By Sanine Baird
After 11 years of building an organic online presence, through celebrating the stories and creativity of some of South Africa’s best entrepreneurs, Christine Meintjes took hands with Berdine Swart and founded The Apiary, a group of creative companies that take creativity seriously.
Situated in the Cape Winelands, The Apiary is also home to The Pretty Blog, The Gallery and The Local Edit.
In developing strong ties with some of South Africa’s most well-known designers, Christine and Berdine became acutely aware of the difficulties that many creatives face when combining their desire to showcase their talents with the demands of creating profitable businesses from limited resources, while also maintaining a high level of quality.
This insight, combined with their passion to support local creators, sparked the development of innovative technology that they believe bridges the gap between exceptional creativity and strategic business thinking. And, after years in the making, they proudly announced the launch of The Local Edit app on the 24th of September 2021, very fittingly on Heritage Day.
With expert knowledge and experience in photography, online media and digital content creation, Christine has distinguished herself as an expert amongst her peers. She is the first female to be appointed as a Nikon Premium Ambassador for Southern Africa. Her work has been featured in numerous national and international publications and has also graced the covers of magazines all over the world.
Her deep understanding of storytelling through the power of images and her fascination with the digital world sparked an interest in online publication. In 2010 she founded the first female wedding and lifestyle blog in South Africa, theprettyblog.com. She successfully built The Pretty Blog to reach more than 650,000 visitors per month, generating more than 5.5 million impressions per month, through the blog and social media channels. The blog was also nominated as one of the world’s best, mentioned alongside Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog Goop.
With a strong musical upbringing, having two parents as musicians, Berdine Swart has a deeply rooted love for the arts. As an avid art collector and strong believer in uplifting the local art scene, she founded The Gallery in 2019, a dynamic, multi-faceted space, for artisan events, pop-up stores, and art exhibitions located in the Winelands, South Africa.
In 2019 she also partnered with Christine Meintjes to co-found The Apiary, a group of creative companies with the vision to create a positive impact in the South African creative business community.
With the acquisition of The Pretty Blog in 2019 and building their new tech startup The Local Edit, an app where one can discover and shop South Africa’s best designers all in one place, The Apiary aims to, as their tagline states, take creativity seriously!
Together, this power duo aims to showcase South Africa’s best, while challenging consumers to consider shifting from the need for instant gratification to more intentional purchases that consider the impact on our earth, and our communities.
They believe that by investing in local businesses and supporting local makers we can all begin to imagine and mobilise ourselves to become better consumers. By doing so we become part of a greater community that intentionally contributes to uplifting the beauty of local creativity, creating thriving local economies that produce and consume with care.
Along with the many talented South African changemakers and brands, Christine and Berdine are pioneering a different way of doing things – a way that is slower, more considered, and most importantly local.
The Local Edit is available for download from Apple, Google, and App Gallery or shop.thelocaledit.com online. Stay in the loop at www.thelocaledit.com and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see what’s new. Discover the best South African brands, all in one place.