Instagram Heroes: Meet the “1000 Grams of Likes” Winners for January 2021

The votes are in! We’re thrilled to announce the first two “1000 Grams of Likes” winners as part of our ongoing Instagram Heroes awards series, celebrating creative excellence on IG. Congratulations to the business winner Yococo, an artisanal dairy-free ice cream brand founded by Sine Ndlela, and to the creator winner White on Rice (aka Ross Symons) of origami design fame.

The guest judges for the January award were designer Yasmin Furmie and VMLY&R CEO Jarred Cinman, joined by Facebook representative Aviv Weil. As the title of this award alludes to, the judges weren’t simply looking for amazing work or an outstanding product or offering, though that certainly formed part of the criteria. They also wanted to see the platform being used to its fullest potential, with creatives and businesses making innovative use of Instagram’s features like Stories, Reels and IGTV. Successful community building was also a key criteria, where genuine, keen engagement trumps follower count. “I really liked judging this, and I don’t say that lightly. I left feeling so inspired. I’m grateful to have had this experience,” says Cinman. Of the calibre of entrants, Furmie adds, “Looking at all these people, it was so inspiring to see the different types of creative work out there.”

Ultimately, Yococo and White on Rice came out tops. Here’s what the judges had to say about the winning Instagrammers.

Yococo | January 2021 Business Winner

“Yococo ticks all the boxes for me – an inspiring company, beautiful design, lovely sense of humour and really using Instagram well. It is clear that their Instagram is not just a place to republish things but a core part of their marketing and brand building. They have really put in the effort on the photography and videos and are thinking about the role this content has in the buying journey.” – Jarred Cinman

“In terms of business, it draws you in. It’s a great testament to women ownership and is part of a movement toward a kinder planet. She has a fabulous business.” – Yasmin Furmie

“Vegan ice cream has never been more fun thanks to Yococo’s Instagram. For many growing businesses, Instagram can act as their shopwindow, an incredible space to connect with and inspire their community whilst helping them discover more about you and the stories you tell through photos, video and more. Yococo’s use of Stories, Highlights, Reels, IGTV and feed invites us into their happy world, where it’s as much about their delicious ice cream as it is about the amazing people who make it and eat it with love. Who wouldn’t want to spend time there?” – Aviv Weil

Follow @the_yococo on IG.

White on Rice | January 2021 Creator Winner

“This page is a pleasure to behold – incredible craft, funny, inspiring and engaging. I just wanted to keep clicking. And really taking advantage of both the page-level design as well as providing riches to discover as you click deeper into each post.” – Jarred Cinman

“His IG is like a mediation to me. It’s mesmerizing, it’s unique and utterly compelling. Ticks all my boxes.” – Yasmin Furmie

“White on Rice is an incredible example of why creative consistency is one of the ways to continuously build community, credibility and commercial opportunities on Instagram. It’s prolific stuff. He teaches, he inspires and he promotes… It’s never just about him. From marrying the beauty and craft of origami together with stop motion and pop culture in feed, to his 365-day Miniturigami series, not to mention inviting people to play with his Tap-To-Fold Instagram Stories, every post is a non-stop feast for one’s imagination. It’s no surprise so many amazing local and global brands keep hiring him to make magic for them on social.” – Aviv Weil

Follow @white_onrice on IG.

Are you an Instagram Hero? Find out how to submit your own work here.

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