Most people have a “busy season” for work… A time when you barely have a minute to go to the bathroom, let alone take a lunch break. For accountants, it’s in March and April. If you’re in sales, it’s probably the end of each month. For bloggers, it’s usually September-December (or SOND as a friend recently called it).
Brands start wanting to promote their products for back to school shopping and for holiday sales. And as someone who worked in marketing for years, I can tell you that marketing and PR budgets are usually much bigger in Q4 for that reason! Influencer relations is usually a part of that spend.
So why am I telling you this?
Because every year around this time, you probably notice a spike in sponsored posts on Instagram and your favorite blogs. Now that I mention it, you definitely notice it right? You’ve probably even noticed it on mine!
SOND is when I usually make 75% of my income for the entire year through affiliate links and sponsored posts. To read more about how sponsored posts work at Lemon Stripes, you can read this post I wrote last year with a few edits that I added in yesterday. Side bar, I love seeing my little prego belly in the photo there. I can’t believe there was ever a time when I didn’t know Amalia! So crazy…
Also around this time every year, my blogger pals and I start taking some heat for taking on sponsored content which always feels like a big blow.
Because of sponsored posts, I’m able to create the content I love year-round and keep this site afloat.
I know sometimes it’s not fun to see a ton of it happening and sometimes it can feel disingenuous. Trust me, I get it. I try hard to make sure that when I have a brand paying me to write about it, that I include other helpful content instead of a straight product review (for example with Crest last week). Sometimes brands request full on reviews (Like with this stroller review) but I always tell them that I’m going to be 100% honest and list negative aspects if there are any before we sign any contracts. I also try not to take on more than 2-3 of those posts a year and make sure it’s only for products that I’m really obsessed with.
So the point of this post is to let you know that you may be seeing more sponsored content coming down the pipe on Lemon Stripes over the next three months. Nothing too crazy, but just expect it here and more so on Instagram.
Now on to a (not sponsored but gifted) note on my new Barbour jacket! I’ve always been a Barbour kind of gal, but somehow have never owned a classic quilted one. Since I was a teenager, I’ve worn waxed Barbours in the fall and spring. The smell of them makes me feel at home. That might sound weird but my dad always had a bunch of them which gave our mudroom growing up that waxed smell and it always makes me feel nostalgic.
But Tuckernuck sent me my first quilted Barbour and I love it. It’s so classic and great for this season where it’s not too cold but you need an extra layer. I didn’t even realize this until I started writing this post, but they actually have an entire (amazing) Barbour editorial on their site right now too. First time Barbour-buyers always ask me if they’re worth the high price point and my answer is always yes.
The quality is unbeatable, they just get better with age, and their customer service is incredible. Anel had a huge rip in his, and when he sent his to get re-waxed (we send ours every 2-3 years), they patched it up for him for under $50 (I can’t remember the exact price). Now it looks even cooler than when it was new!
Sadly they sent me this stuff a while ago and the sweater is now sold out in most sizes but I found this similar one at a fraction of the cost. Whenever I post these jeans on social, people say they’re the perfect cut and color and I agree! They are great for people with shorter legs because they’re ankle jeans (which fit like regular jeans for me). PS they look a little loose in these photos because I realized I had to size down. I have since exchanged them for a smaller size and they fit a lot better (seen here). They’re super stretchy so I recommend sizing down for sure.
Turtleneck Sweater / Barbour Jacket / Tortoise Earrings / 7 For All Mankind Jeans / Suede Slides / All products gifted by Tuckernuck.
Turtleneck Sweater / Barbour Jacket / Tortoise Earrings / 7 For All Mankind Jeans / Suede Slides /
Photos by Julia Dags.
Thank you for the transparency. For that, you have earned more trust and respect from me and I am sure other readers!
Thanks Shaunda! I’m glad it helped.
Where do you send your Barbour for re-waxing/repairs? Mine is 23 years old and showing definite signs of wear and tear!
We bring ours to a Barbour store in NYC but I think you can send it into the company directly as well!
I appreciate that you addressed this topic with transparency. For me it’s important that bloggers are honest about the motivation behind the promotion of the product. I completely respect what you have said in this post.
I’m so glad this was helpful! That’s important to me as well, Anna.
I’m sorry people get annoyed by your sponsored content! That is so bizarre, because you don’t give US a hard time for making money with our careers…! I love all of your content, sponsored or not! And one thing I especially appreciate as a not-yet mom is that your blog didn’t turn into a complete mommyblog when you had Amalia, yet you add the perfect amount of her to the blog! We do need more of Boots though 😉
I would agree but I think it’s different with content creators for some reason because sometimes it doesn’t feel genuine. It’s a fine line! And thank you so much for saying that. I try to keep a balance for my non-mommy readers. I’m so glad it’s still resonating with you! And noted on Boots. 🙂
Live Tuckernuck!! My favorite shop in DC!!
I’m dying to go the the actual store, I’ve only shopped it online. I’ve heard it’s beautiful though!
I think for many readers, gifted is the same as sponsored content, it’s essentially a barter system. It’s difficult to know if a blogger would’ve really purchased said item or written about if it wasn’t received for free.
In many industries, including mine, higher education, we are required each year to sign disclosures on whether or not we’ve received income, gifts of goods/services, or other more payment as an extension of our role. There are limits on what we are allowed to accept.
Totally get that. I think what the difference on my end is, is that if something is gifted I’m not required to write about it and only do if I feel like it. So it’s not like a deal I have with a company (usually). But yeah that is a tough one because it’s such a gray area.
Interesting on signing disclosures. As bloggers, we do have to pay taxes on gifted items, but that is really the only semi similar situation.
Honestly, sponsored posts never bothered me. I feel like everything you sponsor or is gifted to you goes with the overall theme for the blog. I.E. the tuerknuck clothing and store fits with your personality & blog, it’s not like you are getting items from something out of left field and writing about them… I don’t understand why people who read blogs get so angry over stuff, it’s not like you ask us about how we make money and if we get an incentives with out jobs.
Hahah love this comment. Thank you, Katherine! I don’t really understand why people get so angry either but I figure transparency can’t hurt.
What size are you wearing in the sweater? I’m tempted to snag the size L since they still have it but not sure!
Mine is a small and it’s super oversized!
Thank you for your transparency! So refreshing. And Barbour is the best! How long does it usually take for them to do your re-waxing? I’ve heard it can take several months to get your jacket back but wasn’t sure if that was accurate.
It takes a while… Probably 2-3 months? We have only done it over the summer so that we don’t miss them too much!
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