{Respect}

From recent events, and pretty much the entire time I’ve been blogging, I feel very inclined to write this blog post. Getting into this business I quickly learned what it took to be successful to grow your following. Being true to yourself and your style is obviously the most important but being cohesive is almost equally important. If you look at my instagram, it’s pretty easy to see that I have a dark and monochromatic theme. I am a meticulous planner so coming up with creative content takes time. To stay true to my style and to create a cohesive feed, I have to plan out my shoots and posts very carefully and this isn’t always an easy task.

Before I even started this business I was and still am a successful commercial advertising wardrobe stylist. Even though I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year, I’ve been on the advertising side for the past 6 years working closely with clients to create an amazing finished product that the world will see. With all of that experience in such a technical industry, I’m pretty damn good at my job. I’ve always treated any client with the utmost respect in representing their product to the best of my ability.

With that being said, I’ve had my fare share of collaboration requests. Most of which go off without a hitch. Every so often there’s a bad apple in the bunch as you might have seen on my Snapchat (@dtk_austin).

Let’s just jump right into it.

Never have I ever been treated so poorly as I was by Smile Sciences teeth whitening company. Let me just give you a quick rundown of what happened yesterday afternoon. Said company had contracted me out to post a photo on Instagram with their product clearly visible in the photo. I signed a contract with the details and went on to shoot their product. Photos were sent over for approval only to be notified 4-5 days later that they were too blurry, yet their product was in full focus. I emailed back voicing my concerns about how they were blurry, what exactly they wanted and then told them I would send them the high resolution photos to show their product is in focus. They sent me a few inspo images which looked just as blurry and literally the exact same as mine, so I responded asking what exactly they wanted with absolutely no response for almost a week.

Considering I am getting married in less than a week, I needed information to post prior to leaving for my honeymoon. Understandable, right? So, I email them yesterday asking if they had received my last 3 emails and if I didn’t get a response I wouldn’t be posting for them. With no response after 6 hours, I give them a call. Said company’s owner felt the need to chat with me in which an unnecessarily heated argument occurred with me telling them I would NOT be posting for them and was voiding my contract. The whole conversation was very condescending towards me and my business… and if you know me well, I don’t put up with that at all, and I let her know that with a few choice words, which she is trying to throw in my face.

In response to our phone call, the owner of Smile Sciences, Andra Moore, decided to write an extremely harassing email stating, “I’d be happy to compare notes on the level of my success versus yours to determine who should be telling whom how to run companies.” Said owner threatened to sue me for slander in regards to this issue, yet I do have the right of freedom of speech and to express my feelings and concern on this subject. In addition, I’m not falsely stating anything that occurred in our dispute. She then goes on to say, “I’m not sure other brands would want to move forward with you if they heard what it was like to work with you and your shocking behavior. We all talk, ya know.” So, is she slandering MY name to other companies now?? Isn’t that worse?!?! Is she trying to ruin my name and reputation because of an issue we couldn’t resolve instead of just letting it go? Like I said, it’s just Instagram…

Since when does anyone deserve to get treated that way? Some of these companies seem to forget we are real people with real feelings. They also seem to think that we’re some twenty year old kid that has no life beyond instagram. Well, excuse me, I’m a 30 something, former architect that started a very technical company from nothing and choose to blog on the side. Does that make me stupid? Does that allow someone to threaten my reputation? No, I actually have a brain and know that what this person is saying is absolutely appalling and absurd!

This company doesn’t value influencers beyond an Instagram post. They could literally care less about anything else but getting an ROI for themselves.

So what could have actually helped in this situation? Their social media person taking the time to email me back in a reasonable amount of time stating what they needed in regards to a post. I did come to find out that this social media gal was actually reading all of my emails and responding to someone else stating, “Can you help me with her? She’s now being a little feisty.” This was even BEFORE I had made the phone call to try and figure out what was going on! Would YOU want to buy a product from this company?? Or promote their product??

Blogging is NOT a full time job for me and I don’t have the luxury to just go out and shoot all day everyday. PLUS, did we all forget… I am planning a wedding in addition to having a life!

