7 things bloggers wish brands understood

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7 things fashion bloggers wish brands understood

To all the bloggers that have felt the same frustrations, and to all the brands that want a meaningful relationship with their blogging partners. This is not a rant, rather a guide to a healthier relationship. I must admit I’ve had the most amazing partners in the past couple of years, so to all of you that I’ve worked with – this isn’t for you. But there are many unspoken secrets that just need to get out for everyone’s sake – so let’s set the record straight shall we? Here are 7 things bloggers wish brands understood for a happier, healthier, more beneficial symbiotic relationship.

happy fashion blogger relationship

#1: Please don’t auto subscribe me to your newsletter. Not because I don’t love you. (I truly do!) Because I get 100 emails a day from brands and partners… you just made it 101.

#2: I know you think I’m crazy to turn down a post in exchange for your product… and the truth is I may not want to say no, but it just doesn’t always work that way. Aside from popular belief, blogging is not just a bunch of kids playing on social media and getting buckets of free stuff and money in exchange for basically zero effort – it’s a lot of work. Just like any other creative outlet – It takes time, an artistic eye, hundreds of maintained connections, media creation, copywriting, PR outreach, the list goes on… so don’t expect me to hand that out so freely. While I personally and admittedly do not, some individuals make their living from their blog. And no one wants to live off ramen forever. If you don’t have respect for the time and effort that I’m putting forth, I won’t have respect for yours.

blogger tip - it's a lot of work

#3: Oh you want to send me a “gift”? How lovely… the 2 dozen follow-up emails asking if I’ll be posting it soon? Unnecessary. I do understand that you’re hoping for a free feature by sending these gifts. And honestly it just might work if I end up loving your products. But if you harass me… you can forget about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that, and frankly – you’re stressing me out.

#4: Even though it may not sound like it right now… bloggers are actually pretty reasonable. Remember we’re all just people at the end of the day. Don’t have the budget for sponsored posts but we’re honestly a match made in heaven? Talk to me, bloggers are their own business owners and we’re often flexible, just remember to be flexible in return.

#5: If I don’t like your products, we won’t be working together. I don’t care if the deal you’re offering me is down right smashing – if the product or service isn’t something I would buy, I will not consider accepting. A blog is a brand too, and forcing an unwanted match won’t do you, the blogger, or the blogger’s network any good. It’s fake, and we just won’t have it.

fashion blogger fashion blogger

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | dress c/o:BYELIANNE | boots c/o:WINDSOR SMITH | vest:TJMAXX FIND | sunnies c/o:WYETH

#6: Don’t ask me to include a giveaway or promo code. If coupon sales is your only measure of success – you should probably just run a PPC ad campaign. Blogging is much more personal. It’s about resonating with the community and speaking your voice directly from the mouth of your consumer. And coming from a marketing background, that’s worth a lot.

#7: My objective is not to sell, it’s to share. Sure, as a brand or service your objective may be to sell, but it’s not mine, so please don’t try to make it mine. If I wanted to sell something I’d open my own retail store. Don’t worry, if I like your products, my friends over here on the blog will probably like them too… so sales is a natural response. But blogging is my passion. It’s where I share the thoughts that inspire me, life experiences, the places I visit, and things that I love. It’s a magical and curated story of life, a day in my dreams. One I hope that inspires and connects people in a much deeper way. It’s not a sales gimmick, your personal ad space, or some strange social brainwashing platform. This is my life. It’s real. The people I’m connected with are real. We’re a family.

fashion blogger photography process

Sound like the opposite of what you’re looking for in a blogger? That’s ok. This space isn’t for everyone. These are the things that I’m passionate about. Life. Experiences. Travel. Happiness. Truth. Family. Fashion. And a little bit of luxury. And as soon as a blog becomes what a brand wants instead of what it is – it’s no longer a blog, it’s an infomercial in disguise. If we end up working together think of it as a film – not a commercial. We’re doing it because I love you, you love me, and because I believe others will love you too. Because the passion and the storyline are so good they must be told. Because this is a beautiful moment when we come together. Because you fit into the lifestyle of a real moment here on this earth or one fleeting moment of imagination. A perfect day – a day in my dreams.

blogger's work is done

Want more fashion tips? Here’s how to be a fashion blogger without an Instagram husband.

