Celine Sabatte Mactaggart ’97 Shares Her Passion for the East Bay with Others. Celine Sabatte Mactaggart ’97 found a way to combine her passion for the East Bay with her enthusiasm for writing. She’s launched a lifestyle blog that highlights the vibrancy and influence that the area has on entrepreneurship, design, food and style, and also features local business owners, creatives and inspirational members of the community that are making a difference.
The fourth-generation Oaklander launched the blog, 24 East, in 2015 when her third and youngest child was turning one. “I had always wanted to go back to work after being home with our kids, but struggled to know what that would look like. I thought about doing freelance writing, but also didn’t see a source out there that focused specifically on lifestyle things in our area,” she said.
“The East Bay has been vastly underrepresented in the media with positive news for my entire life, and I wanted to change that. I also knew that if I solely wrote about the East Bay, then people who didn’t live here wouldn’t connect with the area or change their perceptions, so that is why I sprinkle in content about the greater Bay Area that still aligns with our content pillars of wellness, design, the food scene, etc.”
The content seems to have hit the mark, as Mactaggart’s blog articles have been featured in a variety of magazines such as Diablo, Rue and 7×7.
Finding her Niche
Mactaggart earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a minor in English, from St. Mary’s College, as well as a graduate certificate from Harvard that concentrated in nonprofit management. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco.
While in graduate school, Mactaggart worked for several local nonprofits – including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the YH Soda Foundation – and then went into hospital fundraising, holding positions at the California Pacific Medical Foundation and Alta Bates Summit Foundation.
She was a stay-at-home mom (her children are currently ages 6, 5 and 2 _) and served on the Board of Trustees of Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, the Board of Regents of St. Mary’s College, and the Board of the George Mark Children’s House before venturing into blogging.
Starting the blog has been fulfilling and challenging, Mactaggart said.
“I love connecting with people that inspire me and I love learning about their routines, their career paths, what they love about living here, and the hopes they have for their work,” she said. “I feel so honored to have interviewed the Editor-in-Chief of Sunset Magazine, the CFO of the Golden State Warriors (only one of four women CFO’s in the NBA), and my Class of 1997 O’Dowd friend Rebecca Alexander, who is an author, advocate, psychotherapist and endurance athlete.”
A day in the life of Mactaggart the blogger is quite full. Up at 5:30 a.m. to get in some exercise before her children wake up, she begins working around 8 a.m. Then the day can include writing, conducting interviews, setting the blog’s editorial calendar, coordinating social media and going to events.
There’s never an optimum time to begin a new venture, in the sense that all the stars are never going to fully align, Mactaggart said. “If you really want to start something creative, you just have to start. For example, as a mother of young children I have a certain lack of control over my schedule. I need to be flexible and roll with changes,” she said.
Mactaggart feels very fortunate to live in an area that means so much to her, and is eager to share her passion with others. “I think people from Oakland have an intrinsic loyalty to the area that can’t be compared. And that gives us a really vibrant culture as well,” she said.
New Venture in the Works
Mactaggart is currently working on founding a non-profit to address skin cancer prevention in children through awareness and education. “My husband is a melanoma survivor and I know a lot of people who have been diagnosed with skin cancer,” she said. “And, after having children, I noticed that children don’t wear hats, sunglasses, and sun cream as much as they could.”
So, as she’s keeping her editorial calendar commitments for 24 East, Mactaggart is conducting research and meeting with dermatologists to learn more about skin cancer. “Right now the work is really piecemeal, which is hard in terms of consistency, but I try to make it work because I’m very passionate about the project,” she said.
You can check out the blog at www.24east.com and also follow on Instagram at @24_east.