At Purple Giraffe, individuality is everything. The team works with clients on a personal level and getting to know each client, and tailoring how they work with and communicate with them is one of the most important parts of their working week. But that relationship shouldn’t be a one-way street.
Today we take a closer look at head giraffe and founder of Purple Giraffe, Lynda Schenk. With over 20 years of experience, Lynda helps clients one-on-one with business development plans and assists in executing them in the best possible way for their business.
To get a better look at who Lynda is as an individual, and how she feels about her company, I asked her to give us a more personal insight, going beyond what you might find on the Purple Giraffe “about” page or her LinkedIn profile.
Lynda as Head Giraffe
When I asked Lynda what her role is at Purple Giraffe, she answered, “My role at Purple Giraffe is to make sure everybody is happy with what they are receiving and doing.” Lynda believes that the client and her team are equally important, and she aims to please both sides of her company in order to get the best results.
Lynda studied a Bachelor of Management and Human Resources at the University of South Australia, going on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Marketing later on. With an extensive list of experiences, such as Senior Brand Manager at Hardy Wine Company, Marketing and Sponsorships Manager at the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Executive Officer for Wine Communicators of Australia, it’s clear Lynda has experienced the industry through diverse roles.
Luckily, her past positions lead her to create Purple Giraffe. Lynda says that the creation of Purple Giraffe was a classic case of being “in the right place and the right time rather than being a planned and a long-term desire.” Lynda explains that she wanted to see if she could be successful on her own, and with titles such as 2018 Australia Women in Wine Marketer of the Year and 2019 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Finalist, it is obvious she has been. Her one regret is not starting the business 10 years earlier.
When it comes to the working environment, Purple Giraffe dominated by motivated women and one very “brave” man. When asked why, Lynda specified that, even though Purple Giraffe is a flexible and equal opportunities workplace, “this is not the reason why we mostly have women, it is the fact that they are simply the best people for the job.”
Lynda as a Business Woman
When it comes to owning and running a business, motivation is a vital part of the puzzle that is often a struggle. Lynda explains that she is innately goal driven, “Each year I set a budget for the business and each month I review the results against budget and update the forecast. It’s in my training from working in the industry and it’s in my nature to religiously work to this standard.” While she knows that individual work is important for motivation, Lynda emphasises that being surrounded by intelligent people who are good listeners is extremely helpful in the often lonely trade of business ownership.
It’s obvious that Lynda loves working in her sometimes crazy office. She says her favourite part of her job is “working with my team and the clients every day. We only work with people we like and if we like them and their brand we work hard to do a good job for them.” A real people person she is!
Seeing a brand bloom and grow with the support of Purple Giraffe is the most rewarding thing for Lynda. She illustrates her four favourite projects:
- Developing a client’s Marketing Plan, then helping them to implement it and watching their business grow as a result
- Setting up VIP or loyalty programs for wineries and watching them grow
- Updating and upgrading packaging to take a brand from “ho-hum” to “wow”
- Developing and implementing fully integrated marketing campaigns through radio, print, and digital media platforms
It’s clear that Lynda loves helping people achieve their goals, whether that’s as a marketing consultant or a student mentor. When I asked Lynda if she had any advice for others who want to follow in the footsteps of a successful worker, she gave a valuable answer. “Many years ago, I worked with a supplier who made a big blunder on an order,” Lynda explained. “They fixed the issue so very well that I was loyal to them for years. It was a huge learning lesson that I have adopted.” Ultimately, Lynda believes errors are a part of life, nobody intends to or likes making them, but we are all human and errors occur. The character of a person and/or business can be determined by the way they “fix” their errors.
Lynda as Herself
Lynda describes herself as passionate, caring, and fun and her friends and co-workers would do the same. While work is a huge part of Lynda’s life, she is much more than just a marketing guru-ssshhhmuru, as she so humorously puts it . She loves spending time with her family. Believe it or not, Purple Giraffe is actually named after her son’s favourite toy as a child. She also loves to cook and watch movies when she is not in the office.
About the author
After moving to Australia from the United States, Julia Ball found a love for writing and marketing communications. She is currently enrolled in her third year at the University of Adelaide, double majoring in Creative Writing and Marketing. She is now interning with Purple Giraffe and hopes to pursue a career as a copywriter in the future.