Invest in each other by supporting local
by Sulet Meintjies, Salty Cinema
Today I’m so excited, I don’t even know where to start but like most great stories it’s probably best to start at the beginning. Well, except when you’re at the a wedding and the grandpa starts at the beginning of the bride's fathers birth.
Okay wait, maybe I lied a bit, I’m going to start at the beginning of the middle, confused yet? Just bare with me the best is yet to come...
It wouldn’t be 2020 if this story didn’t start with Covid, obviously one of the craziest years for most people alive. So while in lockdown, sitting with my own thoughts and rethinking every life decision I’ve ever made, I sort of went back to my former self, this former self that I’m referring to, is the person I was before I entered the film industry. The person who wanted to make a difference in others people’s lives, who wanted to help others, something I learnt from my mothers humanitarian ways. I worked with disadvantaged and disabled kids and it felt good to be a part of this but at the same time I was also an artist who wanted to create, so I chose art. This lead me into the film and entertainment industry, which I’ve been part of for over 14 years.
Fast forward to lockdown again. My mother passed away in May, so while I was contemplating my whole existence, I asked myself whether I’ve made any significant difference besides helping to entertain people. In honour of my mother I wanted to give back again, in any way, no matter how small it might seem.
Being a freelancer who just lost a 4 month contract with absolutely no income and no idea when I’ll be able to generate an income, I know at this time I can’t contribute financially but I still wanted to do something good in a bad situation. I came across an article about how much supporting local can not only help the economy but also our fellow South Africans through job creation, feeding their families and this also impacts everyone in other ways such a reduction in crime.
This is when the research started, I wanted to know when I walk into a supermarket that I’m buying local, I started researching every day accessible products and my findings were and still are quite surprising. I knew that if I’m this uninformed, most people probably are and I wanted share my knowledge. That’s when what’s local baby started, just an Instagram page to show support, educate, inspire and motivate people on local products.
The magic really started when I came in contact with Rialheim, here was a company I looked up to who wanted to sponsor a giveaway voucher in support of my cause. Firstly I was surprised that they even noticed me and secondly I couldn’t believe that they were already investing in my little page, which probably had about 500 followers at the time. The page really took off after that and it was great to see the positive feedback and interest people were showing. To keep an Instagram page running is way more work then I realized, I also had to start working again to be able to eat, so I really felt like the page and more importantly the cause wasn’t getting the attention it deserves. We needed to take WLB to the next level. How can I take what I’ve been doing most of my life and combine that with the cause of supporting local businesses?
Then the second baby was born Salty Cinema, a company that I started to make it more affordable and accessible for smaller companies to be able to shoot and produce professional video advertisements. I want to change the fact that it’s only the companies who already have big bucks who can market themselves even more. I have been working with my friend and commercials producer on strategies to be able to execute this, so we got an execution plan but how do I get someone to take a chance, trust me and invest in my dream.
Who do I turn to? One of WLB biggest supporters and fans, the one and only Rial. So now we’re here in the middle of a lot of new dreams and possibilities but Salty Cinema has taken off the ground and we’re flying with it. We’re doing an amazing collaboration with Rialheim who's fundamentals align with everything WLB supports and stands for, who believes in me more than I could ever have imagined.
This is just another beginning to a new story of a lot of stories that still need to be told. Every story starts somewhere and every story has a beginning. Welcome to the collaboration of Rialheim and Salty cinema, another baby born and we’re so excited to share her with you! Made in SA baby!