Jeani Meyer epitomes what is known as a multi-hyphenate (aka an individual with so many skills that they need multiple hyphens to list them). She is a content creator, a brand specialist, the executive director of OFS Smart Repair, the founder and creator of I LOVE BFN, and a regional brand ambassador for Vodacom. Add to this list, wife, mother, fashionista and socialite. Here Get It quizzes Jeani on her love for Bloem and her I LOVE BFN brand…
How did the I LOVE BFN brand come about? Bloem business is the heartbeat of our community, the spine of our local economy and the spirit of our town. To us, supporting local is not just a slogan. It’s what we stand for, what we believe in, and how OFS Smart Repair has been doing business for the past 38 years. I LOVE BFN came about in 2018 with myself and my long-time design collaborator Christo Smith creating a T-shirt for the OFS Smart Repair team (as part of our corporate wear), which was a witty way to communicate to our customers who we are, where we’ve from, and how much we love our hometown. The T-shirt was an instant hit. Not only did our team love it, but whenever we wore our I LOVE BFN tees, we got a reaction. I received so many requests to sell the T-shirt that I quickly realised I LOVE BFN is more than just a shirt. So, what started as a shirt, become a campaign, which created a movement, and today has become a proudly 100% locally manufactured apparel brand with an online store; and, which is stocked by Kloppers.
What is your love for Bloem based on? I love it because it’s my home. It’s where I grew up, where I honed my craft and where I’m raising my family. I love that we’re big enough to be a city but small enough to have that unpretentious small-town feel. Bloem people are such lekker down-to-earth people. We care about each other and we support our community, our schools, and our teams.
Why is it important to support local? To me supporting local is a straightforward choice. As a business, you cannot expect your community to support you if you do not reciprocate. When you shop local, you’re creating jobs; you’re keeping money in your local economy; you’re investing in entrepreneurship, but most of all, you are nurturing and building a community.
Are you a born and bred ‘Bloemfonteiner’? Born and bred in Bloemfontein, I earned my stripes in the Vrystaat. I learned how to two-step from my cousins in Dewetsdorp. I went to high school at Sentraal, where I met my best friends (still to this day), and studied at Kovsies and the CUT. We danced to the tunes in Varsity Blues, held many a bachelorette at Barbas Café, and always seemed to make a last stop at Mystic Boer.
You’re also a wife and mother. Tell us about Riaan and the boys. I met my hubby 22 years ago at university when we both attended Kovsies. I was a Wag-‘n-Bietjie first year and he was this witty, mischievous, sexy, rugby-playing JBM senior. I was smitten! We married 16 years ago and have two boys, Jean and Jacques, 8 and 11 years old. My hubby is a physiotherapist and he is one of the managing directors of Wentzel Meyer Physiotherapists. I’m very lucky; he’s not just good-looking but smart as a whip. He has an excellent sense of humour, great taste in music, makes me laugh, and keeps me on my toes.
You recently turned 40 and the older one gets, the more you think about your legacy. What legacy would you like to leave? There’s a quote I love, ‘Whatever you are, be a GOOD one’. When you reach those ‘milestone’ birthdays, you realise that this thing called life goes by fast. So, you need to choose what type of person you want to be. I want to leave a legacy of joy. I want to be a good person with a brave heart and a kind soul. I want to teach my kids to have passion and perseverance, and to dream as big as they can possibly imagine. I want to move mountains – in our business and in our community. I want to be a GOOD one!
TEXT: Margaret Linström