Want to know how to be a girl boss behind the scenes? Check out this insider’s interview with the awesome team from Where to Get and learn how to stay motivated and active on the go.

let the sweat roll

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titika fitness blogger

Something about a breaking a heavy sweat feels deliciously refreshing. Like your pores have been fighting a drawn out battle, and finally gave way to the rush of your body’s energy flow. And while I would like to boast these droplets of fallen soldiers are from putting in a full day’s over-due workout… it’s actually mostly from the heat.

stretching fitness blogger

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | sport bra c/o:TITIKA | activewear short c/o:TITIKA | joggers c/o:TITIKA | athleisure dress c/o:TITIKA | althleisure shoes:ADIDAS ORIGINALS | pebble leather bag c/o:STATUS ANXIETY

yoga fitness blogger staying hydratedlunging blogger

2016-0820-dimd-titika-29

Deceivingly scorching for it’s bright appearance, this studio would have been perfect – if only it weren’t 90° without proper ventilation. I’ll be back in the fall. In the mean time, at least I look like I’m practicing some intense moves.

And while this shot was mostly for the sake of the show – I have actually been getting this butt back into the gym, and proud to say the routine is (mostly) back on track. Coming from previous years of 90 min Bikram sessions 5-6 times a week, this year has been a bit (ok a lot) of a slow down in that regard with travel schedules and other life happenings choking my calendar with priorities like pizza and beer night, obviously just to good to give up…

yoga blogger2016-0820-dimd-titika-30

But, inspired by a twerking video on Instagram and some killer gear from my fav athleisure brand Titika, I’m actually feeling optimistic about returning to a semi-regular fitness program with space for some compromises. Happily for me, Titina kinda goes everywhere with me (whether I actually make it into the gym or not)… so who’s judging? I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of this fitness meets daily lifestyle vibe – which I’m totally digging by the way. There leggings are to live for, and this knit dress was on repeat during my travels to and from NYC this week.

Check these shots of another sweat-filled day with Titika on this #mondaymotivation blog post.

titika normcore titika all whitetitika fashion blogger  all white adidas originalstitika athleisure blogger

The shoot itself was a workout in itself – from stretching out to a few basic yoga positions and several lunges in an attempt to get the perfect shot. Photo seshes are so the new fitness routines right? I joke. But honestly – it was enough my body had that feel-good pain the morning after. Who needs the gym when you have the right photographers making you hold precarious positions in a virtual steam house? Posing for the camera, sporting cool gear and trying to immediate that twerking video… now that’s my kind of workout. Stay healthy babes, and may your week be sweaty for all the right reasons. Happy Labor Day weekend!

island getaway deep into the ocean

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island getaway travel blogger

Crossing borders between dreams and reality, the mind is lost in overwhelming bliss and contentment in those moments where the world disappears except for what’s right in front of you. Staring into the ocean, you can almost feel the world spin beneath you as you remain motionless, caught it the moment and held by a force more powerful than any burden you may have left behind. On an island or in a dream, the certainty of which fades, and it couldn’t matter less. The feeling is strangely empowering, as the world and all who are in it are powerless to enter that moment and change the winds sweeping through the air. A summer getaway – never too often.

Truly all I want and ever need – endless motion with you beside the ocean.

Another look into the Nicobar Islands, India on a recent summer’s adventure. The dark rocks jutting up from the sea look almost ominous from afar, but as movement draws them near they’re smooth and wet beneath your feet from the ever tumbling waves. Tiny fish leap from the water as if gasping for air and dive quickly again hidden beneath the waters by the reflection of the afternoon sun.

island travel blogger travel blogger

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | tweed fray tank and short coordi c/o:ART DEPT | travel sandals c/o:NAKED FEET | bikini top c/o:TRANGL

The air is warm and salty, caressing the skin leaving traces of sea behind. The only sounds – palms bending from the breeze, the rushing of their leaves clamoring together. The waves crashing beneath us, and the sound of my heart – beating slowly and softly taking in each breath as if it were it’s own living creature receiving the first strain oxygen it requires to survive. Yes, I’m sure we were made to live by the ocean, where quiet and peace prevail and even the most anxious natures let go in this world that does not belong to them. It belongs to the happy, the free, the still. Only they will be permitted on this island getaway, and that’s all I need.

