Emma King

The Friday Street Club

What does your company do?

The Friday Street Club is a creative marketing and communications agency based in Cape Town, serving clients and brands from around the world. We have been named the Best Small Consultancy three years in a row at the annual PRISM Awards. We offer brand strategy, PR and media relations, design and branding, digital and social media, content creation and events services. The business is very firmly based around four core values that underpin everything we do: • Craftsmanship: We take attention to detail really seriously. We’re close on being obsessed in fact. We want to do really, really good work, that impresses our clients. We think that typos and sloppy grammar are rude. • Passion: We care about the brands and clients we work with. If we can’t love them, how can we get anyone else to love them. • Simplicity: We like to keep it simple and transparent. We don’t bamboozle people with jargon and sell them impracticable plans. • Happiness and kindness: We believe in partnership and mutual respect – we think we can be happy at work and have fun along the way. We have no time for big egos, mean people and psychos, and we care about the communities and the country that we live in.

What is your biggest success?

As well as winning business and awards, I believe that the values and way we work is one of our biggest suceesses. We were one of the first South African agencies to sign the Clean Creatives pledge. This project brings together over 1 000 business, creative, PR and advertising professionals globally who strive towards a safe climate future, and who have signed pledge not to work with fossil fuel companies and key polluters, as a commitment to the climate crisis. Since inception of the business we have supported the Abaphumeleli Home of Safety, an orphanage and home of safety in Khayelitsha. This houses up to 40 children and teens in the home of Evelyn Makasi, who loves and treats them as her own. For several years we have covered all schooling costs for all of the children, and we also hold an annual Christmas party and fundraising even. We also support a number of NGOs and passion projects on a pro-bono basis. These include: The Underdog Project, which pairs at-risk teens with shelter dogs; Rhino Tears Wine, which raises funds to be used it the war against rhino poaching; and Santa's Shoebox, which collects and distributes personalised gifts of essential items and treats for underprivileged children.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Starting a business by myself was challenging and sometimes lonely – despite me working with an amazing team of people, often there wasn’t someone to turn to, to bounce ideas off or get support from at a management level. I found that connecting with outside networks, such as the WPO (Women President Organization) which I belong to is really valuable, as it fosters support from other women in similar positions, facing similar challenges. Managing people and overseeing the HR element of the business is also hard – not because I don’t like people or don’t like managing them, but because every single person is different, with their own stories that they are living and their own challenges and goals that they are working with. The whole company recently went through one-on-one and group workshop with business coaches built around our enneagram personality types, which has really helped us understand ourselves and each other and how we turn up at work.