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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

New Mom Experience: Sleep Deprivation



" Sleep now because you won't get any of that when the baby's here".. This was told me by so many people while I was pregnant and boy do I regret not listening to them. 

According to SleepJunkie.org new parents are falling short of sleep by around 3 hours ever night in a child's first year! This was a challenge I faced since giving birth. I never really been a nap kind of person and before I had the baby I was always a night owl. I would stay up late and sleep in to about 10 am on my weekends. After having Mateo I never missed sleep more than now. 

First weeks

 The first night in the hospital after giving birth my husband and I maybe had about 2-3 hours of sleep. It was constant hospital staff and personnel coming into the room checking on both me and Mateo. 

The first night we came home I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't even sleep on my own. Mateo cried and feed every two hours. The middle of the night feedings were rough! I would be so deliriously tired for the 3 am feeding that sometimes I didn't even know where I was. 
Sleep was so difficult because I was so anxious and worried about everything. I wanted to watch him sleep to make sure he was okay. During the daytime I would use the time he was sleeping to get stuff done around the house. Another topi for a later post is the stress I endured with breastfeeding. I wasn't producing enough milk to pump a lot for a bottle feeding and I was stressed about that.  In addition to the physical tiredness, mentally I was exhausted. You endure those first fews so much emotions and questions that need answers. For me all of that can made it hard to relax and enjoy some zzzs.

Sleep when the baby sleeps...

This saying just doesn't work for me! It doesn't work for everyone because its simply not that easy. When you have a new baby lots of messes are made, bottles need to be cleaned, laundry must be done and put away, meals must be made (because when you are breast feeding you are hungry all the time) and dogs have to be cared for. Yes I am describing my life. 

Half the time while the baby is sleeping I am in a euphoric like state of awake and sleep. It feels like an out of body state. At times I would be so tired that I thought I was seeing things. True story one time I thought there was a frog in our room!!! Yes a frog. I would be too tired to even do anything productive. I would sit on my bed and just mindlessly scroll through my phone or binge watch Netflix shows. I watched the New Season of You in 2 days! 

The days felt short and time flew by. A 45 minute baby nap felt like 5 minutes I had to be productive. The hardest part has been getting back into the swing of blogging and creating content. When I tried to schedule my first photoshoot I learned quickly that scheduling appointments with  a newborn is challenging. I work around him. That is my new normal now. 

Sleep Deprivation Confessional

I'm sure every parent has a good yet embarrassing sleep deprivation story. Something hilarious and backwards that you did due to sleep deprivation. So many times I have put my clothes on both inside out and backwards ( yes both at the same time!). Left the house with two different socks on. `Missed putting my contacts in their container. So many different funny things have occurred. What's your funny story? Got one? Share it below for a laugh! 

Health mom = happy baby

The best advice to give is to take care of yourself during this time. The first couple of weeks after the hospital I experienced a lot of anxiety and found myself crying uncontrollably sometimes and being in a funk. During this time I feel like Mateo and I weren't building a bond and since I have let go of some fears, spoken to my OBGYN and close friends things are so much better. Mateo and I have a good rhythm and mentally I am all there for him. I wasn't in the beginning. I feel like I was just going through the motions. 

I have also made time for myself. I don't procrastinate and I have taught myself that every minute counts and to make them count! I create time to write for my blog, sneak in a nap, cook a good meal when I can, get out and grocery shop alone and binge watch a Netflix show here or there. 

If you have a partner in this with you try to create a schedule for feeding times. My husband is great at taking the 12:30 am feeding and I take the 3:30-4 am feeding. Also ask for help if you can. If friends or family offer to help you say yes! You will be surprised how much a dinner meal dropped off is a huge help! I even signed up to instacart for groceries and it was amazing! Such a huge help when my husband is out of town for work. 

Cherish some of these sweet moments

Lately I have been seeing on my feed some tragic news of mothers losing their children under the age of one and it was broken my heart for them. Take some moments and snuggle with your little one. Soak in and breathe them in. It will be these moments that one day will feel like a distant memory..





