Girl Boss Sue-Tanya McHorgh: From losing her job to Online Entrepreneur

Sue-Tanya hopes to inspire her generation to build their own online businesses. Photo Credit: Rockstaar

What is your dream job? 

To launch my Creatives of the Future e-book, (to purchase, click here) I interviewed some creatives who were already monetizing their platforms because of their work on social media. One of those people is website Designer and Blogger, Sue-Tanya Mchorgh.

  1. What is your dream job? My current job is my dream job. The ability to create and earn from something I am passionate about is a dream come true for me . A lot of people are unhappy in their jobs. Not me. I love my job. 

2. What Netflix series are you binging on? Blacklist

3. Favourite Influencer/YouTuber of all time? @Jadedarmawngsa

4. How has social media helped your career? My social media has helped me with advertising and getting targeted leads for my businesses.

5. What advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves? Stay focused, have a game plan, a small circle of friends, get a mentor and follow your gut.  

6.What is the last thing you liked on social media? Cat videos. I am obsessed with them.

7. Who is your hero?  My mom. She did an amazing job raising me.

8. How did you get into blogging?  I started blogging because I wanted an outlet to share my travel and entrepreneurial experiences. 

9. Where do you see your career going in the next few years? I hope to perfect my current offerings, expand my businesses, hire employees and venture into coaching small business owners. 

10.What inspires you to create? My customers and my competitors. I love seeing my customers happy. They encourage me to create and improve on my skills. So does the competition. 

By the age of 17, Sue-Tanya Mchorgh knew she wanted to become an entrepreneur. She decided to study Business Administration but due to financial restraints, had to get a job and work overtime to pay tuition.

Juggling a 9-5 while going to school was hard work. Then she got laid off and didn’t have money to finish her studies. Thankfully, she was introduced to the world of working online as a virtual assistant and web designer. A virtual assistant, by definition, is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office.

Today, she remotely helps clients with everything from social media, story and article writing, video editing, branding, and web design all from her home office.

Since she started in 2017, her client list has grown to include government institutions, realtors and even personal brands. She also owns an online fashion boutique called Suety’s Boutique where she sells her favorite fast-fashion finds.

Sue-Tanya modeled with Those Creative People for the launch of their Color Collection

Sue-Tanya considers herself a girl boss, which is basically a confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of settling in life and hopes to inspire her generation through her motivational Instagram account @motivatedbysue.

Today, she’s also been able to live life on her terms by monetizing her social media platforms and carving out a niche as a content creator and blogger. On her website, www.suetanyamchorgh, she shares her opinion about everything from business to fashion. She’s worked with brands like Those Creative People, Kingston Creative, Jamaica Observer’s Take Style Out  and the Ministry of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport highlighting the 2020 Reggae Month activities.

She wants to help entrepreneurs and small businesses create their e-commerce sites, branding kits and social media content. She also teaches others how to become a virtual assistant.

Girl Boss Sue-Tanya is a web designer, brand specialist, and lifestyle blogger. She’s worked with brands like CPJ, Kingston Industrial Garage, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Those Creative People and others. You can learn about Sue-Tanya at www.suetanyamchorgh.com

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

Life in the Time of Corona (Beer, Not Virus)

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Ever since I designed the uniforms for the popular hipster Ja Mexican restaurant, Chillito’s a few years ago, where we swapped Corona for Chillito’s, I’ve been loving the Corona Beer logo.

But on February 28th, Time wrote at the onset of the Corona virus outbreak that,

“Corona has become the subject of memes and videos shared on social media as the toll from the virus climbs worldwide. Reports of an increase in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” show the Mexican beer hasn’t been able to escape the association.”

We saw the memes…

Don’t think we Corona Beer Lovers didn’t notice.

For those living under a rock, Corona Extra is a pale lager produced by Cervecería Modelo in Mexico and owned by AB InBev in Belgium and distributed locally by CPJ Limited. It is one of the top-selling beers worldwide. Corona is commonly served with a wedge of lime or lemon  around the neck of the bottle to add tartness and flavour.

There are some spin-offs

We like it with some passion fruit. Buy it here

I also love this…

Beer drinkers unite! Show your love for Corona!

And this..

So do like the pillow says, here

So relax and hold my Corona….

Buy this Corona Ugly Sweater T-shirt here

In the beginning of March, Fast Company wrote,

“The company also pointed to IRI retail sales trends data showing that sales of Corona Extra actually increased by 5% in the four-week period ending February 16. So you know, scoreboard.

Perhaps the most valuable asset that any marketer can have is earned media—coverage and brand promotion achieved via free coverage and conversation whose value far outstrips any official media investment. Corona has found itself the unintentional beneficiary of perhaps the worst kind of earned media a marketer could imagine. Saying nothing goes against just about every natural instinct of any marketer. In this case, the silence is as refreshing as a beer with a lime in it.”

– Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Do you think the company handled the fiasco appropriately or not? Often in these delicate situations, it’s better to be silent than speak before it’s time.

Either way, in this time of quarantining,I wish I was on a beach with one right now.

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.

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 .

Social Media Trends in 2020

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Every year, I predict the trends for the following year and so far so good, I’ve been pretty accurate. This year I have some insights based on my experience working on my personal brands: Luxuryja, Love Not Likes and my client’s pages. Here goes:

Time sensitive content will reign supreme: Last year, I did a 2018 Best Dressed list for Luxuryja and was able to look back at the potential fashionista’s pages and choose some of the best looks from their feed. This year, it was a lot harder as less and less people are posting. Yes, some people only posted 4 or 5 times for the year! The truth is the user experience is changing on IG. More people are watching stories rather than scrolling the feed. People like the idea of posting to their stories as opposed to their feed because they only last for only 24 hours. They post things and not feel guilty that it will remain on the page and haunt them in the future.

Removing Likes On Instagram will be a thing: When I named my blogging and influencer network Love Not Likes, people laughed at me, but I knew how much people were consumed with like counts. I also knew that people were leaning towards finding niche communities where they could connect. Which is why Facebook groups will never die. Back in the day, it was forums and now people more than ever are craving community online. It’s no longer about quantity but quality. Alot of marketers are concerned about what this will mean for the future of social media but the truth is that, well–there is no value in a like! Liking a picture may send a message to the reciever that you approve of their picture but liking doesn’t mean that they will go out and purchase your product. It may also be a ploy to get you to pay for more ads on Instagram in order to be seen, as the amount of likes a picture recieves usually means it will appear higher up on the feed.

Building Niche Communities will be a thing: I just talked about forums and Facebook groups but even my niche page Luxuryja, is quite remarkable. The kinds of people that follow and connect with the content are the upper echelon of society and I’m often asked why I’m not covering certain exclusive events. Of course this is changing more and more as people are demanding that we be there. It is important to point out that people follow and interact with pages that they like because of the content. That’s why IG pages about Jamaica do so well. Niche communities are an ideal way of reaching a particular demographic without worrying about spending a huge amount of money. More bang for your buck.

What are some of the social media trends you predict in 2020?

Kingston Creative Artwalk Presentation: YouTubers to Watch in 2020

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“So great leaders don’t try to please everyone. Great leaders don’t water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realize that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever be.”
Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

On Sunday, November 24th, Andrea Dempster-Chung of Kingston Creative, asked me to make a presentation on YouTubers in Jamaica. I wanted the presentation to be informative and to tell the real story of the Jamaican content creator community.

Hootsuite released a report in January 2019 on the Digital Report on some of social media statistics. View the full report here.

YouTube has the second highest active users, user accounts or unique visitors at 1.9 million in Jamaica.
Spoke to a crowd at Kingston Creative’s Artwalk on Sunday, November 24th about the content creator community in Jamaica including YouTubers.

After introducing myself and explaining some of what the Love Not Likes community is doing including our experiences and positioning micro-influencers to the forefront, I explained that they are able to monetize their platforms which less than 10,000 followers. I discussed how using micro-influencers brings an authenticity as they are more likely to work with brands that they actually like and not just for money.

Micro-Influencers also are usually less expensive and their engagement is usually good because they are more likely to take the time to build their community I.e answer questions and respond to comments.

So now some the trends. I put the YouTubers into categories namely:

Comedy

Media

Podcasts

Beauty 

Vlogging

Lifestyle

Family/Couples

Filmakers

Travel

Comedy

Jnel Comedy did a spoof on the hit song Old Town Road and grew to 182k subscribers which went viral on Twitter earlier this year.
Oryan is a teenager making slapstick comedy with just himself playing different characters. He has 36k subscribers.
Nitro_Immortal follows the trends of using Dancehall lyrics and characters to tell a story.

Podcasts

Some trends include listening and watching recordings of your favourite podcasts.
Some of the people in our network include @ultra_rush, first lady of the The Late Night Par

Family and Couples

Family and Couple creator channels are the new reality tv. Carter Family are Jamaican couple living in the US.
IG influencers are branching out into YouTube to gain more momentum

Lifestyle

Travel

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.

Lauren O Lauren teaches First Love Not Likes Master Class

On July 18, 2019, Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren will be presenting at the inaugural Love Not Likes Master Class at CoWork Ja focused on monetizing your blog, YouTube and Instagram through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is million dollar industry in the United States, with Fashion Nova being one of the top spenders. According to Hubspot, 89% of businesses say their ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. 

