Working From Home? My Budget-Friendly Dream Home Office

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Ok, so you’ve probably gotten used to working from home but now you need to get settled. In order to work most efficiently you need a room of your own away from the hustle and bustle of family life. It’s also much easier to achieve a good work/life balance if you can shut the door on the place where you run your business.

Try to identify an underused room where you’ll be able to focus. This doesn’t need to be a huge space, but comfortable enough for you to work in. Perhaps a spare bedroom or even the garage – with ventilation of course. Here is my dream list of things I want for my home office space.

1. I’m into 20th century modern art, so I want this abstract black and white piece to compliment the pink tones. It reminds me of Robert Motherwell.

You can purchase this piece here

2. This dalmation polka-dot wall decal has me swooning. I love a good black and white accent wall.

3. Who doesn’t love white pineapples to give us that tropical feel, even though we’re inside?

Get these cute pineapples here

4. Must have: Super cute polka-dot coffee mug from Kate Spade to match my accent wall.

Get this cute thermal mug here

4. Then to monitor my water intake (gotta stay hydrated in these times) I have this cool water bottle!

Keep hydrated with this water bottle. Get it here

5. Even through I’m all about digitizing my life, I couldn’t help but covet these pink “I’m very busy” folders from bando.

This would be a great addition to your home office. Get it here

6. Don’t worry, the other side says, “Let’s Stay In.”

This is such a cool sign. Get it here

The COVID-19 Playlist: Reggae and Dancehall Songs for the apocalypse

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With folks self-quarantining and social-distancing — and all live music entertainment shut down — I’m putting together a stay-at-home soundtrack for the viral apocalypse until Protoje and the crew buss a livestream on us.

Turn your room into a dance with the sleek and portable design of this Marley Bluetooth speaker. Purchase here

Serious times: Gyptian

Untold Stories: Buju Banton

Justice: Sevana

Guide Over us: Sizzla Kalonji

Any Weather: Vybz Kartel

W: Koffee

Hol a Fresh: Red Dragon

Popcaan: Firm and Strong

Listen to your playlist with Beats by Dre Classic Black Headphones. Purchase here

I Can: Chronixx

Fresh & Clean: Jazz Elise

Babylon: Jane MacGizmo

Feeling Chronixxx? Buy a tee

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

7 Jamaican-Made Things You’ll Want on Hand If You Have to Work From Home.

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I’ve been working from home for at least 3 months now since I launched my agency, The Storyteller in January. As someone who is used to being at home most of the day, in all honesty the past few days have been difficult.

Being self-quarantined has forced me to enjoy myself more. Here are some things you need to keep on hand now you’re spending more time at home.

1. THE LABEL SNOB water bottle

During the Corona Pandemic, it makes sense to keep hydrated to boost your immune system. These super cute tumblers will save you some trips to the fridge.

Customize tumblers for every member of your family, so that no one has to fight over who gets to use the good cup! You can also keep hot or cold beverages.

2. HERBOO BOTANICALS face & body oil

If you’re practicing good hygiene but your hands are getting dry from all of the 20-second-hand-washing, use Herboo Botanicals mixed with some shea butter to help soothe your dry skin.

Herboo Face & Body oil is made with an amazing blend of coconut oil, jojoba oil and sage essential oil. This unique mixture also allows you to also remove makeup and reduce stretch marks.  Use my code, “KESI” at checkout for a discount.

3. Those Creative People’s 2020 PLANNA

I know we’re used to using those productivity apps, but writing things down improves memory. Being able to fill in the dates yourself gives you the freedom to use your planna at any point in the year, without wasting pages.

A 2020 planner from TCPtings.com helps you stay organized. Use my promo code “LNL-KESI-5” at checkout to get a 10% discount. It also helps you track things like your fitness, water intake and even moods.

4. MICA candle

Burning candles helps to reduce anxiety and lower levels of depression or stress. Using the principles of aromatherapy, scented candles can create the ideal mood and ambience for your home.