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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

7 Ways to ENJOY your Holidays this year


Christmas is my favorite time of year! But I know for many people it can be stressful!
For the past three years I have enjoyed the holiday season more and more each year. 
My secret.... simplifying my holidays! 

I have taken away gift giving and shopping stress and focused my time on creating memories and relaxing with my loved ones. This year will be even more memorable because it is my first year being a mom. My heart is just bursting with happiness knowing that from now on what used to be a holiday season of my husband and I, will now include our son. Just typing this I am teary eyed. 

( toke this quick photo for you guys)

This year I plan on doing as little as possible and just focusing on the holiday traditions that I truly love. Some of my favorite things to do for the holidays is make homemade hot cocoa and watch Christmas movie classics like Home Alone, Elf and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. My husband's favorite is Next Friday and Fred Clause. 

In recent years my husband and I have enjoyed waking up early on a December Saturday morning and picking out our real tree. Its been a tradition of ours for a few years now and we really enjoy it. I love to blast christmas music on the way there and stop at Starbucks to get a holiday coffee and their delicious snowman cookie. With intention I have focused on making time to do these things rather than wasting time on things that will cause me stress and anxiety. 

I want to share some tips with you guys that can hopefully make your holiday season a little more stress free and more joyful and peaceful:

1. Create a practical budget
My husband and I started doing this a few years ago and it has been such a huge stress relief around the holiday season. Its not smart to put yourself in a financial bind during the holidays. When you set your budget stay disciplined and stick to it! 


2. Make time for self care
Don't forget to spread some holiday cheer to yourself! Make sure this is also something that will not stress you out and is also within your budget. It can be something so simple like taking a nice long bath, going to your favorite coffee shop and enjoying a holiday coffee, or checking out a holiday event that you are interested in. 

3. It's okay to say NO
As a natural people pleaser this one can be hard for me but I realized that the more I said yes to things the more stressed out I was feeling. Carefully pick and chose what events are meaningful to you. 
Make sure to not overbook yourself. It might be helpful to try to say yes to only 2-3 things. Its not worth saying yes to everything if you are going to be stressed out over them. You could be doing more satisfying and productive things with your time. If you have a hard time saying no (like I do) practice this on small things like a Facebook event invitation. Move at your own pace and what feels comfortable to you. 

4. Suggest a secret Santa to your family
This was one of the best things that happened to my family. A couple years ago I suggested to my family to do a secret santa and it was a huge stress reliever for all of us. Recently since my sisters and I have kids we have decided on focusing on the kids and not getting gifts for each other. This keeps the holidays light and fun. Its so sweet to see young kids open gifts than adults. Its also easier to shop for them! 

5. Start early!
If you have a long list of people to shop for make sure to cut down on all the store hopping and start early. Going to the stores around the holidays stress me out. Parking lots are packed, lines are long and stores are all unorganized. I tend to start early November and I usually order online. This helps me avoid crowded stores and utilize my time better. 


6. Decorate like a minimalist
This was something I Decided to do this year and I feel like a shed another level of holiday stress. You can still be festive but not over do it where you are out shopping for more decorations. I try to take one piece in my home and use that as a focal point. This year was the fire place mantel. I focused on decorating that the most and having the rest of the rooms compliment the mantel. Also utilize what you already have. Chances are you really don't need too many new decorations. Keep new shopping items to a minimal and that it matches your theme. Holiday items are so cute that you try to convince yourself that you need to have it! I know I think like this too but keeping it minimal will save you when you have to put all this stuff away after the holidays! 

7. Remember what the holidays are all about and what makes it special to you
For me it is celebrating the birth of Christ. I love going to church and celebrating his birth. But for you it can be a different tradition like spending time with your family and friends. Christmas is about love and spreading joy to others. Embrace imperfection. Sometimes we try to make the holidays so perfect that we often times forget about the things that make it special to us. 

