Why support local?

Is local Lekker_ (1)
Really, why? Surely I can get my goods and services much cheaper from larger companies? They sell goods in bulk and therefore are able to hand a reduction on price to their customers. It is a win-win, surely?!

Well in my opinion, no. Do I look for a great deal? Of course! We all do however, there are many fabulous deals to be had with local, smaller businesses too. 

According to this article from these are some of the advantages to supporting local businesses. The reasoning behind supporting local is a valid one. Particularly for a country like South Africa. Our economy is driven by the small guy and without the local entrepreneur, our economy would crash! According to Business Tech, 98.5% of the country’s economy is supported by SME’s! Guys!!! 98.5% that is insane! However, SME’s are only contributing to 28% of jobs for the economy! That is staggeringly low! There are many factors contributing to this and I encourage you to read the article but for me, I believe it is due to the fact the these SME’s do not have the adequate support to GROW! And I am not only referring to investment and mentorship of these individuals but also the local support where people engage with these companies and buy their goods and services. 

But why?? Why are people purchasing goods and services from other companies rather than supporting the local guy? Well, I don’t have the answer exactly but I believe it may have something to do with these 2 factors, education and quality. People need to know about you in order to buy from you! This requires a rigorous advertising campaign, investment and mentorship. However, quality also play a big role. I get the impression that people are worried about using the local guy because they believe they will get better quality somewhere else. Sadly, in some cases this is true and local companies have let their customers down but with a little bit or research from the customers point of view, it will very quickly reveal the companies you do and do not want to do business with. The media online talks about quality and changing the narrative. Now more than ever, people want quality so if you are an SME, always have your customer experience and quality at the forefront of what you do! 

From Mkono’s point of view, we know and understand the challenges of getting yourself out there and generating the support to drive business! I get it! I really do! So, if you want to support local, really support local, use us for your next event! Book a place at a workshop and when you do and you experience the quality that Mkono has to offer, talk about us, refer us, support us! If you are a SME that is struggling to get yourself out there, get in touch! Working together, collaborating and encouraging each other is not only good business, it is essential for the heart and soul of our companies and our country. Because at the end of the day, Local truly is lekker!







A morning well spent!


Mamas and their daughters spent a joyful morning at Mkono HQ for a wonderful time filled with flowers and love! Welcomed with a hot cup of coffee and some treats, everyone quickly got their heads into the game! We started on the children’s crowns first and Camilla quickly showed us how to create the base of the crown with wire and tape as well as securing a loop for the back. The children quickly got the hang of twisting the tape around the wire and despite it being a rather tricky task, all the children grasped it very quickly.

Once this was complete, the joyful task of decorating the crown with flowers was next on the agenda which, might I add, is certainly the best part! Each participant go to create their very own version of a flower crown with all the flowers at hand. Each child had a say as to how the flowers were placed on their crowns and in what order.

It didn’t take long and the crowns started to take shape and the children began to get excited as they started to see their creations taking shape. Once the children’s crowns were complete, the children were treated to treats, popcorn, music, colouring in and other activities leaving the moms free to create their own crowns. The time was spent drinking tea and chatting while the larger and more intricate crowns bloomed one by one in each of the moms hands!

Once the crowns were all finished, it was photo time! This was a special moment for each mama and child and all images were sent to each parent for them to keep and frame.

Thank you to Camilla for all her expertise on the day, for also being amazing with the children. thank you also to Jacqueline for taking the beautiful images on the day and a big thank you to all the participants, big and small for enthusiastically taking part in the workshop!

Another day, another amazing flatlay

SOLD OUT! What every workshop organiser wants to achieve. It seems everyone wants a piece of the popular flatlay phenomenon that has hit social media and why not?! It is amazing! Read this article to get a better sense of flatlay photography. This type of photography really allows you to showcase your product, IF you do it effectively. Casandra from Backdrop Shop SA was on hand to not only showcase her amazing products, but also to lend a helping hand.

The workshop got started with coffee, treats, introductions and before you know it… we are all friends, laughing and enjoying each others company. I just love this part of the workshops, it is so wonderful to meet amazing new people and I count myself so lucky to do what I do.

The practical got under way with much enthusiasm and people got busy setting up their boards and playing around with their products and props. Some fabulous images were taken, I mean, take a look for yourself! And of course… the workshop ended with bubbles, of course!