Burn this soy candle to help calm your nerves, so you can focus. Soy is better for your health: Soy burns cleaner and produces as much as 90 percent less soot than paraffin, reducing the amount of indoor air pollution produced.

5.Live Juice Bar food delivery service

Plant-based foods are better for you and the environment, besides it comes with a green juice for breakfast and natural juice for lunch. You also get your food delivered two days in advance, so this also saves on delivery costs.

6. JahMah Live Stream

Keep motivated throughout the day with JahMah livestream and play the your favourite hits. They even have playlists based on your mood.

7. One Love Duvet Cover for Naptime

Get ready for naptime and buy it here

You might want to take nap time around 3 p.m-ish. Don’t worry, we gotchu!

What are your essentials now that you’re working from home?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

Beat Street & Dennis Brown Tribute Concert : The Death of Vinyl and the Evolution of Reggae Music

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I took the shuttle from Spanish Court Hotel down to Orange Street, Downtown Kingston, otherwise known as “Beat Street” which runs north from the corner of Parade, last Sunday, February 23rd for one of Kingston Creative’s activities in partnership with Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports, the Kingston and  St Andrew Municipal Corporation to commemorate Reggae Month.

According to Lonely Planet.com “It’s one of the great wellsprings of Jamaican music and was home to Sir Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One Records, as well as the original studios of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Prince Buster’s famous Record Shack.”

Feeling nostalgic? Get this tee here

From 1950s to early 70s, ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dub exploded and became a worldwide phenomenon. Record shops and studios monopolized the street and surrounding areas. Beat Street has become an important historical zone that deserves to be preserved and redeveloped as a reggae historical and economic zone. 

We walked along the street and it reminded me of my days of living in New York, where they’d have the street festivals with art, food and music. Vendors were selling roast corn, chicken soup, ital stew,  roots tonic and beer while murals lined both sides.

The music filled the streets as sound systems, Soultone and Shanghai, played music of the three producers, Clement “Coxson” Dodd, Cecil “Prince Buster” Campbell, and Lee “Scratch” Perry and that of Dennis Brown, who lived at “Big Yard” located at 135 Orange Street. 

This one yah name “inside the Rockers International”

 As we walked, I met Clive Randy Chin, who sat on the corner with a friend. He told me that his father’s studio  and record shop called Randy’s Group on North Parade was being honored as a musical heritage site.

Clive Randy Chin on Beat Street last Sunday celebrating his Dad’s shop being honored as a musical heritage site
at North Parade

He told me that Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Toots and The Maytals,  Dennis Brown, Lord Fraser and even the Peptones all recorded at his father’s studio on North Parade.

Most record shops haven’t survived the death of vinyl or cds for that matter but he made it clear that he’s still producing music but without the overheads—in his home studio.

The Death of Vinyl

So vinyl records ruled that era but as the years went on analog audio recordings degraded the quality of the music as vinyl records and cassette tapes don’t age very well. Did you ever notice when you played a cassette tape over and over again, it affected the sound quality?  If you like to collect vinyl records, here’s a classic by the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, shop here

Nowadays, digital audio recordings are consistently the same sound quality because you can play and copy them endlessly, and they will maintain their original quality forever—unless you manipulate the file, of course.

 I had no prior knowledge of Beat Street or its connection to cultivating reggae and dancehall music until I walked into Trevor “Leggo” Douglas’s recording studio, aka LeggoBeast.

His close relative named, “Q”, sat at the sound machines and answered questions about the history of the studio, how it came to be and where it’s going.

We asked, who had recorded there, to which Q answered, “The better question to ask is, who hasn’t?”

Murals lined the walls of Beat Street. From Sean Paul to Big Youth, Beat Street has seen them all.

Trevor “Leggo” Douglas explained, that every great reggae artist had recorded there from Shaggy to Dennis Brown, with the exception of Bob Marley.

Leggo explained his journey to becoming the owner of the studio, from collecting bottles at dances at 13 to make pocket change, to making cassettes and then migrating to New York to run a robot taxi in order to make enough money to buy the studio equipment and ship them back home.

