Last week, I got an email with this subject line: "Thanks for blogging; have some shoes on us!" WHAT????
This email couldn't possibly be legit...could it?? It had to be from a Nigerian prince looking to abscond my fortune...right? RIGHT????
But no, in fact the email was from a company called Solestruck.com, a women's online shoe boutique. They'd noticed I blog about trends and clearly have a "passion for shoes." To get me familiar with their site, they wanted to send me a complimentary pair of shoes of my choice!!! AAAAAA!
They said the offer came at no cost to me and had no strings attached. Well, except that I "kindly spread the word if I liked their services." There's always that string.
I am no Pollyanna. I know how the world works. I've worked in PR/marketing my entire career. I know exposure to the right audiences is key. I know targeting the right audience is getting harder because the audience is becoming increasingly fragmented. I also know blogs have become critical to major brands as well as fledgling ones. Like broadcast and print, the web has become one more avenue to market. I know ALL of this.
But I am also my mother's daughter. So I am wary. I am cautious. Stranger danger style. I worried this could be some rather elaborate plot to get my address and kidnap me. So I immediately asked my blogger mentor WeeMo for advice. She was similarly wary.
However, Jean Bean, who is a Conde Nast reporter and gets all kinds of MAJOR DESIGNER freebies, was less concerned. She said the worst thing that could happen was I didn't get the shoes. HMMMM...
Had the idea to ask for some blogger "references." If I was the first person who had ever done this trade, I was out. But if they'd partnered with other bloggers, I'd reach out to them and make sure I wasn't selling my soul to the devil.
Probably thinking I was crazy for not just taking the damn free shoes, Danielle from Solestruck kindly wrote back with a long list of bloggers. Three caught my eye because I puffy paint heart their sites: Fashion Toast, It's Her Factory and Fashion Chalet.
Ended up emailing Fashion Toast (eeeks! She's a blogstar!) and she replied (eeks! She's a blogstar!) that Danielle's offer was definitely legit.
That settled it. Decided I'd have the shoes sent to a friend's secured office building. That would alleviate my lingering concern about giving out my name or personal information.
Now came the fun part: deciding which shoes I wanted FOR FREE. Solestruck specializes in the juniors market, which means they have shoes from cool brands that I love like Report, Dolce Vita, and Jeffrey Campbell.
Really wanted a pair of booties but ended up narrowing it down to this crazy hot shoe from Oh Deer.
And this more sensible girly Delman pump.
Today my package arrived. AYYAYAYYA!
Mr. Diabolina gawked at the red sole from across the room and said incredulously, "Are they Christian Louboutin??"
What a sucker! But I bet more than one person will think they are Loubies! Love love love everything about them.
And that is the tale of my very first blogger perk. Thanks much, Danielle! A girl never forgets her first. ;)
Brass Plum jacket
Forever 21 dress
Marc by MJ sunglasses and sandals
Louis Vuitton Speedy
Built the outfit around this delish plaid jacket. Brass Plum. $35. Love it. Look at the freakin detailing - the collar, the sleeves, the buttons.
Very Preen. Very D&G Fall 2008.
With a dash of Katie
Maybe some RiRi
And La Conrad thrown in.
A bit like It's Her Factory (in her Solestruck booties!)
And Olsen central.
Today was Marc sweetness
Mixed with Diabolina hotness.
And maybe a little lumberjack too...