I remember the first time I received a PR package from a beauty brand. It was 2008-ish, and a small box with a New York return address appeared in the building mail room of the apartment I shared with my husband in downtown St. Paul. I had been publishing posts on my blog, Bombshell Beauty, for about a year. They were mostly roundups and reviews of my favorite products, with pictures snagged off retail websites. (None of us knew better at the time! Do not do that.)
Heart pounding with anticipation, I opened the mystery box. It was from John Varvatos and contained a large bottle of the brand's new women's fragrance. I had no idea how they knew who I was, where they got my address, or how I'd ended up on their PR list. I was just thrilled about all of the above.
Over the next decade, I worked with some truly amazing people at fashion and beauty companies that I love. I went on brand trips and produced sponsored content. At one point I was posting a new blog every single day, pounding out words and snapping poorly-lit pictures in the hours after my full-time job. My bathroom cabinets became filled with more products than one person could use in a lifetime, arriving almost daily on my doorstep from brands that wanted me to review their newest releases. I appeared on TV and radio and in magazines. It was awesome! Sort of. And then it really, really wasn't.
I spoke with Elizabeth Ries and Margery Punnett on their cozy podcast, Best to the Nest, about what it was like to become an influencer in the early days of influencing, and why I stepped back. It's a fun conversation about the cost of influencer culture on our kids and on ourselves. I hope you'll listen in and let me know what you think.
This is a place to celebrate all the parts of yourself that come with age and experience. I'm here to share with you what I know and to explore with you the many (many) things I don't.