to do the same. While it might be tempting to implement a strict clocking-in schedule and work monitoring, a little bit of trust can go a long way when making your teammates feel motivated and independent.


2. Stay connected

At Tall Pink Gumboots, every Monday we take part in a WIFL – or ‘what I feel like’ – where we all get an opportunity to share about what’s been going on in our lives over the weekend and what our headspace looks like at the start of that week. Staying up to date on what’s going on in each others’ lives, the stressful parts and the good ones help us to work better together. (The occasional breakfast meetup doesn’t hurt either!)


3. Keep a routine

This is old hat advice, but as cliché as it might sound, it’s true: having a dedicated workspace where you regularly spend time throughout the workday on a consistent schedule helps you to stay motivated. Keeping a routine is the healthiest way to stay motivated and balance your time. It also helps you to clock off when work is done. Leave your work at your workspace once the workday is done!


4. Speak up when you’re feeling overwhelmed

The pandemic has been hard on all of us. And as much as we’ve done our best to find the silver lining and weather the storm, we all have moments when burnout hits. Our schedules and responsibilities can sometimes be turned upside down, leaving us feeling overwhelmed. And when that happens, it’s been essential for us to speak up so that we can help each other carry our loads together.


5. Give each other grace

You’ve heard it before, you’re probably sick of it, but we’re saying it anyway: These are unprecedented times (Sorry). Staying flexible as the world shifts and our situations change also means giving each other grace in the moments that we fail. Our team has gone through building and moving houses, serious surgery, the looting and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, and all the everyday stresses of health, finances, and family on top of it. While getting the work done is important, so is giving each other grace and understanding that this has been a hard time for everyone.


So our last tip is not just one for working at home, but one we believe should be applied to all facets of our lives: Let’s all be a little kinder to each other. Though things are looking up and businesses are beginning to recover, there are still hard times ahead. One of the most important things that will get us through – not just as businesses but also as people – is kindness, empathy, and understanding.

Tall Pink Gumboots 5 things we learnt in 2020
by Liz November 25, 2020

5 Things We Learnt in 2020


Phew. Where to even begin with this year? From lockdowns and social distancing, Netflix obsessions and wearing pyjamas all day every day, facemasks, global anxiety, working from home, and way too much junk food. Somehow it has felt incredibly long and incredibly short. Here are five things we’ve learnt along the way:


1) You Have to Roll with the Punches

We’re sure we don’t have to describe to anyone reading this how difficult it was (and continues to be) to predict which crazy direction the year would turn next in 2020. Much of this year has consisted of treading water and hoping that another wave didn’t swallow us up. When you can’t safely plan for what tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, will hold, there’s only one solution: stay loose, stay flexible, and roll with the punches. Sadly this year we’ve had to let go of our office space. But in true rolling with the punches fashion, we’re staying optimistic. We’ve always said that the best thing about our job is that we can do it from anywhere, and our team continues to work well together, even from our separate homes. Besides, there’s nothing an occasional coffee meetup can’t fix. 


2) The World is a Very Big Place

2020 has reminded us that the world is a very big place filled with innumerable people – all from different backgrounds, with different opinions, different struggles, and different talents. Covid-19, as devastating as it has been, has shown us that our world is so much bigger than just what’s in front of us. While that knowledge can sometimes feel overwhelming, we think there’s still value in being reminded of our place in the wide, glittering tapestry of our vast global village. There’s value in engaging with information around how other countries are handling the pandemic and weighing it up against South Africa’s response. It’s important to watch the news of BLM protests in the USA and ask ourselves questions about racism and how it applies to our own lives. We can benefit from keeping informed about the rest of the world and educating ourselves on our place in it. We’re all part of a global village, and 2020 has reminded us all that we have a role to play in that village.


3) The World is also a Very Small Place 

The internet can sometimes make us feel like the big wide world is right outside our door. But we find our rootedness in our real, physical communities. With this year’s lockdown, we had to retreat to our own small worlds – and we were reminded of how important those are. Even as lockdown lifted, social distancing rules have still kept us from socialising with the frequency and scale that we might want to. Though these changes have been difficult to adapt to, they have had an unexpected benefit. They’ve helped us learn not to take our friends, families, and loved ones for granted. Being forced to slow down and stay at home for a while has taught us how to step back and appreciate what’s truly important. Yes, the world is a very big place, but it’s also very small, and there’s beauty in appreciating that.