I hope this post was helpful you guys and you too can enjoy a joyful and peaceful holiday season! If you find yourself needing some holiday cheer just come back to this post and look at Mateo sweet face <3

God bless you guys! 


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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What I didn't expect from PostPartum + Recovery Kit


Oh the mysterious fourth term of pregnancy... This should have been something that I researched and followed up on more than I did. I concentrated so much on labor and preparing for it that I didn't even think about what post labor would be like. Boy did it throw me for a loop! I was not prepared of what was going to transpire after giving birth to Mateo. 

I write this post not to be negative but to hopefully share some insight with any expectant new moms reading this. There is a lot to unpack here so let's get started:

VAGINAL BIRTH

I can only speak on this because this is what I had. If you read my previous post then you know that I have no complaints about my delivery. This post describes the trauma when your epidural slowly wears off.. All of a sudden you begin to feel all the soreness and pain that your body went through to push out your beautiful baby. 
I am going to be so honest and say it was a tough moment for me. Whether you have stitches or not, you are going to be sore down there and it really caught me off guard since  I had such a good epidural experience. 

I had both a second degree tear and hemrroids the size of golf balls. The first time I had to use the bathroom was the hardest and toughest thing after giving birth. The nurses had to help me. Those sweet girls did everything for me besides the actual pee part. In explicit content they sprayed the peri bottle down there, put on my hospital boy short underwear with a frozen diaper popsicle, flushed the toilet for me and tucked me into bed. It is such a vulnerable place to be in but I am so thankful that the nurses that helped me were so sweet and kind. 

To make matters even more uncomfortable, I couldn't even sit on my bottom. I had to sit with my butt lifted off the bed because my hemorrhoids would hurt so bad. This was so difficult because I still have to nurse Mateo and finding a position to do this while avoiding sitting on your bottom was really challenging. 

I just kept thinking why didn't anyone warn me about this??!!!! No one in the hospital even informed me what the next 48 hours were going to be like for me. There was no triage or discussion preparing me for what I was going to be experiencing for the first time. It is something I didn't expect. I kept thinking why doesn't anyone talk about this stuff!!!?? 

This is the REAL part of post pregnancy. 

But there are some ways to make your life a little easier when you return home from the hospital. That is when the work begins because there will be no more nurses coming in and checking up on you and willing to assist with your every need. You have to manage the pain and find ways to make the next couple weeks of recovery comfortable as possible. 

Here are some things that worked for me when I came home from the hospital:

RECOVERY

My good friend gifted me with a Frieda Mom Postpartrum recovery kit which was a life saver when I got home. It included cooling pads, disposable boy shorts, a peri bottle, hospital gown (that I used at home because of the easy access to nurse) and a vaginal foam. Although the hospital gives you a lot of stuff (take it all before you leave!)  it was nice to have more back up items at your house. Everyone's recovery time is different. I am 4 weeks out and I am still wearing pads. 


PAD-SICLES

Your best friend after labor are the frozen pad-sicles. I personally liked the way the hospital made a "pad-sicle." It is basically a frozen newborn sized diaper that has witch hazel on it and aloe vera (if you want).  You are so sore down there that when that pad-sicle touches your vagina it is so reliving. It also is great for speeding up your recovery.  

If you want to know more about the pad-sicles I suggest looking it up on Pinterest. I saw some great posts on how to create some pre delivery and stock up in your freezer. 


STOOL SOFTENER

I was taking this like it was gum! I was terrified of what my first potty trip would be like after labor. Straining would be hard on your tears and stitches so I recommend that you continue to take stool softener after you leave the hospital. I highly suggest you have a bottle already at your house before you deliver. My hemorrhoids toke about 2-3 weeks to heal so keep taking your stool softener and avoid eating too many heavy carbs.


DEPENDS DIAPERS

These were life savers. After the hospital I quickly got annoyed with the giant pads and I picked up some Depends. They were more comfortable to wear and added bonus were kinda cute. LOL! It is a small and maybe silly thing but with everything going on and not feeling like myself these feminine designed depends made me feel a little bit girly again. 