He then  took us to “Big Yard”, the official childhood home of Dennis Brown. In ruin, however around the back was a small room where people who knew him well lived. Dennis Brown was known for taking care of everyone in the community. They are trying to raise money to make it a museum.

Rockers International is the only surviving vinyl record shop in Jamaica.
Feel like listening to some classics? Purchase Marley Get Together Portable Bluetooth Speaker here

We then walked into Rockers International which is the only surviving vinyl record shop in Jamaica. It reminded me of the shops they used to have in HWT, that my brother used to visit on his trips home from Denmark. He would buy the latest records for his sounds system he and his friends ran.

We finished the day at Randy’s Music Group on North Parade where Randy showed all the old equipment that was gathering dust. Old posters decorated the walls and I found a Magnum Tonic Wine calendar from 2015, I had conceptualized with dancehall artist Stacious posing as an Amazonian woman with a bike man underneath, staring up at her.

Dennis Brown Tribute Concert

I headed back downtown in the evening at the Waterfront where Kristia aka @myrepeatoffender was doing an IG takeover on Reggae Month’s page.

Purchase a memorabilia Dennis Brown T-shirt here

Freddie McGregor, Julian Marley, Richie Stephens and so many other amazing artists came down to tribute Dennis Brown’s birthday.

What a great way to end Reggae Month. Can’t wait until next year!

My 1st Podcast Interview EVER! With Latoya Wakefield of Tallawah Podcast.

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I’m brutally honest in my first podcast about my struggles as a single parent, my depression, working in a male-dominant industry and the sacrifices I’ve had to make to get ahead. I’m grateful to no longer have to ask for permission to be who I am.

Listen to my one-hour interview as I talk about the journey of founding Love Not Likes and The Storyteller Agency. Co.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS
• I share why I believe Jamaica is ten years behind digitally.
• “I’ve always said I want to be paid to be myself.” As a creative, through my agency, I am able to focus on creating opportunities through visibility and attraction marketing.
• The Storyteller Agency Co. aims to create a buzz online, typically for the less mainstream events. Their focus is to create experiential experiences to up-level interest and exposure within the digital space.
• “For me achievement is being recognized in my community.”
• I talk about my struggle with depression intermittently throughout her journey, my credit to therapy, meditation and consistently practicing gratitude as essential in keeping grounded.
• About success and finding your own path, I state, “You need to find the empty spaces in the market that are not being utilized and that, of course, depends on your interest and what your niche is.”

Me with some of the Love Not Likes Blogger community at the launch of Caribbean Dreams fusion media launch

Listen www.anchor.fm/tallawah-podcast .

7th Annual Jamaica Music Conference: Traditional vs. New Media

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Photo Credit: William Richards

I was invited to be a panelist at the 7th Annual Jamaica Music Conference to discuss the social and Emerging Media for the future of reggae and dancehall music. I was invited because we are currently running an influencer campaign for the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport’s Reggae Month’s activities, highlighting some of the great cultural activities and special events on the schedule.

The panelists were on the new media side: Ari Hammond and Naro Hart, Hosts, of The Fix Podcast on YouTube and representatives of traditional media: Ellen Khoelings and Pete Lilly from the popular German-based reggae magazine, Riddim Magazine. And me, the Founder of Love Not Likes, a blogger/influencer network. Although Love Not Likes is fairly new, I’ve been working in marketing and communications for over a decade and so I’m familiar with both mediums.

Photo Credit: William Richards

It was a great opportunity for me to show that they are also different kinds of non-traditional media platforms like CaribVoxx, KingstonCityLife, Haute People and LuxuryJa, dedicated to creating great local content that can also connect with the Diaspora.

Watch part of the discussion on OnStage’s YouTube channel.

Correction: YouTube is number two, not number the number one social media channel.

ABOUT JAMAICA MUSIC CONFERENCE

This is a sponsored post by The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport for Reggae Month. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.