island getaway beaches island bikini blogger  island footsteps relaxing travel bloggercomfortable travel shoes

“That’s all I need
All I want
Is to stay a little longer now
Arms around me like a border
Like an endless stream
You take me in
To a place that I’ve never been
Now I’m
Giving in to your touch
I will never get enough
Dive in deep into the ocean”
– Mike Perry

luxury and lattes

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luxury minimal fashion blogger

Because what else could a girl ask for in life? Enjoy the little jewels of happiness in life, it’s mid week and the weekend isn’t far. Here’s wishing you a beautiful one. Sit back, relax. May your days be full of light, your nights full of adventure, and your latte full of caffeine.

minimal luxury fashion

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:iPHONE 6 | minimalist blouse c/o:PREMONITION | boots c/o:WINDSOR SMITH | crossbody bag c/o:STATUS ANXIETY | sunnies c/o:EYE BUY DIRECT | marble notebook c/o:MELO & CO

minimalist blogger coffee

a minimalist lifestyle from a blogger’s perspective

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all white minimalist fashion lifestyle

minimalism: noun min·i·mal·ism
\ˈmi-nə-mə-ˌli-zəm\

1: a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity – Merriam Webster Dictionary

Minimalism is the most simple and pure form of any thing. The essence of something – without anything additional. It is the absence of excess. But how does that interpret into lifestyle?

Some interpret minimal fashion as a constricted wardrobe of monochrome ensembles. Black, white, beige, simple. Hangers should be 2” apart with plenty of empty space since “minimalism” seems often translated as having less. Each piece should have minimal adornments and detailing, and must be of the most straightforward nature. T-shirts, tanks, jeans. The aura should be stark, neat, empty.

white sea minimalist fashionstaring into the sea minimalist fashion

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | top c/o:LIE | shorts c/o:SALIENT LABEL

I have a much different perspective. Indeed, those descriptive characteristics above are part of a minimalist lifestyle – but it goes much deeper than that. It’s less about the rules, and more about the experience and aesthetic of each piece, item, and choices. It’s not about have less, it’s having only those things which have a purpose. The difference? Imagine someone who works from home, is fairly introverted, and rarely leaves the house. The essentials they need would be quite little. For that person a minimal wardrobe would likely be filled with extra space, and items would be that of a most simple nature.

Now imagine someone who travels frequently. Their hobbies include camping, running, fine dining, and other activities that require a different set of tools or essentials. Their closet may be filled to overflowing, but does this mean they cannot be a part of the minimalism lifestyle? Hardly seems fair… People often get stuck on a number. A minimalist should have 5 shirts, 3 jeans, 2 shoes, 1 coffee mug, etc. Instead, I find the definition more adaptive to people’s unique lifestyles. A runner needs shoes, athletic wear and a water bottle. Camping requires an onslaught of equipment in order to eat, sleep and carry on. Reducing so far that one doesn’t have the essentials needed to maintain their lifestyle is a self-created prison, not minimalism.

endless beach

hermit crab huntingminimal horizon

Instead, minimalism is meant to be simple, free and burden-less. If cutting back so far you actually create a more extreme burden, is it truly minimalism? Perhaps, perhaps not. I think it could mean a great many things, but the principle to follow most closely is: if you don’t need it, clear your closet and your mind from everything that is non-essential. It’s a wonderful experience to open space for a less-is-more lifestyle. Purchase pieces sparingly – as you need them, as they serve a purpose. Live a life with meaning, and disregard those things which do not matter. Be happy, and have only those things which make you so.

Minimalism is freedom. Freedom from those things which weigh us down, take up space, and serve no purpose. It’s reducing to those things that truly matter and have a positive impact on your lifestyle. It’s not clothes, coffee mugs, and a checklist of what you may not have. It’s internal, a mental state of mind, and a simple lifestyle consisted of only those things which you need. And that – is a truly beautiful thing.

minimal travel