WE.COLLABORATE: A PROJECT BETWEEN FRIENDS
We’d like you to believe that most ideas are born from a frustration, need or necessity and we’re like most ideas except we didn’t start out like most, we were neither frustrated or in need. In fact, it was the complete opposite, we were happy. Before We.Collab became We.Collab we were just an idea then Design Hub and almost Procreate, we were brought together not because of what we didn’t have but because of what we did and eventually how we brought those things to the table.
So, this story is from my perspective and it might change from time to time depending on how my co-founder Malesela Molepo remembers it although we both agree today that We-Collab is firmly built on the idea that “You don’t have to know everything. You just have to know where to find it” which came from working together.
On that, the year was 2016, Malesela and I both young, excited and pursuing our short-lived careers in Architecture after one brief coincidental year of studying together found ourselves comfortably in our first jobs. He’d find himself a home in a Cormurtial design firm, slugging away one wall and door detail at a time on technical construction drawings, while I stumbled my way to the less beaten path of retail design specifically supermarket design which meant a lot of space planning and consumer psychology, two things I was particularly interested in. Unknowingly at the time we were already whisking together the right ingredients for the project he’d eventually throw our way and bring us and you here.
As a master of sweet talking It was a matter of time until Malesela gave me a call one afternoon about THE project, the game changer, the project we’d talk about that started it all, which was true although not in the way we’d both expected. The project was simple, a renovation of an existing property into a lounge, bar, take-away and sit-down restaurant. Now for anyone in design or construction if you’d seen the existing building it was as easy as it comes we basically had a box we could recreate from the inside out. Something Malesela structurally and technically had worked on more than a hundred times. The beauty of the project and my overdue introduction to this story came about thanks to the retail element of the project. At that stage of the call-up I had worked almost exclusively on everything retail related from the back of house, kitchen, prep space, storage, delivery etc. Everything that makes your local Woolworths, Checkers or Spar tick. So needless to say, we felt pretty up to the job.
We shook hands, cleared the details and got to work. After a few months of blood, sweat and virtually no tears we got it done, out of nothing now stood something and proudly our first born was born. And while celebrating our success we wondered why for our first solo project it went so well, why we enjoyed the project so much and why we felt so good afterwards. We came around to one answer. We both had a complimentary set of skills that allowed us to lean on each other effortlessly, allowing each of us to focus and do what we were good at. Naturally we thought well if this worked for us and our client it could work for virtually anyone in any industry. Imagine how much better, quicker and cheaper it would be if we were able to bring together the right skills for any project, and from that eventually We.Collab emerged as the answer to that question.
Today I think because of that we both believe the more you give away power and the anxiety and stress of trying to be and know everything and trust in others the more powerful you become, in such a way that you don’t have to lie awake at night trying to control everything but do things beautifully by trusting everyone else.