Jamaica Music Conference is the preeminent music conference that connects music artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs globally with the who’s who in the Jamaica music industry. Now in its 7th staging, the JMC provides an opportunity for independent music professionals to network and collaborate with industry peers, seasoned professionals and creatives, showcase emerging talent,and learn best practices and gain insights into the ever-changing business of music, through relevant panel discussions and interactive workshops.

Last Artwalk of 2019: Nod to The Past But Looking to the Future

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The last Kingston Creative Artwalk of 2019 was invigorating. Who knew that in 2018 when the Kingston Creative team conceptualized this event that it would have grown to what it is today?

Bran Pinnock’s “You Can call me on my Payphone”

I walked from the car to the F&B parking lot, a walk I’ve done many times before but this time it was different. Being Christmas time, there was an energy in the air. I was greeted by the usual volunteers who showed me around. I hadn’t bought my Christmas gifts yet, so I was happy to see vendors with different gift ideas. One of my favourite local artisans, Touch by VLS was there as well as others selling clothing and lots of jewelry.

Each greeted me with a smile. For a small alley, the artisans are the heart of Artwalk as they bring us back to the purpose of Kingston Creative, which is to invigorate the arts community.

I bought children’s books from Jamaican authors for my niece and nephew and a book called “Girl Boss” by Sophia Amoruso from Bookophilia and got a nice Christmas discount.

Bookophilia selling children’s books by Jamaican Authors

There was a lot to cover that day, but the first place I went to was the abandoned building at 132 Harbour Street that the team had transformed into a gallery space for the Artist’s Talk with the award-winning artist Phillip Thomas. I spent some time with Phillip when he was exhibiting at The RJD Gallery in the Hamptons one summer. 

Phillip, who is a lecturer at Edna Manley, has shows internationally at least 3 times a year and really has an understanding of the global art market. He mixes Old Masters techniques with modern textures and patterns.

Nanook artists work on display

The exhibition entitled “[UN]finished”, was conceptualized by independent curator and art historian Veerle Poupeye and featured work by emerging artists from the Edna Manley College. Current students Kobi Bailey, Demar Brackenridge, Sasha-Kay Hinds, Tevin Lewis and Brad Pinnock had their pieces upstairs. It also included work by two recent graduates, Yvad Campbell and Trishaunna Henry. 

Joan Webley of Itopia LIfe and the artists from Nanook also had their artwork on display. Nanook was a live art series with artists at all stages of their development. The pieces were done on paper and cardboard and have traveled all over the world for exhibitions.

I spoke to Brad Pinnock who had two pieces on display. An installation which is an old Cable & Wireless phone booth that was painted and said “You can call me on my payphone” a nod to Drake’s song, “Hotline Bling”.

He also showed me a self portrait with his alter egos, one of him sitting on a chair wearing a bright multi-coloured jacket with a crown, smoking a spliff. His other representation of himself was him sitting wearing glasses and reading a book. He explained that its a constant struggle for him to go between both personas.

We spoke about many things, but one of the main things that came out of the conversation is the lack of places for artists like him to display his work.

Man of Valor by Yvad Campbell on display at Unfinished, curated by Veerle Poupeye at Kingston Creative’s Artwalk December 2019

I was particularly drawn to the piece by Yvad Campbell, who had a portrait of Vybz Kartel entitled, “Man of Valor”. He was dressed like a military leader,  decorated with medals, a fur shoal and white gloves. He appeared to be looking down on me and I couldn’t help but snap a picture of me with the piece.

Being a formal artist myself, (I’m a graduate of Pratt Institute), I was emotional about how far Kingston Creative has come and how much they are investing in growing the artist’s community. It also had me thinking about this need for temporary spaces to celebrate art in all its forms.

I was also touched by the Moko Jumbie stilt dancers by L’Acadco and the traditional Jonkonnu Band (South West St. Andrews Jonkonnu) that flooded the Downtown streets and brought me back to a time when I used to see them outside of my house at Christmastime.