PERI BOTTLE

I had a love hate relationship with this bottle. A peri bottle is necessary to rinse and clean down there after peeing. Your too sore to wipe with tissue so the peri bottle (at times) provided relieve and avoided infection or further irritation. IN the beginning I found the peri bottle to irritate my stitches more and sting. So that is why I have a love/hate relationship with this bottle. But over the course of a few days it started to provide relief. The hospital lets you take a bottle home with you so no need to buy one. 


DERMOPLAST 

Make sure to grab the bottle with the blue cap and not the red one. I sprayed dermoplast directly onto my tear and sometimes onto the pad. It provides a soothing cooling pain relief and comfort. Tip: the hospital provided me with a bottle but I went through it fast. I had a hard time finding it in stores but it is available on Amazon. I suggest having one at home as part of your recovery kit. 


REST

This is probably one of the most essential part of recovery. You need to rest and I didn't do much of this so I think thats why mine is taking longer. While baby is sleeping use that time to take naps. Forget about housework and errands. Your partner can help with that kind of stuff. You will be so busy with nursing or taking care of your baby that you won't even have time for that stuff the first couple of days at home. Make sure to eat and stay hydrated. If you are nursing make sure to drink lots of water. It will help with your milk supply. 

I hope this post helps all my expectant moms out there! Remember that being prepared is good but you will never be completely prepared. Something un expectant will occur. Just take a deep breath and compartmentalize your tasks. You have so much going on mama and you need to take care of yourself because your baby is dependent on you! 







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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Here HE is!!! Sharing my Labor and Delivery Story!


HE IS HERE!

I have to start this post by saying this " I can't believe I am a Mom"

I am so blessed and grateful to share with you all our baby, Mateo Andres. He was born at 11:51 a.m. weighing 7.8 lbs! I say this with surprise because while I was pregnant I had numerous ultra sounds done because my OB was concerned with his growth rate. When they told me that he was 7.8 lbs and 21 inches long I was shocked! Our supposedly little peanut was a big boy! 




LABOR STORY

Mateo was one week over his due date which means I was 41 weeks pregnant (being this pregnant was not comfortable at all!) At our 40 week appointment my OB advised me that if labor did not occur over the weekend then she would recommend to make an appointment at the hospital to get induced. Being a first time mom the word induced kinda scared me a little. All I kept thinking was that I was going to get poked with a sharp instrument to get my labor going (mind you I didn't take a labor class which would of helped!). Side note I regret not taking a labor class for informative purposes and totally recommend now!)

Another side note when the hospital called me to come in I was taken back when the young lady asked me if I could come in within the hour! I was quiet at first because for me that was too soon! I needed at least a couple hours to shave, wash my hair, finalize my luggage and get my mind right.. 

Okay back to my story...

We got to the hospital around 10:30 am and quickly was taken in a room and monitored for both contractions and the baby's heart beat. I see now that why they wanted me to come in early, the maternity ward was quiet. It was me and two other women in the labor and delivery unit. It was peaceful and in hindsight I am lucky to not have had the experience of having to wait in a waiting room to be admitted. 

A few hours in our labor room I was given an IV. A few hours passed and still no contractions. I was however also given penicillin because at 37 weeks I tested positive for Group B strep. 
Later on that afternoon I was given misoprostol to thin my cervix. To back track a little I was only 1 cm dilated for about three weeks at this point. At this point it was around 8 pm and stronger menstrual like cramps began. 

Around 4 am my water broke and I screamed! Like I literally screamed. I thought I pissed myself and then I realized that it was a lot of liquid coming out and at that moment a nurse was in my room and calmly said "hey your water broke" 😁

As soon as my water broke I felt so much pain! The pain was so bad that it was making me throw up at the same time. My husband though was so amazing. He would rub my back and hold my hand for support. Every couple of minutes he was softly whisper in my ear " I am so proud of you. I could never be this strong." Strength became the theme in my mind during this time. I needed to be strong for my family. 

