Over the span of my blogging career (a whole 9 months), I’ve slowly shaped and formed my blog, trying to decide what I wanted it to be.
When I first got started, I got super carried away in the blogging game. I wanted to be a “famous” blogger who had double-digit comments on each post and advertisers contacting me about wanting to promote their companies and products on my blog.
Then I realized how exhausting and time/labor-intensive that whole game was. After doing a few giveaways, I quickly lost interest in all those shenanigans. And as honored as I am to have so many followers that I didn’t know personally, the only thing I could think of when I would consider doing product reviews and giveaways was the people that I do know who read my blog. My friends and family don’t come to my blog to win stuff or to hear my opinions on baby products, unless those baby products were the catalyst in an amusing anecdote.
Plus, in order to establish yourself as a true “mommy blogger”, you have to really make an effort to reach out to other mommy bloggers and try to get yourself ingratiated into one blogging community or another. And since I’m working and mommying and pretty much just trying to keep my head above water, I don’t really have time or energy to spend hours each day reading and commenting on other blogs in the hopes that a few of their authors will take notice of my comment and pop over to my blog. If I’m going to read a blog, I want to read it and comment on it because I enjoy it and because it strikes a chord with me.
My point in all this is that I decided to make my blog a place where I write. I decided that it was ok if the only people reading my blog were my friends and family. I have consciously stayed away from product reviews and giveaways, and have turned many offers down because I didn’t want my blog to become a marketing tool.
But. I am only human. And when eShakti, an online clothing retailer, contacted me about doing a product review, I couldn’t say no. I had seen a few reviews of their site on other blogs, and I was totally taken in by their novel approach to online clothing shopping. I’m sure we can all agree that it is always a little difficult to buy clothes online because you’re just not sure if it will fit you properly, no matter how familiar you are with the brand you’re purchasing. The super-cool thing about eShakti is that they will customize anything you order to your specifications. They even provide instructions on their website about how to take your measurements if you’re a novice like me.
I’ll admit, the initial motivation for doing this review was totally selfish; I wanted something free from their site! I wasn’t thinking about how awesome it would be if I could help this company spread the word to my readers and I wasn’t thinking about how I would really be helping my readers out by telling them about this site. So I responded to the email offer with a “heck yes!” and went to work picking out my free item.
Small problem, though. I’m pregnant. Duh. What was I thinking? I figured it was karmic retribution for my selfishness. I started scanning their website, looking at the absolutely adorable and chic dresses that I won’t fit into for another 4+ months, and I got sad. But after a few minutes, I stumbled upon this jacket. (I'm sure there is some way for me to post a picture of it here, but the website won't let me copy a picture and my camera is dead with the batter charger MIA, so I can't take a picture of myself in it. Though I am wearing it today so if you know me you can use your imagination and picture how awesome I look today.)
It seemed perfect because its only closure was a tie belt, which I could easily loop above my belly. But I wanted to be thorough, so I perused the rest of the site. I kept going back to that jacket, and couldn’t get it out of my mind. And I’ll be honest, I actually took a break browsing because I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. When you're getting something for free, you are a lot more discerning and thorough in making your choice.
But I couldn’t get that jacket out of my mind. So I took my belly measurements and requested that they put a little extra fabric in the front so it would cover my belly if I wanted it to. Then I placed the order and began my eager and impatient waiting.
They didn’t keep me waiting long, and the jacket arrived in under a week, which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that it’s a custom order. I fell in love immediately. The jacket is chic and comfy and sophisticated all in one. I can dress it down with jeans (or even downer with yoga pants), or I can wear it to work. And I’ve gotten so many compliments on it. And I embarrassingly admit that I’ve probably worn it an average of 2 times a week since I received it. I love it. We’re involved.
If you’d like to check their site out, head over to www.eshakti.com and browse their adorable (and extensive) collection. And if you find something you like (which I’m pretty sure you will), you can use the code to get 15% off your order.
(I promise not to start doing a million product reviews now. Also, I have just proven that I can be bought if the price is right. Give me free stuff with sufficient value and I’m yours.)