When I first started blogging – during the Wild West years – it was a time when bloggers were virtually showered with swag. Everything from champagne to deodorant arrived on my doorstep – unsolicited – on the regular, and every time my fellow blogger friends and I attended an “event”, we were sent off with bags overflowing with moisturizers and chocolates and sunglasses and what have you. See, brands were still trying to figure out how to harness this newfangled thing called “social media,” and the initial plan was apparently to throw their stuff at the wall and see what stuck. In other words, for the relatively low cost of wholesale product, they hoped that they’d get what amounted to free coverage (at least relative to what they’d pay for traditional media).
This was obviously REALLY fun in the beginning. Overwhelming, even. But honestly? Over time, another lip gloss in your mailbox just stops being exciting, and starts being just another thing you don’t need. What this meant: I became the actual best gift-giver on Planet Earth, sifting through my stash for the just-right gifts for everyone in my life – gifts, suffice it to say, that I would never, ever have been able to afford all on my lonesome.
Now, the industry shifted several years ago towards a more traditional pay-for-play approach – as did my personal business model, wherein I only accept product from clients I’m contracted to work with or otherwise intend to review for the site – but the fact that I love giving my friends gifts: That stayed. There’s just nothing like it.
Which is all to say that gift guides are some of my favorite posts to write of the year, and this one may be my favorite-favorite.
Go forth, and gift your girls.