Very soon after this two wonderful men entered my room and gave me the best thing ever: the epidural. I already knew in my head that I was going to get an epidural. I have a very low pain tolerance so going unmedicated during labor was not something I was even considering! Shout out to all you Moms out there that did! 

Around 8 am I was 8 cm dilated and around 10:30 I was 10! With the epidural though I didn't feel when any contractions were coming just only light pressure.  I have never had surgery before so this level of numbness was new to me. I couldn't believe how disfunctional my lower body was. Funny story: my sister and my husband were in the room at one point and I jokingly said to them if I pee I can't even feel it and my sister replied umm you did pee and I can see it! LOL! I can't believe they don't hide your catheter! LOL

The OB came in my room around 11 am and casually said to me "you are ready to go, you want to push a little and see how it goes?" I kid you not this is how casual this labor was. 
I replied "sure" because mind you I felt nothing except my empty stomach gurgling. This part was just like I envisioned. Legs were up in the air, I was instructed to grab the back of my knees and words of encouragement to push were spoken by everyone in the room. For the next 45 minutes of my life I would repeat the same steps: take a deep breath, push for 10 seconds, breath and repeat two more times. Funny thing is I never made it to a full push for 10 seconds.. I would make it about to 7 or 8. In this moment for some reason 10 seconds can feel like an eternity!

At 11:51 a.m. I heard the doctor say "there he is." After 41 weeks of waiting for him my sweet boy was here and in my arms. 


I held my breath until I heard his first cries.  Mateo didn't immediately cry and Mateo from my angle I only saw the back of his head so I waited nervously to hear something... It was like the biggest sigh of relief when he cried and then I cried...


My sweet boy.

I am your mother.
And you are my child.
I hope you will always see yourself through my eyes.
You are smart.
You are strong.
You are special.
You are a child of God


There is something so beautiful seeing your husband/partner hold his baby for the first time. I pictured some many sweet moments of seeing them together in the future. The way Mateo looks up at his Papi is so sweet.



HIS NAME

As soon as we found out that we were having a boy the name Mateo kept coming to me. Both my husband and I are Puerto Rican so I knew we both wanted a Hispanic name for our son. I had no interest in inventing or creating a name either. I wanted a name that represented old world Spanish names. When I looked up the meaning of the name Mateo it was a done deal! 

Mateo means gift of God

That was it! You can't go back from that! LOL! 

One day one our way to church I happened to look over at the road on the drivers side (my husband was driving) and I saw a street named Mateo. Now this was weird because we have been going to our church for over 9 months and never did this street sign even stand out to me. I'm telling you to me God really wanted to imprint the name Mateo on my heart. 

His middle name actually was a name we liked from a pastor. A Hispanic pastor was visiting at our church and delivered a beautiful sermon one Sunday. When he introdcued himself and spoke his name, I quickly looked over at my husband and said I love the name Andres. It just felt strong and mighty. Especially if you pronounce it by rolling your tongue for the letter R. 

ANDRES!

So a first and middle name was born! Mateo Andres. 

I love the way it just rolls off the tongue.

Thank you all for your sweet messages on social media! For the past two weeks you all have been so supportive and sending so many sweet messages. I have shared on Instagram some struggles I have had with breast feeding and my recovery. I look forward to sharing a blog post all about it. 

In the meantime I did upload on my Youtube channel a labor video. If you are interested in checking out my labor story here is the link: https://youtu.be/0cxaieorfPM

I know it is cliche to say but I have never experienced a love this beautiful and sweet before. As soon as he was on my chest I quickly became protective and attached. The way he looks at me and holds my hand just melts my heart to pieces. 

Thank you again guys and I look forward to adding motherhood content to the site along with speaking more openly on postpartum, body changes, and getting back into fashion and beauty! 



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Friday, October 18, 2019

Our Nursery Nook + Organization Ideas!