For me, art doesn’t have to be in a gallery to be appreciated and we see it everyday on the side of the road, as the street artists display their paintings and crafts in the sun.

But similarly, how graffiti artists have the walls of urban areas to share their art, Jamaica now has a space for hobbyists, amateurs, the undiscovered and even bright stars to showcase their work and I’m so happy.

ABOUT KINGSTON CREATIVE

This post is in partnership with Love Not Likes Blogger Network and Kingston Creative. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

Kingston Creative is a registered nonprofit organisation that believes that Kingston is the Creative Capital of the Caribbean. More information can be found at www.kingstoncreative.org.  The NGO is developing an Art District and Creative Hub in Downtown Kingston, Jamaica in partnership with the following “First 50” Sponsors.

Down in Jamaica Where I Born and Grow: Ode to Reggae Month

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Love Not Likes blogging network I founded recently signed on to help The Ministry of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sport to spread the word about Reggae Month in the online space including social media and blogs.

The goal of Reggae Month is to attract international acclaim for Jamaica as the reggae mecca of the world, enhance travel and tourism for the month of February, and provide an educational platform of entertainment for all ages.

One of the bloggers was out of the country and I filled in, so I went to Montego Bay to cover the first Children of the Icons concert held in Sam Sharpe Square. The first thing I have to tell you about these Reggae Month events is that they are all FREE. It’s amazing to see the wonderful talent that exists in this country.

We traveled on the bus with the musicians who were mostly quiet and reflective. When we got to the Square, I was amazed by the set up. The backdrop was the Sam Sharpe Cultural Centre and on the side of the building was Haile Selassie looking down on us.

The acts that came on were Imeru Tafari (Ifrica’s son), Jahbari, Indie Allen (who is slated to be at the Jamaica Rum Festival March 1st, 2020, another great event put on by the Ministry of Tourism) considers himself an emerging artist but I must say he’s now my new favourite. With charisma that of a seasoned performer, his song, ” Catch a Fire” is now fully repeat on the playlist. Another amazing performer was Richie Spice, who energized the crowd. Richie Spice sang all the songs I’d hadn’t heard in years–Earth a Run Red, Brown Skin, Ghetto Girl…all of them!

Richie is the representation of everything Reggae Month represents, the brother of Pliers and has been singing since the 90’s. He’s been traveling around the world, carrying the message of reggae all the while staying true to himself. Giving the same energy that he would have given a crowd of 10,000 people, I was honored to hear his new release, “Together We Stand”.

Jamaica Jamaica Exhibition launched 02.02.2020, a palendrome day–the first one in 909 years. Photo Credit: Courtseye Visuals
Ebony Patterson’s installation was the nod to the future of reggae music. Photo Credit: Courts Eye Visuals
Diedre in Wanderland covered Reggae Month’s IG Stories for the launch of NGJ’s Jamaica Jamaica exhibition

On 02.02.2020 the first global palindrome day in 909 years, according to CNN.com, The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) and the Jamaica Music Museum along with with La Philharmonie de Paris opened the first of its kind Jamaica, Jamaica!

World Nomad contributor and international travel writer Diedre of http://www.DiedreinWanderland.com was assigned to cover the exhibition as well as the film series for the month. She took over Reggae Month’s IG stories for the day and showed what to expect from the exhibition. Check out http://www.instagram.com/reggaemonthja IG highlights to see an insider’s view of the exhibition.

Initially launched at Philharmonie de Paris in 2017 and titled after the 1985 hit song by Brigadier “The General” Jerry, Jamaica, Jamaica! examines Jamaica has become an extraordinary force in the world heritage and history of music.

From the Afflicted Yard’s photos of Sean Paul, Ninja Man and Vybz Kartel to Peter Tosh’s famed M16 Guitar and the rod that late Prime Minister, Micheal Manley stretched out to the audience as he shared the stage with music icon Bob Marley and late Prime Minister Edward Seaga during the historic “One Love” Peace Concert in Kingston in 1978, the “Jamaica Jamaica Exhibition” features rare memorabilia, photographs, audio-visual clips and art pieces that provides evidence of the potency of how music simultaneously shaped Jamaican culture while impacting world history.

