GoTrendSA sits down with trendy blogger and professional mulitasker, Leigh Crymble, also known as her online presence, Le1ghLo! Over the past couple of months we’ve gotten to know Leigh and we just HAD to share her with all of you!
Tell us a little more about yourself
I grew up in Harare in Zimbabwe before moving to Grahamstown to study at Rhodes University. After getting my Masters in Linguistics, I moved to Joburg to lecture at Wits University and then later joined a corporate wellness company where I entered the health communication space.
You run your personal blog – Le1ghLo – tell us more!
I joined the blogosphere two years ago because I wanted to have my own space to write reviews and voice my thoughts. The modern-day diary, I guess. When my followers and readers started to engage more with it, I realised there was something special about blogging and it’s been in my blood ever since. I’m proud of the content I produce for it, now on a weekly basis, and the following that it’s built over the years.
What other projects are you involved in?
The blogging world has offered me so many opportunities for fun projects and collaborations. Last year I did a 12-week health challenge for Women’s Health (LINK) which culminated in a bikini photo shoot on the beach with a swimsuit model. Never something I’d anticipated doing! I’ve also done various beauty challenges with skincare and makeup brands all thanks to my blog. At the moment, I’m documenting my preparation for the 94.7 Cycle Challenge which I’ll be doing (for the first time) with actress Hayley Owen. We are using our various platforms to promote what we’ve called the #TeamHayLeigh #20for20 initiative – we aim to raise R200 000 for the Smile Foundation to fund 20 new smiles for children with facial anomalies. Blogging for social good has now become a big part of what I do.
We always see you at social events, how do you juggle your work, personal life, and then the Le1ghLo side of things?
It’s a challenge most weeks but so very worth it. Writing, in whatever form, is a big passion for me and with the different things I do and am exposed to – I get to try out different ways of communicating with others. I’ve always been interested in the power of language – how saying something in a specific way can affect a series of actions. The difference between “Read this blog post about foundation!” and “Have you read this blog post about foundation?” Such slight nuances in language that I get to play with that often result in various outcomes.
What do you do when you have time to chill out?
Chill time for me often means twitter time. It has become an indispensable part of my life – for entertainment, for information, to market my own ‘brand’, etc. So, a perfect night in for me is red wine, WiFi, and a fully charged phone! What’s your favourite kind of content to cover for your site?
I started off with mainly restaurant reviews but soon realised I was not knowledgeable enough in the culinary space to be a food blogger. I’ve since moved more to lifestyle and event coverage so these are the main types of posts you’ll find on my blog – as well as beauty content in my weekly column for The Citizen Newspaper, The Lo Down.
If someone wanted advice on starting their own site similar to yours, what would you say?
Avoid taking any payment. I’ve been very strict about not being paid for my content – I do my weekly column pro bono and I’ve never been paid by a brand to promote their stuff. I do understand that for some bloggers, monetising their work makes sense from a financial point of view. After all, we spend hours attending events and crafting well-thought out bits of content. I’m lucky enough to sustain myself with my day job so I made the decision to not accept cash for my work. What this means is that my own voice can come through as much as I want. I have no editorial constraints nor vested interests in what I cover. This said, I do get my fair share of freebie ‘blogger drops’ but I like to think that what you read on my site is Le1ghLo-endorsed; not brand-endorsed and that’s important to me.
What are your future plans looking like Leigh?
For me, the future is about next week. What launch/event/fashion show/etc is happening and am I able to make it with work commitments or do I need to send a guest blogger. I’m very happy with how things are going now so Future Leigh hopefully turns out to be just like present Leigh. But with longer hair. And fitter. 😉
To end off, what’s a favourite quote/motto of yours?
The more you do; the more you can do. Don’t ever feel limited by a 9-5 job. I took off a month in between jobs during a period that I called #Funemployment and it was such a great decision – I realised then that although I am not ready to leave the corporate grind just yet, there is so much out there to keep me busy, satisfied, and entertained. With the rise of digital media and marketing, there are so many avenues to pursue what you love in the social media space. I’m a big fan of doing what you love and will hopefully continue to learn, and try, new things.