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Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

The next flatlay workshop will be on Saturday 17th November, book now to avoid disappointment. Email

Much love





A doughy morning at Mkono HQ


Mkono HQ was filled with children’s laughter last week as we ran 2 kids workshops designed specially for them! Needless to say, it was a very messy week and we loved every minute of it! The parents were catered for with fresh coffee, rusks, fruit and scones. 

It is amazing to see children sit so quietly for so long… it almost seems unnatural!! What a pleasure it is to see their little cogs going as they stick, paint, cut and roll their way through Mkono’s crafty activities! On this particular morning we ran a salt dough workshop. Salt dough is a form of dough made out of normal household ingredients, particularly salt (hence the name) to make a rollable, squishable dough. The children wasted no time is getting stuck in as soon as the sticky dough touched the table surface. They eagerly began bashing, rolling and particularly, squishing the dough between their fingers. I mean, the sheer delight on their faces was worth every minute! Once the dough came together to form a firm pizza type dough, they began rolling it out and started to think about what cookie cutters they were going to use first and how they wanted to decorate their ornaments. Let me just say, the glitter was particularly popular… Literally a GLITTER BOMB exploded and we were all signing “Can’t stop the feeling” from Trolls! 

Once all the children has finished cutting their ornaments and decorating them, we then began to paint ornaments that were pre made and dried. We had everything from rainbow bears to spotty hearts and the children decided on a combination of single hanging ornaments and garlands! Each child went home with their newly painted creations while their freshly rolled and cut ornaments dried out, which were hand delivered in a little box for them to open.

Thank you to all the fabulous Mkono kids for just being awesome and to the parents for booking them into the workshop and letting them get filthy! What a blast! 

Much love

Use your phone to expand your brand!


Build Your Brand Online

I am so excited to be co-hosting this event with Christina Masureik! The idea for this workshop came up in the Mkono Flatlay workshop and Christina and I have been working to pull this together!


Attend an evening workshop hosted to you by local influencers and industry leaders. Learn to grow your blog, personal brand or business right from your phone using easy to follow Instagram & Phonegraphy tips. In this workshop you will hear from the experts in the start-up space, long time bloggers, new bloggers, business owners and professional photographers. You will learn the ins and outs on how to establish and grow your personal brand or business merely by using the free tools available to us all.

In a Nutshell you will discover:

  1. How to MONETIZE your Brand
  2. How to go from 0-10K FOLLOWERS on Instagram
  3. Why and how to have a digital STRATEGY
  4. The Art & EASE of Phoneography
  5. The PERFECT Presentation on Instagram
  6. How to SELL on Instagram
  7. How to Build a CONFIDENT online personal brand.

Phoneography is the act of creating photos with a smart phone, where the images have been both shot and processed on the device. It is essentially the act of creating photos shot and/or processed by a camera phone. Knowing the best phoneography and Instagram tips will enable you to market your brand yourself in an easy, manageable, and affordable way.

Considered the king of social engagement since 2015, Instagram is more than just a force to be reckoned with. With over 100 million daily users ranging from millennial’s to seniors, Instagram delivers far more social engagement than Twitter or Facebook. If you weren’t using it for your brand or blog yet, you need to start now. If you have been using it but struggle to reach your audience, you need this event.

Local Influencers & Industry Experts

Greeted with drinks/eats on arrival and a short time to network, you will then be seated and addressed by our hosts, followed by two talks from our key note speakers Genevieve Beyleveld and Lauren Dallas.

Genevieve Beyleveld

After studying politics and journalism at Rhodes University, Genevieve moved to Johannesburg and worked in marketing. She later found her niche in magazine journalism and, even although she genuinely loved her job at Caxton Publishers, she left in order to further her studies in Broadcast Journalism at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan, New York.

On her return to South Africa from the States, she worked as a TV Producer, where she produced TV commercials for DSTV and was recently appointed as the South African Foreign Correspondent for See My Africa – a television series which aims to dispel myths about Africa to the rest of the world.

In an insane moment of bravery, she decided to leave the professional world for one where she could drink champagne for breakfast. She needed to be her own boss, even if it means writing stories that she alone will read (or which she reads aloud to her Chihuahua, Master Fifi).  Et voilà, Passports & Pérignon was born.

Spending half her year in New York and the other in South Africa, Passports & Perignon cuts to the ‘front of the line’ when it comes to world’s most talked about hotspots,  whilst simultaneously remaining true to everything that Genevieve loves about life ; satire, humor and a really great massage. In an attempt to change the validity of blogging and social media influence in South Africa as a career choice, Genevieve has been extremely vocal about monetizing one’s brand and demanding market value pay in an ever changing media-centered landscape.