Jamaican music is known world wide yet, its rich history and diversity is often overshadowed by its most famous icon, reggae superstar Bob Marley. This exhibition aims at showcasing a broader vision that has allowed the world to know the island’s music, by digging deep into its past and present in search for the roots of “rebel music”, beyond the cliché and the postcard.

The most ambitious exhibition ever staged on the topic, Jamaica, Jamaica! celebrates the musical innovations born on the island in its specific historic and social contexts, unveiling the story behind the musical genres of kumina, revival, mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall – as well as the impact of the local sound system culture, street culture, and visual arts on today’s global pop culture.

You can download the Reggae Month app on the Google Play store and Apple store. There is everything from film series to lectures and concerts. http://www.reggaemonthjamaica.com

The National Gallery of Jamaica opening hours are: Tuesdays -Thursdays: 10 am to 4:30 pm, Fridays: 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays: 10 am to 3 pm, Last Sundays: the NGJ is open every last Sunday of the month, 11 am to 4 pm. Closed to the public on the other Sundays and on Mondays and Public Holidays (Offices are open on Mondays)

The NGJ is also occasionally open on Sundays and evenings for exhibition openings and special programmes – for more information, please visit their blog regularly.

Admission:

Adults: Ja$ 400

Why use a Micro-Influencer to Showcase your Brand?

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In 2006, long before the term “influencer” was coined, I started a t-shirt line called Sprawl Tees. One of the tactics used was to invite people of influence to “rep” the brand. Everyone from musicians to socialites helped us reach thousands of people from as far as Japan. With Sprawl, I developed the brand’s story which was focused on the young, fun, hipster side of Jamaica. As a formally trained graphic designer, I designed every t-shirt. I also developed distribution lines in key areas: Kingston, Mobay and Negril. I sold online to the US, Canada and Europe.If you want to take a trip down memory lane, go here.

What is Love Not Likes?

Fast forward to present day, I launched Love Not Likes six months ago and the impact has been amazing. What is Love Not Likes? An micro-influencer/blogger-centric experiential marketing agency. We create curated experiences for YouTubers, content creators, bloggers and micro-influencers. Just for clarity, for those who aren’t familiar with the different definitions: Content creators are people who take pictures and videos, where as bloggers are those who have a website with articles but may also use imagery. Some have both photos and video, but not always. YouTubers exclusively create video content.

We’re all about inclusivity, meaning, anyone can join and be a part of the community as long as they have at least 1,000 followers. We’re a diverse group from all different niches and backgrounds, ranging from travel to beauty and lifestyle. If you want to join our community, sign up for our mailing list here.

So far, we’ve been to Monkey Island/Frenchman’s Cove and Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour. We’ve also been invited to cover events such as Kingston Creative’s ArtWalk, the opening of Gloria’s Seafood in Ocho Rios and KIG’s Jeep Wrangler Launch.

cpj glinter sutanya mchorgh

Some of the brands we’ve worked with include CPJ (Lifespan, Glinter and Energice), Those Creative People, Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour, Worthy Park, Rum Bar, Herboo Botanical, National Bakery, The Label Snob, Cafe Dolce, Oak Wine Cocktail Lounge, Sun Factory which distributes Ipanema flip flops and Grant Foster sunglasses.

Here’s what TCP had to say about working with us:

“We were looking for some great content for our social media marketing efforts, without having to do it ourselves (arrange a photoshoot, get all the talent, etc.).

