Bee Festive Blog
Hive highlights ft. Creative Barn
Welcome back to our weekly Hive Highlights blog on the Bee Festive website! We're excited to present the latest edition of our Hive Highlights Weekly Blog, where we showcase remarkable local South African brands and their inspiring stories. As advocates of sustainable living and all things local, we're passionate about supporting small businesses in our community. Join us as we discover and celebrate the incredible creativity and talent of South African entrepreneurs.
This week, we'll be speaking with Tamlyn, Dylan, and their team from the Creative Barn. I had the pleasure of meeting them during one of their workshops in Johannesburg, which I found incredibly enlightening and worthwhile. Given their significant influence on Bee Festive and my personal journey, I've decided to showcase the Creative Barn. Tamlyn and Dylan consistently offer forward-thinking guidance on social media and smartphone photography, always staying one step ahead. Thank you for joining us today!
Hi, Tamlyn, Dylan and the team!
Tell me a bit about yourself:
Creative Barn is the brainchild of Dylan and Tamlyn Little. We've been luxury lifestyle + wedding photographers for the past 15 years. Currently moving more into a digital online space. We are best known for our photography work and building the creative space called Culturebarn. Currently living just outside Port Elizabeth with our two small kids and slobbery dog. We left Jhb just before covid for a slower paced life and have loved the changes it's brought to our previously city slicker lifestyle! You will almost always find good coffee, a glass of wine and a camera lying around our home! We are foodies and cooks and travellers, in whatever order you like!
What inspired you to create this brand?
As wedding photographers for over 15 years, when our kids came along, we wanted to trade weekend work for more work we could do at home. We quickly saw the need to move from our service based business into something that was more scalable. When we started taking on more work for brands shooting products, we quickly realised South Africa had very limited resources for product photographers and content creators compared to other countries. We decided to create products and resources we ourselves needed for our creative work and share that with the community we were already so familiar with. We have always wanted Creative Barn to be a BARN, hub or lab of resources for our creative community. It's still our main focus!
Can you tell me about the products you offer and what sets them apart from similar products on the market?
We offer a range of styling surfaces for product and video visuals for content creators and photographers. Our signature workshops have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs to photograph their offerings and services as well as guided them in the art of selling those services on social media effectively! Our physical products are of a superior quality to similar products on the market. Customers often comment on how our surfaces compare with others and all of our products are tried and tested by professional photographers first before being launched on our store, our guiding principle is we will not sell anything we ourselves don't use or need!
What is the story behind the name of your brand?
We wanted to create a 'home' for all our creative resources! We've always loved the idea of living in the country as it's how Tamlyn grew up. So, the idea of building a BARN where all our creative resources could live seemed like the best fit at the time!
Are your products handmade or locally sourced?
All our products or locally made in South Africa
What are your values as a brand and how do they reflect in your products?
As a brand we value: Creativity, Quality, Innovation, Community and Education!
We encourage our customers to explore and experiment with our products to create unique and original content. Our team strives to provide our customers with reliable long lasting tools that enable them to produce high quality content consistently. Our products are available to anyone willing to try regardless of your skill or budget. We highly value innovation and are constantly pushing boundaries and developing new tools to help our customers create better and more engaging content. The Creative Barn has a high value for our community and always encourages our customers to connect, share their work and collaborate with our community! We highly value education and provide our customers with resources and guidance to help them develop their skills and get the most out of our products. This allows them to create better content.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a local brand, and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge has been managing our time, building a successful online store while stiff running a very busy photography business and studio. We have automated much of our processes recently and we continue to fine tune the automation of our business on the back end, and its been a game changer!
What are your future plans for the brand?
We will continue to become a valuable resource for creatives and small business owners, we are about to launch our much anticipated ONLINE courses and EDUCATION will become a big drive in our business in the months and years to come.
How can consumers best support your brand and the local community?
So many small business owners / startups struggle to make a success of their business in the first few years. Our resources are geared especially for them! Besides making use of the tools we offer, sharing our educational content is love shown to us we always cherish!
Who is someone that inspires you?
We are always inspired by originality and authenticity, no matter how small or simple! We live in a society that 'designs' and 'creates' by Pinterest, an era where directly copying someone elses creativity is not frowned upon, so when someone has the strength to really put themselves out there, TRY something new, and do it with excellence, THAT always inspires us!
What is your favourite song?
Right now, Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
What do you love most about South Africa?
The people, the food, the space we have! We've been privileged enough to document families from all cultures in South Africa in some of the most beautiful locations this country has to offer and we all share the same values, our love of family, beautiful food and this diverse country we get to call home.
Is there anything you could say to someone wanting to start their own business?
Definitely! It's a wild ride working for yourself! But it will stretch you and ignite fires within you, you never knew existed! If you are intrigued by entrepreneurship, GO FOR IT! It won't be easy! Surround yourself with people that are better than you, LEARN as much as you can, and pick yourself up when you've made a mistake, the beauty is in the journey, it's not a competition with anyone other than yourself!
Is there anything more you would like to add?
Thank you for asking these beautiful questions, we hope we've done them justice!
To end of this blog, i just want to say a huge thank you to the Creative Barn for taking the time to feature in this edition. We have really enjoyed getting to know you more and look forward to working with you in the future.
Thank you all for joining us along our Hive Highlights journey. We look forward to seeing you again next week.