Lauren Dallas

Lauren Dallas is Founder of The Growth Academy, a South African-based eLearning platform that aims to break the myth of the ‘overnight success’ and give entrepreneurs the skills and strategies they need to start and grow businesses. The Growth Academy now has members across 10 countries, and was named as one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies of 2017.

Lauren is also Co-Founder of Future Females, a movement to rapidly increase the number of and success of female entrepreneurs – the community was launched in August 2017 in Cape Town and is now in twelve global cities, with over 10,000 members, and has recently launched the online Future Females Business School.

Lauren is a passionate speaker and mentor on eLearning and growth marketing, including involvement in the Barclays Techstars Accelerator program, Investec Startup School, Africarena,  PWC Future Leaders Conference and previous roles with eBay, Groupon & Accenture.  She also advises on growth strategy to a number of early-stage startups both in Africa and Australasia.

Small Groups – Focused Training

Everyone will then split in to small groups for more focused attention and training on Instagram marketing and Phoneography, rotating stations every 20 minutes. Guests will leave with a goody bag full of spoils from local sponsors, as well as a handbook on “Building & Growing Your Brand”.

Olya Kleinhans

Olya Kleinhans is a Russian published photographer and Insta geek.

After earning her Honours in Economics and Management in 2013 she left for South Africa and started her photography career. After a few years in South Africa she moved to South Korea and started her Instagram journey. Instagram started as a fun social media activity until one day she realised that she doesn’t use any marketing tools except for Instagram and that she was still getting bookings. She started paying more attention to this platform and learnt how to improve sales through this channel.

She understood that to improve her sales, a beautiful picture on this visual platform won’t be enough. And Olya decided to improve her marketing skills. She attended numerous workshops about Instagram, Marketing and Business. She learnt about visual marketing and how to present products in the most appealing way.  Her information is always up to date as she continues mastering her skills. She helped improve numerous businesses’ Instagram profiles which also increased their sales. She knows everything about visuals, trends and branding. Combining her degree and creativity, she opens up a whole new world of endless improvements, experiments and opportunities.

Abigail K.

The go-to girl for Women’s Confidence, Abigail believes that every woman has an obligation not only to herself but to the women in their life to show up in this world as their most confident self.
This journey is a lesson in self-love, self-acceptance & self-respect – to get us all to a place where, IN SPITE of our imperfections, we are confident. Abigail believes that this world needs more feminine input, influence and impact, and confidence is the key to helping women show up in a more significant way.

After years of photographing women and witnessing the transformation that happened in front of her camera when these women were shown, perhaps for the first time, how uniquely beautiful they are, Abigail set about expanding her reach to help women develop into the confident, self-assured women they were meant to be. Abigail continues to photograph women and now also teaches them the tools and techniques they can use to take confident action to connect them to their personal and professional confidence.

Angela Rea

Angela Rea is a self-taught lifestyle photographer and blogger living in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. After living in Tulbagh for ten years with her husband and, for a few precious months, also with their gorgeous little IVF miracle baby Elijah, Angela’s world came crashing down, quite literally. Her husband, Darrell Rea, was killed in the line of duty while putting a fire out from his helicopter. Needless to say, the world spun around her while she grabbed for whatever she could to stabilise herself and be the pillar of strength she needed to be to survive and raise her little boy alone. Her emotional outlet and saving grace became embracing the world of blogging and Instagram. She threw herself in to writing and sharing her grief, her journey as a widow and single mom, and so much more. The creative outlet fuelled her and gave new purpose and meaning as she embarked on the new chapter of life. She eventually dusted off her husband’s old DSLR camera in an effort to snap moments that could last forever.Today Angela is a successful professional photographer and local “mommy blogger/influencer” on her Instagram account @oursunshinejourney where she highlights the special, and sometimes sad, moments from her days raising Elijah without Darrell. Angela is passionate about photography, the power of sharing on social media, and curating a beautiful feed to tell your story well.

Annène van Eeden 

Annène is a graphic designer and photographer with more than 15 years experiencing in producing artwork and photography for various local brands. Her photography portfolio includes products, events, portraits, family and lifestyle. She has a great passion for candidly photographing children. In addition to creating beautiful branding, layouts and photographs for a living, she believes that photography with her cellphone should be just as well composed, edited and curated as any other work she produces. Photographs captured and edited on her phone has featured in several iPhoneography exhibitions and are also showcased on her range of gift tags and wooden prints, called ‘Daisies and Dust’. Annène’s phoneography can be viewed on Instagram at @annene_ve