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Celebrating 15 years…

It seems like just the other day we decided to start a glossy, lifestyle magazine on the North Coast. In fact, our first (rather clumsy) edition came out in April 2006. This month, as we celebrate Get It Ballito.Umhlanga’s 15th birthday, editor Leah Shone reflects on a decade-and-a-half of fun, hard work and success.

Not everyone gets to wake up each day and do a job they love. Fifteen years later though, I still do. The entire process of creating a publication, from conceptualizing themes and ideas to meeting, interviewing and writing stories about intriguing people and fascinating new places and spaces is food for the soul.

No two days are the same in this industry. As journalists, we are fortunate enough to be invited into the homes and lives of inspiring humans, taste marvellous cuisine and experience incredible destinations – and then we get to present and communicate it all to our readers in the form of a beautiful, high quality publication.
There is stress too, of course. Deadlines can be hair-raising at times and there are those sneaky errors that creep in (and somehow only become visible after 20 000 copies have already been printed!). There are late nights and long hours and there is the responsibility of ensuring that our advertiser’s needs are met and their brands showcased in the best possible light and to the highest standard. But … the pleasure of holding a brand new edition, hot off the press, in your hands, and seeing people actively engage with your online content far outweighs all the challenges.

We are incredibly proud of the growth we’ve made in our digital offerings over the past year. We have grown both our social media following and our e-magazine readership exponentially. It’s wonderful to engage with our readers and see the immediate, tangible effect our digital content has on people’s lives. Our e-mag is read by over 20 000 people monthly and we have over 25 000 Facebook and 8 000 Instagram followers.
It must be said that there is still an indisputable physical intimacy created between an advertiser and customer in print that just cannot be matched on a screen. Print allows you to connect offline and organically with your customer and we take pride in creating a product we know will linger on coffee tables and in offices, allowing readers to enjoy the longevity that print brings.

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I recently read an article, which said, due to the huge amount of misinformation online and sheer quantity of content out there, the demand for quality, trustworthy content is higher than ever. Similarly, our determination to create an authentic, quality print edition is stronger than ever as well, and our advertisers and readers continue to prove to us the incredible power that print still holds.

Of course, it takes team to do what we do, and we are incredibly lucky to have a great one. With the support of our sister brand, The North Coast Courier, as well as the Caxton group, our team works closely every month, each playing our role, doing what we love.

The Get It Girls, from left, Lisa Smith, Natalie Bertram, Leah Shone and Nicole von Metzinger

Nicole, our talented graphic artist, joined the company four years ago. She is the lead designer for the whole group, which means she designs everything for The North Coast Courier, Wordsmiths Marketing, The Fast Finder and Get It. Nicole has won two two big Caxton awards and still gets excited when she she sees the magazine around town! Definitely the fittest member of our team, Nicole does all kinds of exercise, including a lot running. She loves animals (she asks us to put one on the cover every month), cooking and eating (especially potatoes!).

Always smiling and happy-go-lucky, Lisa provides our team with invaluable sales and online support. She was born in the UK and grew up in SA and has a background in design and newspaper ad sales. She has been with Get It for nearly three years. Lisa is passionate about the industry and the marketing opportunities it presents and says she loves the diversity that comes with working in a media company. She enjoys DIY, gardening and animals. Oh, and she’s still on the lookout for her soul mate!

Our advertising rep, Natalie, is the newest member of our team. She joined us just 7 months ago. Natalie was born in Joburg and studied interior design. She started her career as a visual stylist in London and was then made store manager where she oversaw 150 staff members. Natalie loves linking local businesses to readers and finds great reward in helping them achieve success. In her downtime she enjoys trail walks, the beach and eating her way through the North Coast’s great restaurant offerings! She also paints and draws occasionally.

As for me, I have worked for the Wordsmiths Group for 18 years, 15 of those as the editor of this great magazine. When I’m not writing, editing and collecting copy, you’ll find me on the beach or travelling with my husband and my two favourite humans (my sons) … usually enjoying a glass of good red wine!

As our way of saying thank you to our readers for your loyalty and support over the past 15 years, we have collaborated with the Oyster Box Hotel to bring you an amazing birthday prize!
We’re offering one reader the chance to win a night’s stay at the Oyster Box for two people, including breakfast and dinner (valued at R10 500). Enter on our social media pages @GetItMagNC.
Good luck!

Text: Leah Shone | Photograph: TASH, stories by goya

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