House and Leisure features The Local Edit
After recently working with The Local Edit on our festive gift guide (see our LOOKBOOK insert), House and Leisure’s Greer Krige spent some time getting to know the team behind South Africa’s newest local online shopping platform.
The stars aligned when Christine Meintjes, an accomplished photographer, digital media specialist, and founder of the well-known online wedding and lifestyle platform The Pretty Blog, met Berdine Swart, an art enthusiast, philanthropist, and firm believer in the upliftment of local creative businesses. It was the beginning of something great, as the pair have since collaborated to form a group of innovative companies, including The Local Edit app (and e-commerce website). Aptly named The Apiary – ‘place where bees are kept’ – the pair and their team are very busy bees indeed.
‘Shopping local’ is a popular catchphrase these days, however, the immediate benefits to local talent and industry are significant, with opportunities for investments, widespread social and community upliftment, and empowerment arising as a result. Acutely aware of the struggles faced by local makers and creatives trying to showcase and sell their products (while still managing a business with limited resources and support), Christine and Berdine identified a way to close the gap between the maker and consumer, and so The Local Edit was born.
As an online shopping app and e-commerce website, The Local Edit showcases some of South Africa’s most talented designers and artists by utilising the latest innovative technology available. The team has bridged the gap between creativity and business – making local, unique products easily accessible far and wide. For the brands and the makers, The Local Edit platform integration is seamless and effortless, allowing the makers to focus on what they do best – creating beautiful things. ‘My biggest inspiration is knowing South Africa is home to some of the best artisans with incredible creative talent.
The products being created are world-class,’ says Christine. One year on, The Local Edit has over 200 brands and 12 500 products listed, including everything from fashion, beauty, and jewellery to furniture, homeware, and gifting, catering to men, women, children, babies, and even pets – there is truly something for everyone.
‘We are blown away by the incredible feedback and support we’ve received from the brands showcased on The Local Edit. We are so grateful, and this gives the team and I the courage to continue our mission to build and support the local creative industry,’ says Christine. "We believe the creation of one curated space where all of their stories and products can be found will create more trust among consumers to support and buy local more often." Christine and Berdine’s goal is to shift consumer buying behavior, ultimately encouraging a more considered and socially responsible society.
With a dream for The Local Edit to be one of the top online retailers in South Africa, the team is working hard towards being able to assist and uplift local creative businesses to reach an international audience.