This week kicked off with my very first blogger event! I’m basically official now, guys. I’ve been on my death bed for almost two weeks, but I managed to force myself out of my flat because the event was being held at this super cool space in Hoxton, which is only a hop, a skip and a jump from my temporary Hackney ‘hood. I’m a bit of a nosy nancy when it comes to seeing inside venues and spaces that I wouldn’t other wise get to peek inside, so that alone was enough to make me throw on my all black outift (yes, bloggers have dress codes) and head to Provision Studios. I loaded my purse with cough drops (throat sweets, as they call them here) and Kleenex (tissue!) and told my anxious mind to kick it for a bit.
The space, as hoped, was super cool. Tall arched ceilings, all brick and the kind of lighting that makes everyone look good (although not so conducive to blog photos…). I didn’t actually take any photos of the space because I was completely overwhelmed as soon as I walked in. I had no idea what to expect from a blogger event, and I’m still new to the game, so it was interesting to see how it all works.
The first thing I noticed is that there were tables set up all over the studio where brands of all sorts were promoting their products. I watched girls push past me with armfuls of free stuff and tried to figure out what I was supposed to do to leave as happy as they were.
*Side Note: To sum it up for my fellow Canadians, it was basically like a Saturday shopping trip to Costco, but all the free shit was made with coconut milk. So. Take that how you will. To anyone from the UK who is reading this, yes, us Canadians speak in code. (Also, our money smells like maple syrup, so we win!)
It took me a bit to ‘get into my groove’ (oh my God, I am sooo in my 30’s). I sort of walked around and approached brands that I found interesting. The first few converations went exactly as follows:
Nameless Brand: Hi. Are you a review blogger?
Me: Uh, well, I guess I’m more of a lifestyle blogger.
Nameless Brand: Oh. Well you can just take a business card. Our information is on our website.
Customer service is top notch with some companies. Thankfully, I was saved by the gorgeous group of girls from Cocktail Mania whose display I hadn’t even stopped at because it was SO busy — always a good sign! They were promoting their line of homemade cocktails, and before I could even gush over how good my rum punch was, they were handing me jello shots and asking how my day was. Better now! Holla.
I shoved the little tubs of jello into my pocket, grabbed a second drink, (they offered!) and made my way around the space. It was pointed out to me by more than one person that I was clearly a newbie at the blogger event game because I showed up sans purse. As in, I had to carry all the samples I was given. As in, jello shots leaking in my pocket and smelling fruity on the Overground. Life struggles, I know.
**Make sure you follow Cocktail Mania on Twitter @Cocktailmaniauk**
I popped by the Coyo booth because I consider myself to be a salted caramel aficionado and after reading their press release online, I knew they had the goods. Turns out, Coyo is a brand of coconut based yogurt and ice cream, designed for people who have any range of food intolerance. Thankfully, I am free from any food sensitivities, and when I asked the guy from Coyo why someone like me should eat coconut products, he was super honest and said, “Well, you don’t need to.” He then went on to tell me all the benefits of coconut based products anyway. I don’t think he realized just how refreshing his honesty and passion for his product was. I got to try all the flavors he had there, including the piece de resistance, the salted caramel. It was divine! I got a sample to take home and prayed it wouldn’t explode in my other pocket.
**Follow Coyo on Twitter @coyo_uk**
After Coyo, I stopped by Bluebird Tea Co. and got an education in tea that would surely make my British friends proud. The girl at the booth knew what she was talking about! Did you know you can put Matcha in orange juice if you don’t like the Matcha flavor, and that way you can still get all the health benefits? Me neither.
The lovely gal at Crobar convinced me to try the energy bars she had on display, which only had about 30 CRICKETS per bar. Crickets, you say? Umm yes. Apparently they get ground up into flour because they are super high in protein. I ate the bars. I took some home. I’m still alive a week later. Onwards and upwards!
After a solid 3 hours at the event, I decided to take my samples and peace out. I had been out of bed for way too long at this point and my pockets were heavy.
On my way out, I made one last stop at the Naturigin table and I am so, so glad I did. Naturigin is a line of organic hair care products, including (my fave!) hair dye. As someone who has been dyeing my hair regularly for about 15 years now, I’m well aware of the damage I do to my hair on a regular basis. I’m also well aware that I’m not going to stop coloring my hair anytime soon. The lovely ladies (they actually made my day) from Naturigin didn’t have any samples but they did tell me I could email them and request any color hair dye I want and they would mail it to me. Amazing! Free hair dye that won’t kill my hair? I’m all in. My favorite part was just how excited and passionate these girls were when they were telling me about their products. They were not only so kind and sweet, but they seemed to believe in their brand, which makes me, as a blogger, want to know more. And just when I thought our conversation was over they asked me about myself and my blog.
**Please, please give them a Twitter follow @Naturigin**
At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about? Whether you are a small, husband and wife owned company, or a single mother making granola in your kitchen or a new blogger trying to figure out the best way to put yourself out into the world...we’re all just determined people with a passion, who are trying to do something good for ourselves.
Being able to meet some of these business owners and bloggers and show my support to them by trying their products and reading their blogs is such an easy joy for me. I would call my first bloggers event a success and now I absolutely can’t wait for the next one in March. Thanks Bloggers Hangout!
**Make sure to give me a follow on Twitter, while you’re at it, @BryttJF and Follow my blog with Bloglovin !**