As I type this on my phone, my WordPress app prompts me to “share my story”. Where do I begin to put the first ChatShop event that took place last Monday at Dianne’s Tea Shop here in Trinidad and Tobago into words? See? Is that even grammatically correct? It is an impossible task, even for me, the self-proclaimed brand. Chatterbox here in my twin island paradise. It is my brand, after all. Maybe I should channel some Elmo. i digress.
ChatShop with TTChatterbox is an intimate workshop series that brings together brands, entrepreneurs, bloggers and influencers, all looking to define their realm of influence in the clutter that has become branding and marketing on social media and beyond.
The first installment brought together the country’s leading names in influence and with the second workshop almost fully booked, I believe I am on to something.
Trini Gourmet. Fresh Start Juices. Twigs Naturals, Sumptuously Orgasmic, Mr. Toppers, Coconuts of the Caribbean, Trinidad Weddings, Cocoa Vintage, Eat With Me TT, Tobago Bag, Look Opticians, Crumb Coat and Chill, Eiffel Cafe, Hello Green TT, Livin,’ Trini, Sonja Sinaswee, Fame Trinidad, Lime.tt, Trinidad Theatre Workshop, The Canvas … and more, together made up my first group of #ChaTTfluencer, a group of people brought together by TTChatterbox, to chat abiut brand and influence. Thanks for the term, Ashvini!
My ChaTTfluencers and I discussed brand purpose, and authenticity. We shared the birth stories of our brands and the times that we have been hurt or betrayed. We shared our vision not only for ourselves but each other. For Trinidad and Tobago.
Then there was Dianne’s Tea Shop being the perfect place for all of this to unfold. The food and service was on point as usual and I swooned every time Dianne herselfnpoopedntonsayva few words or snap a photo.
There was one point that I stood back and asked myself, ‘You did this? You brought these people together? Listen to the things they are saying about TTChatterbox!” And while that sounds narcissistic (and it is!), all I heard was each and every one of my guests thanking me for believing in them or posting pictures of their brand, or keeping them en trend of all things fabulous here in T&T.
And let me tell you, every one was in Chatterbox mode. We went around the table and everyone got a chance to introduce themselves and their purpose. Each introduction turned into a mini discussion that seems to cover the agenda I had planned, organically.
While I knew the story of everyone there, I knew that I wanted the world to know too! For it is the stories of our brands that truly encourage engagement and subsequently, influence.
Everyone present made it clear that while they had their objectives for their brand or their career path, they knew the power of social media and wanted to add purpose to each and every post. I felt like a proud Mama because I certainly didn’t need to teach this bunch what to do or how to do it. They just needed that reassurance … someone to believe in them. I pledge to always be that someone.
And that is truly the definition of influence.
To my first group of #ChaTTfluencers, I salute you.
Here are a few of my favourite photos from Lime.tt … another brand that I love.