Lauren O Lauren social media influencer, blogger and YouTuber
Lauren O Lauren speaks at the inaugural Love Not Likes Master Class, July 18th at CoWork Ja.

Love Not Likes is a community founded by Kesi Gardner, hoping to revitalize the Jamaican blogging and micro-influencer industry to monetize and ultimately create alternative income streams for young Jamaicans.

The teacher of the first Love Not Likes Master Class, Lauren is a media veteran having started as a host at the age of seventeen to having her own TV show on Flow.

Lauren is currently living in San Jose, California, where she works in Silicon Valley, the largest tech hub in the world where major companies like Facebook and Google have their head offices.

Given the location where she works, Lauren has been granted the access that many would love to have on a day-to-day basis, gaining knowledge about the current trends and the future of social media. She’s been able to also establish endorsement deals and is a Brand Ambassador for Bumble, a networking app. She is able to bring an international perspective on the world of blogging, YouTube and podcasting.

She has a 33,000 collective audience across her social media platforms, with a blog, YouTube channel and podcast called These Are The Rules. She is looking to teach bloggers and micro-influencers, how to monetize and to show that we do offline is even more important than what you do online in order to make money.

lauren O lauren is a Jamaican blogger, social media and influencer residing in San Jose California

CPJ is offering kiwi strawberry margaritas, Cafe Dolce will be offering desserts. Blow by Blow, Lady Shelly Beauty and Janus Medical spa will be giving away products to each guest.

The Love Not Likes Master Class series will be focusing on different industries such as comedy, food, technology and finance.To sign up for the Master Class, call 876 881-7830. The cost is $5,000. To sign up for our mailing list email to lovenotlikes@gmail.com.


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.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Diedre McLeod🔸Travel Blogger (@diedreinwanderland) on

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.

Love Not Likes visits Kingston Creative’s Artwalk

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Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of being invited to Kingston Creative’s Artwalk. We decided to partner with them for a Love Not Likes excursion. For those who don’t know, Love Not Likes is an experiential marketing agency that creates curated experiences for photographers, bloggers and creatives who want to network and collaborate.

The bloggers and creatives were @SueTanyaMcorgh @Simplylocal.life, @youtravellucie, @just.lexi.simple, @haute_people, @astoldbynella and photographers Machel Witter of @mdwmediaja and Peter Clarke from @rocketvisionsja.

Andrea Dempster-Chung, the co-founder of the Kingston Creative movement gave us a tour and spoke about the importance to gaining support from all areas of society, including creatives.

When Andrea posed the question about how do we engage corporate, we decided that the best way was to show in a real way, not through PR or posed photographs but invite bloggers and content creators to come and enjoy the experience.

It was a lovely day, particularly because we were especially invited for lunch by FNB’s Downtown, a Jamaican fusion restaurant that houses Swiss Stores and is a gallery for resident-artist Craig Phang-Sang. They are known for their famous oxtail. This is a must-have when visiting Downtown Kingston. It was also a refuge for us during the summer heat as we were treated with freshly squeezed lemonade..

We also experienced a pop-up version of The Edna Manley Final Year exhibition, curated by National Gallery’s former director, Veerle Poupeye.

Resonances features six young artists: Trishaunna Henry (BFA Sculpture), Joni P. Gordon (BFA Photography), Leanne Mair (BFA Painting), Yulanah Mullings (BFA Painting), Mark Robinson (BFA Painting), and Keisha Walters (BFA Painting). They work in media ranging from ceramic and aluminium to wood, paper and cardboard constructions, to paper and textile collage, and ranges from miniature scale to very large. Each of the six artists makes use of the resonant potential of the object and the image to speak about more than itself and to invoke stories about social, cultural and historical subjects as diverse as the experience of the Jamaican urban environment and the car culture; the personal traumas of racism, migrant work and childhood sexual abuse; the dilemmas of genetic engineering; and the historical and contemporary cultural significance of shoes.

Veerle Poupeye

The exhibition is curated by Veerle Poupeye, an art historian specialized in Caribbean art and an independent curator and writer. Dr. Poupeye is also a lecturer at the Edna Manley College.

Best part of the day, was actually getting to hang out with Charl B. The artist behind the mural, “The Tree of Life,” located behind FNB’s Downtown, off Harbour Street. There are several on the street and we took time to take them all in.

Kingston Creative has a seven year plan to create an arts district where creatives can share workspace, network and collaborate. The long term plan is create a place similar to Wynwood in Miami but they need funding to make it happen. It seems like creating an eco-system where creatives can thrive and companies can get visibility in a heavy foot traffic area seems a good fit.

The brands that have already come on board include Red Stripe, Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Gleaner, Facey Foundation, Paperboy Jamaica and others. If you would like a mural, it can be arranged, I’m here trying to figure out how I can get one myself.