LoveNotLikes helped us get great content with a variety of locations, talent and content ideas, to use without us lifting a finger.” – Marc Gayle, TCP

Here’s what full-time travel blogger Jhunelle J of simplylocal.life had to say about working with us: Through Love Not Likes, I’ve met and enjoyed the company of multiple fellow content creators. Mixing work and play has enhanced the experiences offered, while providing valuable opportunities to work directly with both established and upcoming brands

Jhunelle J. from http://www.simplylocal.life

I’ve always wanted to work with brands on social media ever since I was motivated to start a blog in 2019. Love Not Likes gave me not only my first few brand collaborations but also community where I could learn and network
with other bloggers who are inspiring and hardworking. Tahjaera of livingtheMacLife.blog

I am so happy I found this group. I met some wonderful people in similar fields and it’s been a pleasure learning about them and their journey. I also enjoy working with the brands that are affiliated with Love Not Likes. I am excited for what the future holds and other amazing trips with Love Not Likes. SueTanya Mchorgh, blogger

What is a Micro-Influencer?

We’ve helped micro-influencers, ( micro-influencers are anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000 followers) mostly under 5,000 followers, to create content for their blogs and IG pages, grow their following as well as help them connect with brands. These brands in turn have shared the content and tagged the influencers, helping them to raise their profile and followers.

In the age of the saturated influencer market in Jamaica, it’s important to establish that there are alternatives. Why pick micro-influencers to showcase your brand? Micro-Influencers offer more credibility, they’re more likely to respond and interact with their followers and guess what…build a community!

Going with a larger influencer or endorser can cost you thousands, just for one post.

So, unless you are a huge brand, that just may not be realistic or worthwhile.

A micro-influencer is much more affordable. It all depends on the number of followers and engagement.

With Instagram removing the likes button, the metrics will now be focused on shares and engagement, and ultimately conversions/sales. Bloggers also help search engine optimization and can be a permanent link to your website.

If you’re interested in partnering with us, please send an email to lovenotlikes@gmail.com. Also follow us on IG here.

Love Not Likes: Micro-Influencers and Bloggers Take on Jamaica

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I’ve been working in advertising for over 15 years, and as someone who used “influencers” (there wasn’t a name for it at the time) to sell t-shirts online for 2 years, I understand the value of an influencer.

The community is small is in Jamaica, totaling about 20-30 major influencers made up of mostly comedians, lifestyle, beauty and public figure categories.

I was nominated as a People to Watch in 2019, by Kadia Francis, aka the Digital Jamaican who scoured the internet to find micro-influencers and bloggers who write mostly for the love of it and not necessarily the recognition. A micro-influencer tends to have less than 10,000 followers but usually has an intimate community. ( I listed using micro-influencers as one of the 2019 trends in social media. Read here)

We wanted to bring everyone together to bond and network. Most of the people had the same wish–to create content (whether that be in the form of writing, taking photos or making videos, etc), and being able to travel the world while doing so.

list of Jamaican bloggers. love not likes
Love Not Likes Bloggers/Content Creators in the middle of the road at Castleton Gardens

We received sponsorship from Ion Communications and LuxuryJa.

While CPJ, our official refreshment sponsor provided us with Life Span Water and Glinter sparkling water

Photo Credit: Peter Clarke, Rocket Visions JA

Rum Cream, Rumbar rum and vodka came from Worthy Park.

Snacks for the 2.5 drive from National Bakery

Sun Factory provided us with flip-flops for the beach.

Each blogger received customized mugs with their ig handle from The Label Snob , Sharmac Graphics printed the fans for each guest, Just nuff social plan (which includes data and social media) were granted by Digicel Jamaica and TCP offered the bags to carry everything in.

Watch the video of the recap.

The bloggers paid for their transportation and lunch but received reposts and comments from the sponsors, edited photos from established photographers including Machel Witter, Peter Clarke and Darren George (contracted by our partners Ion Communications), to gather content on their behalf. We were even featured on CVM Sunrise. See the full interview below.

So the most burning questions from this experience have been, why call it Love Not Likes? In April 2019, Instagram put out that they were working on changing the platform to eliminate likes, you can read the Forbes article here.

Also, as I said earlier, many of these bloggers do it because they love what they do—sharing their go-to spots in Jamaica, or their beauty secrets, etc. However, they’ve never received corporate sponsorship or even gifted merchandise.