I truly love interior design and designing my first child's special little nest has been nothing but pure joy and love. I wanted his space to feel adventurous, fun and a bit masculine. I found a lot of inspiration from Pinterest with searches such as "boy nursery" "boho nursery" and "minimalist nursery". The first purchase I made for this room was the rug. I loved this boho inspired black and white rug and I decorated the rug around it. Since his nursery is placed in a corner in our master bedroom and only has one small window I needed to brighten it up. 


The first thing we did was paint the bedroom Snowbound by Sherwin Williams. Painting the room white brightened up this little corner and I noticed such a difference in lighting when the morning light enters the room. I also wanted to place some white furniture in the bedroom to keep the room airy and light. We didn't have a lot of room for a big dresser so this three drawer IKEA one worked perfectly in our space. The Delta Children mini crib was the most perfect size for the opposite wall. 


Functionality was a must in this space. So the dresser had to play the role of storing clothes and becoming a changing area. I bought a changing pad from Amazon and decorated it with a grey cover to match the grey knobs of the dresser. In the drawers my husband picked up the SKUBB drawer organizers from IKEA. If you have an IKEA near you I highly suggest picking these up. Each package comes with 6 different sized organizers and it only costs $5.99! Best price I have seen around. His clothes, accessories, diapers and etc fit perfectly in each drawer and I just love how organized the drawers look! Organization brings me a lot of peace. 


After we got all the big furniture small details were next. This is personally my favorite part. I love adding the smaller accent pieces to really bring a room together. I received a lot of books for the baby at our baby shower. Since space is limited I had to utilize the walls. We picked up these spice racks from IKEA and all his books fit perfectly in it. They were the perfect size as well for the available wall space. 


My favorite part of the room is the triangle decal. I found this decal off of Amazon and for such a good price! it really added a fun art element above his crib and played off really well with his desert vibe frames. To match the wall I found a black and white arrow print mattress cover from Target. 



I truly love my son's space and every time I look over at it I get teary eyed. It's so sweet to know that soon he will be sleeping in that crib and I will be rocking him in the glider...My heart just melts. 

I hope you guys enjoy this post and links with be posted down below if you guys want to check out any products featured in our nursery. 





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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

5 Must Have Practical Fall Staples In Your Wardrobe



September is a tricky month because of the occasional heat waves that come and go.

One of my favorite fashion seasons is fall. I tend to declutter my closet late summer and get ready for new pieces in September. Every year there are so many different trends being thrown at us from prints to florals to pastel colors in the fall! I wanted to share with you guys a post of practical pieces that will serve you every year. Also I added some great new pieces that are available now online! 



Here are some must have fall practical pieces for your fall closet:
1.       Blazer – I love layering everything with a blazer. You can find a fall colored blazer or opt for a classic neutral color. Either way blazers are a great staple to have in your closet and to add fall fashion to your wardrobe this year! Here are some blazers that I am loving right now!





2.       Parka – I am literally on the shopping hunt for a parka this fall season! Parkas are a great item to have in your fall closet. They are cozy and warm for those September lower temperature windy fall days. Parkas look great with skinny jeans and ankle boots.




3.       Ankle Boots – I love a good black ankle boot. Its one of my favorite pieces because it just goes with everything and they polish your look.






4.       Cozy sweaters – There’s nothing better than a cozy sweater. So stock up this fall on soft fuzzy knits. There are many different styles so that’s up to you but I love an oversized boyfriend sweater. Sweaters can be layered over dresses and jumpsuits. Great piece for layering and pairing with a good thick pair of leggings.






5.       Denim jeans – Blazers and denim jeans are my closet obsessions! I love a good length jean for fall. Last year I loved mom jeans and I’m sure I am really going to live in them post baby. But there are so many different styles from classic skinny jeans to straight leg jeans.







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Friday, September 27, 2019

BLOGGING/INFLUENCER TIPS: WHAT TO DO WHEN A BRAND REACHES OUT TO YOU



Congratulations and Felicidades girl you got that email in your inbox you've been waiting for..

A brand has reached out to you for a collaboration! Now let's talk about what to do next!

