It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I mean, besides for my birthday and Christmas. Yep, that’s right, it’s #ECMeetUp time! For those who are new around these parts, #ECMeetUp is the biggest blogger and influencer event in the Eastern Cape. I get to organise it alongside my friend and family member, Eleanor of JustEllaBella (she’s family because I made her marry my cousin… well, not “made” but you get the gist).
Our previous meet ups have been pretty-flippen-fantastic, because the influencers in the Eastern Cape are rather spectacular. I mean, seriously, they are the most genuine bunch of peeps this side of the internet. And, if you consider all the drama that goes on in the online world of “influencing”, it’s rather refreshing to hang out with real life people who are super nice AND they understand what you mean when you say things like “I really need to find a plugin that will help me to monetize my website”.
We usually invite a guest speaker to join us, since we’re all about learning and growing. But, this time around, we followed the prompts of the pre-event survey (we usually send one out before each meet up) and it seemed that most bloggers wanted to learn from… get this… EACH OTHER!
Eeeek! Feeling like a proud mama over here!
This totally blows my mind because it means that game recognizes game. I love that our local influencers rate each other AND that they are humble enough to want to learn from each other. That’s rare and beautiful and you guys can all have ice-cream for dessert!
I also love that we get to showcase (read: show off) some of the local influencers who are kicking butt and taking names. They are pretty rad, if I do say so myself.
Lastly, we want to celebrate diversity at this year’s meet up and what better way to do it than to witness the fitness of a group of influencer’s who each represent a different niche. I mean, it’s pretty cool, you have to admit.
Anyways, before I break out into song and dance, let me introduce you to the 2019 ECMeetUp panel. They are:
Anje Rautenbach is the Port Elizabeth based travel writer behind the blogs, Going Somewhere Slowly and Vroetelvoete. She has been globetrotting, writing, discovering and capturing the world as a solo traveller since 2009. Anje is passionate about responsible travel, animal rights in tourism and discovering the nooks and crannies of small towns and big cities. The award winning blogger has an extensive following with a over 20 thousand reach on social media alone. Her work has been featured in countless magazines and on numerous websites and despite being rather camera shy, she is one of the most recognized faces in travel blogging in South Africa.
Abegail Witbooi, is a social media maven who has taken inspiration from her natural krulkop and used her social media presence to create a booming local business. Krulkop Society is a local South African brand which aims to create a culture of authenticity and originality. The brand expanded as Abby noticed the need for declarations of affirmation, love and appreciation in the society. This was how the Krulkop Society Gifting and Treats range was birthed. All merchandise and goods aim to uplift, empower and boost self-esteem, and confidence in society. A big part of Abby’s brand is growing a sense of community and togetherness. Her success has seen her being featured in numerous articles and on television but to her, seeing connections between people and in society is the biggest success and achievement for the brand.
24-year old Port Elizabeth social media influencer, lifestyle blogger, part-time accounting student and school teacher, Laurina Machite manages her own online platform that empowers women with a range of lifestyle and beauty advice, from fashion tips to make-up tutorials. Laurina was a crowd favourite as one of the top ten finalists in the 2018 SABC 3 presenter search. She has worked with top national and international beauty brands and apart from regulary MCing various events, she is one of the featured faces of the All Things Hair web series. Laurina built up her following in just a few years and has accumulated a reach of 15.2 thousand.
Megan Kelly Botha is the blogger behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, and Client Relationship Manager at SOMS. Her blog focuses on beauty, parenting, and lifestyle and aims to be a convenient one-stop platform, where you can catch up on the latest beauty launches, parenting tips, messages of faith and lifestyle trends, with a heavy dose of bad-jokes and relatable realness. Her passion for digital marketing saw her and her husband starting their own digital agency which later lead them to joining one of the fastest growing digital agencies in the country. She spends her free time watching far too much soccer and starting online petitions for chocolate to be recognized as a crucial food group.
Amanda Klaas from Yellow Orchid Child is originally from Kwa-Zulu Natal but has been in Port Elizabeth long enough to call it home. She studied Media Communication & Culture at Nelson Mandela University and started blogging in 2016 as a way to share her voice with those who might relate. Yellow Orchid Child is a uniquely curated style, lifestyle and motivational blog. She has used her brand of motivation to further her career as a keynote speaker and host at various events. She has also aligned herself with niche brands and has one of the fastest growing social media platforms, locally.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Luchae, could you not have chosen a less attractive panel, I mean, we’re going to be SO distracted by their sheer beauty, how will we learn?! We’ll figure this out together folks.
Also, second thought: Luchae, where the guys at?! Good question, my friends, good question. We’re hoping to see more male involvement at future meet ups (‘sup boys) and hope to feature alot more male influencers at upcoming events. I mean, we’re known for pulling rabbits out of hats, but even our kungfu is not strong enough to include those who are not around.
Anyways, we are so excited to learn from these industry experts! Are you? Our 2019 #ECMeetUp seats are fully booked, but if you’d like to attend (because, as Dany Targaryen has taught us, you just never know), please do drop us an email and we’ll add you to the waiting list.
Check out JustEllaBella tomorrow for more deets on the upcoming 2019 ECMeetUp.