The list of the bloggers/micro-influencers/YouTubers who attended were:

Jhunelle Jureidini: a full-time travel blogger who finds most of the unknown places in Jamaica and highlights them.

Sue-Tanya McHorgh: a website developer and lifestyle blogger who also has an online clothing store.

Diedre McLeod: A travel blogger who teaches travelers how to travel the world on a budget.

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Anybody ever ask you why you always have ONE BAG AH TINGS in your bag? 🤣 Bae is usually guilty amirite!? * You ever checked out the things you are carrying in your bag? Like really looked at what's in your bag? What do you have languishing in there? Old receipts, snack wrappers (cuz you do your part for the environment), broken makeup, random stuff that you not sure why they're ever there in the first place? LoL I may have stopped talking about a bag and now having full-on philosophical ramblings on life 🙊. But honestly, I try to be intentional about what I put in my bag. I don't want to be literally carrying around useless baggage. And this beach bag from @thosecreativepeople can really hold ONE BAG AH TINGS! Fyi it's great for trips not just to the beach. On my last trip to the beach it really shined. It's Spacious. Great for holding towels, water shoes, food, sunscreen and more. Check my blog about "How to do One Bag Ah Tings on your next trip to Portland" to see how handy the bag is (LinkInBio or bit.ly/oneBagAhTings) And tell me if you love it! * * * * * * * 📸@rockstaar_ 👜@thosecreativepeople #gifted #sponsoredpost #iamwandering #wanderoften #tcptings #thosecreativepeople #beachbagswag #beachlovers🌴 #JamaicaJamaica #proud876 #wanderlustcollection #frenchmanscove #jamaicabeach #portlandjamaica #weekendgetaways #blackgirlstraveltoo #fabuplus #blacktraveljourney #weekendmood #whatsinyourbag #cluttered #baggage #beachlifeisthebestlife #onthebeach

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Lucienne Antonio: A blogger who also can secure your next budget vacation.

Kemar Royal: a content creator/droner who lives for adventure

Ronnia Cherry, a creative with multiple interests, all surrounding creating a platform for Jamaican creatives. Learn more about her

Tashi Grant: A media maven who started her lifestyle/travel blog called The Hopper

Rachael Campbell: a travel vlogger who likes to party.

Jehmeil Shrouder: a YouTuber on a mission to be successful.

Ornella Green: A lifestyle/beauty blogger who aspires to travel the world.

So I wanted to make them feel special, i.e. find a way to show them and the world, that micro-influencers have value. Many influencers only big up a brand because they are getting paid, which sometimes loses its authenticity.

So let’s even get more pedantic, people think influencer is a dirty/bad word. What is an influencer, really?

An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting (i.e., influencing) people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority. What’s more, this individual has a following – usually on social media – in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, photography, and so on. YouTube marketing is also quite common.

Tech Jury ( see article here)

According to influencer marketing research, many companies will hire brand ambassadors to promote their products. While the most visible brand ambassadors are celebrity influencers, micro-bloggers can often get in on the action, too – they increase a brand’s visibility more locally. Another sponsored content format consists of paid for articles and blogs, which appear as editorials in an online publication.

So now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the alignment with the government’s growth strategy. Chris Dehring spoke at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference a couple of months ago and he talked about the importance of creating alternative job opportunities for young people.

The insights that came out of the trip was that most of them want to live a digital nomad lifestyle. It seems pretty simple, but when you live on an island, you tend to only think about Jamaica and even some think smaller–only Kingston and St. Andrew.

Our aim is to create a network and community with bloggers/micro-influencers who want to monetize. We’ve invited Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren to give a masterclass at CoWork on Thursday, July 18th. Lauren has been working in Silicon Valley and has been able to grow her following and monetize for the last few years. Please call 876 881-7830 to purchase tickets.

We’re also building a community of bloggers, content creators, photographers who want to collaborate. Please follow @lovenotlikesja on Instagram or email us at lovenotlikes@gmail.com for more information.