Every jewelry lover should have a jewelry designer bestie. I am lucky to have several. I spent over four years of my life working for a jewelry company, and now at least half of my good friends work in jewelry – they’re either designers or in PR/Marketing. In this case, my friend Natalie (the genius behind Holst + Lee) made me this necklace and these bracelets for my birthday. #luckygirl.
I hope you guys are having a good week. So happy it’s Friday!!! Today we’re doing a miniature Q&A of sorts – I had a bunch of questions on snapchat that I forgot to answer – sorry about that!!! And if you have questions for next week, feel free to comment below… or snap ’em to me at grace.atwood!!!
Would love to know your best pick for a moisturizing hair mask and best advice for connecting with brands.
Okay! Two very different questions!
For a moisturizing hair mask, I personally really love this one from VERB. It leaves my hair so so soft and silky!
In terms of connecting with brands, I’ve always been of the school of thought that if you work hard, get your numbers up, and produce quality content, the brands will just come to you. I am lucky in that I’ve approached very few brands – most of the brands I work with have come to me directly.
That being said, I do have a few words of advice – mostly from my BaubleBar days as I received so many (often poorly written!) pitches from bloggers. It felt like so many of them just wanted free product or money without being able to bring much to the table.
First of all, make sure you have something to offer. If you sign up with an affiliate network like RewardStyle or Shopstyle, you will be able to see traffic + conversion… and you can use those stats to prove your case to a brand (for example, I posted about X product and it drove XYZ clicks and XYZ sales.) Case studies or examples are helpful. And have a media kit with your stats, examples, and demographics about your readership. If you are the one doing the pitching, never ask for money!!! Reaching out should be more about starting a relationship with the brand. A good way to start out is by doing a trade. If you do that and the collaboration is a success, then you can (nicely) ask if they have a budget for a paid collaboration.
Another good thing to try is signing up for the various agencies/platforms. There are so many of them, but off the top of my head: Collectively, Fohr Card, Style Coalition, Federated Media, Tapinfluence, and Revfluence are all great platforms that can help you connect with brands. Lastly, if you have a blogger friend with a connection to a brand, ask them to connect you! My girlfriends and I do this all the time and it feels more natural/organic.
What do you do with all the products, samples, clothing, accessories that don’t match or fit in with your lifestyle/blog? It seems like you get so many things but I’m sure you can’t / don’t keep most of it.
Haha, this is a very real problem. I hate to sound ungrateful but I also really wish more brands were thoughtful about what they sent to bloggers as it can be so wasteful. There is so much excess and it kills me. Getting mail is fun, but only to a certain extent. We aren’t editors and we don’t have entire beauty closets to stow every single shade of a particular lipstick or foundation. I spend hours every week lugging things home from my mailbox, breaking down boxes to recycle them, and figuring out what to do with the stuff I don’t want! Oftentimes stuff just shows up that I did not ask for, approve, or request. It’s kind of annoying to be honest.
The short answer is that I give it to my friends + family. I have a giant suitcase full of unwanted products that everyone can raid when they come over and I frequently mail boxes of stuff to my mom, sisters, cousins, aunts, out of town friends, etc. It’s a LOT. Everyone gets stuff… even my building super – he has daughters so I bring them a big bag of stuff every month or so. Last but not least, I am planning to donate the rest to a women’s shelter this month (if you have any suggestions for a good one, let me know!)
What are your fave plugins in WordPress… or blogging tools?
So you know that saying, do what you’re good at and outsource the rest? Yeah. I don’t really know much about the backend of my site. My developer is amazing (Lisa from Elembee) and she handles all that. I do really love the Joast plugin for SEO… that one I installed on my own and use everyday!
In terms of blogging tools I rely pretty heavily on Iconosquare for Instagram analytics, Google Analytics… and Planoly to plan my feed. Also Schedu.gram to post on my behalf (it actually posts for you). Otherwise I’m pretty basic. Lots and lots of google spreadsheets and documents!
What is your dating life like? How do you meet new people or would you advise others to meet people? I live in LA and find it so challenging to date/meet guys between work and life etc. would love to hear what you have been doing!
I will be really honest here – over time I’ve realized that I need to keep my dating life private. I’m an open book and will tell you guys anything you want to know, but once it involves another person, things change. Once upon a time, I thought, “What guy would ever read this blog? It’s about fashion!” And then I had someone more or less stalk my blog and things got really weird. I baaaarely even talk about dating here and have had a few bad experiences, so yeah. No more of that. I did write this post about dating in your thirties, if that is any help!
I will say that it’s really hard, and probably my biggest source of frustration. Work + life keep me pretty busy so when I’m out the focus isn’t usually on trying to talk to guys – I’m catching up with friends I haven’t seen in months, or I’m “on,” running around to work events. I try to go on one date a week, but if I am traveling a lot or really busy with the blog, that doesn’t happen. I don’t beat myself up too badly though – I really believe the right person is out there, and that so much is about timing.
In terms of meeting new people, the best thing to do is probably use an app. I hate them but wouldn’t ever meet anyone otherwise… I was on Bumble for a little bit and thought it was better than the other ones? I’m sorry!
Can you tell us more about your experiences with online dating? Do you have any tips or advice? It’s a struggle!
Haha – You guys are all over me about dating this week! I feel like I’m the worst person to ask about this because I’m so bad at it and I feel like it’s ruining the way we interact with each other in real life. Everyone is on their phones all the time, swiping, swiping, swiping…. plus also, there is this totally endless scroll of potential matches which is a) overwhelming and b) makes things tricky as you start to feel like you have endless options and that someone better must be right around the corner.
I would just say to be yourself and not stress out too much about it. Easier said than done, right? And don’t take it personally if someone flakes on you – everyone ghosts and flakes on the apps (another reason why I hate them!!) From an execution perspective, make sure your photos are clear and in focus (and avoid posting group shots). For me the biggest struggle with online dating is the volume… and I can’t talk to more than two or three people at a time or I’d go completely crazy!
This is so random but I’m curious about this when I see bloggers snapping in cabs: Do you just start talking to your phone or do you explain to your driver what you’re doing?
Ha! Great question. No I don’t tell them, I just start talking. Most cab drivers are pretty focused on what they are doing… I’ve never had one think I am talking to them! I actually prefer to snap in a cab – the light is usually pretty good, and it’s less awkward than snapchatting on the sidewalk!!
What type of mascara do you use? Also, how do you care for your designer bags?
I am just really careful with my designer bags. I will say one little trick I learned for the lighter colored ones is to clean them with baby wipes! It works really well (especially if your jeans rub off on the leather, which happened to me.
What’s your hangover cure? Any tips for quick skin recovery after a rough night?
Drink as much water as you possibly can. When skin is dehydrated, fine lines look so much more dramatic. Also, La Mer. I know it’s expensive but I save it for when I have a cold and when I have a hangover. It is magic, I swear!!! I think the key is really to hydrate as much as possible – from within with water, and externally with moisturizer, eye cream, + face oil! A face scrub also helps. And Rodial just came out with a Hangover Mask, which I have not yet tried but can’t wait to test!
photography by Lydia Hudgens.