4) You Have to Manage Your Emotional Bandwidth

2020 has been a year of anxiety. We’re worried about our health and our loved ones. We’re anxious about what the future is going to hold. This anxiety can hinder our ability to focus and channel our energy into the right places. We were lucky enough to chat with the talented Craig Rodney recently and learn about his Emotional Bandwidth Management model. His workshop taught us how to decide what we should be spending our valuable time focusing on, and how to free up our emotional bandwidth to focus on what’s important. A pertinent and helpful workshop, it was just what we needed to help deal with the stresses of this year. We were left with this quote from Ivan Nuru as a reminder for the future: “If it is out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.” 


5) Optimism is a Strategy for Making a Better Future

Noam Chomsky says, “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it’s unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world.” At Tall Pink Gumboots, we’re big believers in optimism. We’re big believers in finding the silver lining no matter how dark the storm might look. We have hope for the future. We have to. 

Tall Pink Gumboots 2019
by Liz December 5, 2019

5 Things We Learnt in 2019


From pizza lunches to Afro’s breakfasts, sad goodbyes to happy hellos, 2019 has been a full, stressful, happy, and rewarding year for Tall Pink Gumboots. Here are five things we’ve learnt along the way:


1) It sucks to say goodbye

It was a sad day this year when we said goodbye to our graphic designer, Rayne. She was with Tall Pink Gumboots since its early days and was such an integral part of our growth, lending us her visual skills and expanding our services. Our graphic design department was left in good hands though, as we hired the amazing Warren at the end of 2018 and he’s taken to Tall Pink Gumboots like a duck to water. The team grew even more this year in March when we hired Courts as a copywriter to (among other things) whip up captions and write blog posts for our clients. We look forward to seeing what new projects our very capable team tackles in 2020!


Tall Pink Gumboots 2019


2) Westville is full of delicious food

Pizza, strips and tjips, sushi, eggs benedict, you name it, we tasted it all this year. From birthday sushi lunches in the office to end-of-project celebrations with mimosas and breakfast spreads, we’ve eaten our way through the Westville area. It’s a blessing and a curse that the TPG office is situated right above Juke’s Pizza, which we can confidently say makes the best wood-fired pizza in the area. The siren call of their lunch special never fails to tempt our team members to abandon their homemade salads and give in to the irresistible taste of cheesy pizza.


Tall Pink Gumboots 2019 Salisbury Westville


3) Ring-making is harder than it looks

We’re not ones for cheesy corporate team building, so we opted instead for pink gin and a ring-making workshop with Michelle Robyn Jewellery. For our 2019 outing, the Tall Pink Gumboots team was welcomed by the talented Michelle into her Station Drive workshop and shown us how to sand, stamp, and solder some silver rings of our very own. We walked away from that incredible evening with unique rings of our own design and making, and with a new appreciation for jewellery making – it’s definitely not as easy as it looks (and we’re not sure if the gin helped or hindered!)


Tall Pink Gumboots Michelle Robyn workshop


4) Every cloud has a silver lining

Our chief boot Liz and her right-hand woman Cally are clearly superwomen, because they somehow found the time to launch a second business this year while still manning the wheel of TPG. Silver Lining Gumboots splashed into the scene in April this year at Splashy Fen Music Festival and has been steadily picking up steam ever since (you’d think we were all obsessed with gumboots). You can spot their stylish gumboots at First Thursdays and markets around Durban, or if you absolutely must have a pair right now you can shop them online. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.


Silver Lining Gumboots Splashy Fen


5) It’s important to unplug

There are pros and cons to working in the world of digital marketing and social media. Pro: you can work just as effectively snuggled up on your couch at home as you can from the office. Con: you always need to be online. After a frantic period preparing our clients for the Christmas season and the new year, we’re looking forward to unplugging and taking a break. We want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing clients we had the pleasure of working with this year. We can’t wait to see what adventures the next year holds!