 I remember the first time a brand reached out to me to work with them I was estatic! You have worked hard creating your website/blog, building up your brand, creating your social media community. Its a lot of work and it feels gratifying to know that your work has been seen and will be rewarded. However now that you are at this point I want to guide you to not just rush into a brand collaboration if it is not in your brand's best interest. 

When I first got my first brand email it was for product exchange. I was so excited that I instantly emailed them back YES and later signed a contract. The contract required so much work and deliverables that looking back I wish I had negotiated. I want to make sure you guys don't make the same mistakes I did. 

Here are some tips of what you can do when a brand first reaches out to you for a collaboration:

Step 1: Make sure that the email is legitimate
I say this first because of the rise in spam/scam accounts using brand name in their emails and reaching out to influencer/bloggers for "brand collaborations".  The email will ask for you to fill out a form with all your personal information. If the email looks slightly sketchy go with your gut! If your not sure contact the brand privately on Twitter or Instagram and communicate with them the situation.

Step 2: Does this brand align with my brand
You have worked so hard to get to this point and you don't want to jeopardize your messaging, feed or audience with your first inauthentic sponsored post. 
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you know this brand?
Would you or do you purchase their products?
Would this brand be useful to your audience?
Do you 100% support this brand?


Step 3: Ask the brand what is it that they are looking for in this collaboration
If you get a vague email inquiry from a brand make sure to follow up and ask what it is that they are looking for. What are the deliverables for this collaboration. Collaborations differ. Some are just for social media posts and other want a blog post and social media promotion(s). It's important that you communicate and understand what the brand is looking for and feel comfortable that you can deliver these deliverables. 

Step 4: What are the brands goals
Brands have different end results goals for each collaboration. Some want to drive sales. Others look to drive traffic to their site. Sometimes they want to use a collaboration to spread new product awareness. Once you are informed on what they need know you can begin creating your content strategy and planning. 


Step 5: What is their timeline
I tend to say no to quick turnaround timelines. I don't like to be put in tight timelines that cause me anxiety. I prefer 30 day timelines. Remember to keep in mind that it takes time to schedule a photo shoot, book a photographer, edit your photos, draft content and publish your completed work. Your work is valuable and they reached out to you because they know that as well. Don't be afraid to explain your creative process and a quick turnaround of 1 week is unreasonable. 

Step 6: Know your worth and then add tax
Don't be afraid to ask the brand for payment. I know this is earlier said then done but I have been there and have allowed brands to pay me little to no money for some incredible work. When a brand reaches out to you its because they like your work and see an opportunity. 
There are many formulas out there for who to charge. I like to look at my follower count + engagement rate and start there with a base. Then I add tax. How many hours will this collaboration take between each step. Don't forget to add in your price a photographer fee, props and location space rental and any other add on in order to complete this collaboration. 

Now several things can happen after this:
1) the brand can say no
2.) the brand replies that they don't have the budget for paid collaborations at this time
3) The brand say YES!

If it is a brand that you truly love and working with them would be a dream of a lifetime then I would consider accepting the campaign for no compensation just to begin a relationship with this brand. Sometimes this pays off and sometimes it doesn't. You could also negotiate cross promotion. If the brand can't or won't pay you, you could ask them to repost your work on their social media accounts. This can be a win win for you! You have worked with your favorite brand and have received huge platform to be seen on their social media accounts. 

Step 7: Let the brand know how you plan on serving them
Brand collaborations are a two way relationship. Even if the brand reached out to you, you also want to show the brand that you are serious in servicing them as well. This is how you can score a long lasting relationship with them. Send them any ideas or concepts you have for the collaboration. Go on their website and do some research on the brand. Brands really appreciate when you come prepared and have done your research. You come across as professional. 

I like to send over a mood board to brands to give them a visual of my concept. I have found that this helps a lot! Never be afraid to ask questions. You want to make sure that all your questions have been answered and you understand what the brand's goals are. 

I hope this post helped you guys going forward with any brand collaborations! Again congratulations! I am so happy for you! Share down below any other tips you may have on this topic. 




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