Quality time with my girls? Check. Great handmade clothing, accessories and shoes? Check. New love of photography? Check. I just never imagined there would also be something so invaluable and special headed my way…
Since I started on our brand repping journey, I’ve realized that it’s something that I just can’t talk to my “real life” friends about. They don’t get it. Most of them think that I’m just getting free stuff because Falynn is cute. Others think I have an unhealthy obsession with taking pictures of her and have no idea why I do it daily. Many think I’m a stage Mom, living vicariously through her. Others think I’m doing this to get her “discovered” or think I’m trying to make my kids into the next Kardashians. Way too many have even asked me how they can get free stuff for their kids. And as much as I try to explain the amount of work and dedication that brand repping requires, they just don’t understand. So when such a large part of your life revolves around brand repping, what can you talk to them about, that they can relate to?!
When my real life friends love something that Falynn is wearing and I send them the link, they tell me how crazy it is to spend that kind of money on a child’s wardrobe, yet they will spend $100 on new sneakers that they will outgrow in a matter of months, lining the pockets of already rich CEO’s with even more money, while small shop owners count their pennies, hoping they can pay their rent. When Falynn gets chosen to work with unicorn shops, I can’t tell any of them because, well, they have no idea what a unicorn shop is. Plus, they’ve probably never heard of that shop because they only shop at stores like Old Navy or Justice. And while I do occasionally shop at big box stores, the majority of our clothing budget is spent in small shops, even though we get less, the reward is so much greater.
So, I’ve realized that as much as I love my real life friends, I NEED brand rep Mama friends. They get me. I can tell them about my photoshoot and how she couldn’t keep her finger out of her nose, couldn’t stop pretending to be a chicken and fell asleep minutes before we arrived at the photoshoot location. I can tell them about the shop that shipped out my order 3 weeks late and expected me to take pictures the day I received my package. I can share my frustrations, my triumphs and my accomplishments and THEY TOTALLY GET IT! They applaud me for my photography and encourage me to learn new things to make it even better. They share new small shops with me and give me their share codes so that I’m saving money while supporting. They listen to me vent when I’ve had an awful experience and remind me that the good always outweighs the bad. They understand why I spent $22 on a t-shirt when I could have gone to Ross and spent $5 for a mass produced tee.
Believe it or not, even though I have never and may probably never meet these Mamas in person, there are so many that I’ve become closer to than some of my real life friends. They have become people I can text, call or message when I’m having a bad day. They understand my struggles in life and care enough to listen and share their best advice. We watch each other’s kids grow up through pictures and feel a connection that is so much stronger than I could have ever imagined. We have become more like family than internet strangers. It’s become the best perk of being a part of the brand rep community. And for the ones that I have met in person, it was probably the most comfortable blind Mama play dates I’ve ever had. We had been communicating through social media and had seen so many pictures of each other and our kids, that it was almost as though we already knew each other. We were able to strike up a conversation immediately and we really never ran out of things to talk about.
I think my favorite part of these relationships is that we are able to meet people that we may not have ever crossed paths with in real life. And part of that is totally because most people, in our everyday life, judge each other based on looks (I’ve been guilty of that myself). I would probably never approach the girl with the pink hair because she’s WAY too cool to be my friend. She’s got confidence and style and isn’t afraid to be herself. My first thought would probably be… why would she want to be friends with me? I’m the shy, awkward wallflower that makes way too many jokes because I’m so uncomfortable. Yet… in the brand rep world, that girl with the pink hair is the friend I’ve always needed. We became friends for the right reasons… because of the people we are on the inside. She sends me messages of encouragement on days she knows I need it. She encourages me to try new things and she helps me to work on my confidence. She tells me that she also struggles with being shy and suffers from anxiety just like me. We don’t have to pretend to be other people in front of each other because surprisingly, we are so alike.
And there is no one like a Brand Rep Mama to have your back. When you feel cyber bullied, they are the first to step up and defend you. Even if they have never chatted with you before. They are passionate, strong and no-nonsense women who will do anything to prove a point. They don’t back down for anyone. Who wouldn’t want someone like that in their lives? I’m not sure what I did before I met them all and I will be forever grateful for them.
So, to all of my brand reppin Mamas, thank you. Thank you for understanding me. Thank you for giving me inspiration. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your encouragement. But most of all, thank you for being you and allowing me to be me.
Who have you met, thanks to Brand Repping? Comment below and share their IG and tell me how you met and why you are glad you did. Let’s show some love! Have a topic you want me to talk about? Email us! Make sure to follow our daily small shop fashion on Instagram @thesmallfashionista and on our new Facebook page.
Special thanks to these awesome Mamas for allowing us to share their Mama Rep meet up pics:
@madison.mackenzie.twins and @ashleypease
Make sure to check out these shops!
Pie pop ears: @pixiedustpretties
Yellow Ears: @thebowmama
Gray Tee: @nbtthreads
Blue Tee: @queenofheartsco