Durban sunrise 2019

Tall Pink Gumboots Digital Marketing Agency
by Liz October 17, 2019

The Beginner’s Guide to Tall Pink Gumboots


If you’re new here, it’s nice to meet you. And if you’re already familiar with Tall Pink Gumboots, how’s it going? It’s nice to see you again.


With the launch of our new website, we thought we’d take the opportunity to (re)introduce ourselves. For those of you who are new to TPG, please enjoy this definitive guide to thinking pink. For those of you who already know who we are, we thought we’d do a refresher course. (Please pay attention, this may come up in the exam).


What the heck does ‘Tall Pink Gumboots’ mean?

Yes, yes, we know, it’s an unusual name. If you’ve ever heard our name and asked yourself “what the heck does that mean?” then you’re in luck, because we’re here to answer that question.


As the story goes: back in the days when our chief boot, Liz, lived in London, the cold, grey weather really got her down. The sight of everyone wearing black and trudging to the Underground with their heads burrowed into scarves was so uninspiring that Liz decided to inject some colour into her life and the London scene. She went and bought the tallest, pinkest, brightest pair of gumboots she could find, and wore them every day. To this day you will probably spot Liz adventuring around Durban in her trademark pink boots, snapping pictures of sunrises and looking for the next beautiful spot to explore.


Our name serves as a reminder to add colour and fun to everything we do – to not just go with the status quo and trudge around with our faces buried into our scarves. At Tall Pink Gumboots, we like to live colourfully and keep the grey days away with our own special kind of sparkle.


Okay, but what on earth is digital marketing?

Decades ago, who would have thought that you could make a living managing social media pages, teaching websites how to be friends with Google, and strategising the best way to find new clients online? For any business, big or small, a strong and consistent online presence is one of your most important assets. The way consumers engage with brands has shifted massively. Businesses that don’t keep up will get left in the dust of the speeding behemoth that is digital advertising.


Digital marketing is many things and can encompass countless duties, but essentially it boils down to this: good digital marketing means people can find and engage with your brand online. It can be a consistent Instagram content schedule or a backend Facebook campaign. It can be a MailChimp newsletter or a monthly blog post or Google Adwords or anything in between. The possibilities are endless! At Tall Pink Gumboots, we do our best to offer clients the best fit for their purposes. From graphic design & copywriting to an all-encompassing digital strategy, we strive to do all we can to put your business on the (digital) map. Check out our services page to get a rundown of what we can do for you.


How does one ‘think pink’?

We’re passionate about the endless possibilities in the realm of digital marketing. What’s more, we’re always aiming to learn (and be able to do more for our clients). We’re crazy about adding colour to everything we do and we love a bit of cheeky humour. ‘Thinking Pink’ means being on the hunt constantly for new and exciting developments in the world of marketing. It means having fun with social media and not being scared to add that unicorn gif to the Instagram story. ‘Thinking Pink’ means getting excited about the connections we make through our phones and on our laptop screens. It means looking out over the sprawling landscape of the expanding digital world and pushing our shoulders back in confidence, ready to adventure through the digital jungle.


We’ll be posting something new on the blog every month! Make sure you check in here every once in a while for the latest updates on the digital world.


Okay, but like, who are you?

We’re four passionate Durbanites based in Westville. Read more about The Unicorn Squad (that’s what we call our team) on our team page and follow us on Instagram or Facebook if you want to be our friend!


New readers and old, it was so nice to see you.

(Oh, and we were kidding. There’s no exam.)

social media with heart
by Liz August 12, 2016

Social media with Heart

  Tall Pink Gumboots strives to be more than a digital marketing agency, rather a digital marketing agency with heart. So a portion of what clients spend with Tall Pink Gumboots is donated to making a greater impact. Corporate social responsibility is typically associated with large companies, not small businesses. But Tall Pink Gumboots has […]

Social Media for small businesses
by Liz May 7, 2016

I’m a small business – why do I need a brand?

  If you are a small firm or a sole trader, you could be forgiven for thinking that branding is not for you. “Big names spend money on branding, small companies just get on with the job” is a typical response when small businesses are asked about their brand activities. But this perception is wrong. […]