From my personal experience, this company is not one I would ever recommend working with if you are a blogger and I personally would never recommend the product to anyone. Take this as my personal Yelp! review. Hope this post was informative for all of you working your asses off in the blogging world. Don’t take crap from ANYONE and ALWAYS stand up for yourselves.

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Leah
    July 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    It’s shocking how that all transpired! I’m sorry you had to go through that!

    xx Leah / http://www.eatpraywearlove.com

  • Reply
    Lacey
    July 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Wow! So shocked to hear this Ashley, and sorry to hear you had such a poor experience. I know we are all busy, but a little consideration goes a long way.

    xo Lacey

  • Reply
    Bailey
    July 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Ashley – this is so inspiring, I am so happy that you chose to stand up for yourself and your brand! It is truly unfortunate that some companies don’t see the value in working with influencers. Blogging is more than taking photos and trying to “dress up.” It truly is a full-time job, and a lot of hard work. Thank you so much for providing insight into this company, and keep up your amazing work!

    xoxo,
    Bailey
    Here’s The Skinny

  • Reply
    Marie
    July 20, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Love your honestly!! Good for you for standing up for yourself. So sorry you had to go through this though 🙁

  • Reply
    Jenna
    July 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I voided my contract too with them in honor of this!!! Plus they wanted me to take a blurry selfie and I didn’t want to do that 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley Brooke Nicholas
    July 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I am so sorry taut you had to go through this ordeal, and I appreciate you warning us about this deplorable company!

  • Reply
    Ashley Brooke Nicholas
    July 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Sorry for the typo! That* you had to go

  • Reply
    Adaleta Avdic
    July 20, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    This is some serious bullsh**! I am so tired of brands thinking they own us because they sent us ONE product. GET OVER YOURSELF! Blogging is a job, and we don’t have time to review every single thing someone sends us. They’re lucky we even mention it on our SNAPCHAT. Drives me nuts. Thanks for this honest, cold hard truth and review of this brand. You rock for sharing! xx Adaleta Avdic

  • Reply
    Mindy
    July 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Wow – what a horrible experience. I recently dealt with a company that was also unprofessional. Luckily they didn’t respond with threatening to slander me or being downright hurtful and demeaning. The hate and miscommunication that happens in this world blows my mind. If people learned to set the correct communication expectations and be transparent – i.e. return emails, treat individuals like they’re human, and not fly off the handle etc. maybe there wouldn’t be so much hate in this world. Most of these teeth whitening companies that reach out seem pretty sketchy anyway, but I’m glad you were transparent on the experience so others can learn from it!

  • Reply
    sarah
    July 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for the heads up! They emailed me today and definitely won’t be working with them!

  • Reply
    Katlyn
    July 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    So much appreciation for this post! People don’t realize that working with brands is not always easy, and it’s definitely important to only represent brands that you love and respect including the people behind the brand. Much respect!

  • Reply
    Emily | Life With Emily
    July 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    WOW! I am actually shocked… I watched your snapchats last night and couldn’t BELIEVE the nonsense this company was spewing. They should be appalled at their behavior and take this as a serious learning experience for them. I totally agree with you- sometimes bloggers are looking at as “stupid” and these brands think all we have is TIME… which is certainly NOT the case!

    You go girl for posting this! XO

  • Reply
    Betsy Burleson
    July 20, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    That’s horrible. I can’t believe a company would treat you, or anyone else, like that! Thanks for sharing your story and writing this post. I’m sure it was hard to do.
    Enjoy your wedding and honeymoon and keep up your great blogging!!!
    Betsy

  • Reply
    Lindsey Lutz
    July 20, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    GREAT post! You clearly run two VERY successful business and deserve to be treated with respect. Someone screwed up on their end, and they are deflecting the blame on you. Thank you for doing what you did and standing up for all of us! Have fun on your honeymoon, and keep up the great work!

    xoxo-
    Lindz

  • Reply
    Lindsey Lutz
    July 20, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    * businesses

  • Reply
    Nina
    July 20, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    That’s a real shame that they would treat you that way! Companies have no idea what it takes to get a project done and how much work goes into it. All you were trying to do is make sure that the pictures you were planning on posting would be acceptable. Forget about them and enjoy your wedding planning!

    xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    July 21, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Wow, this post made my jaw drop! So tasteless and you are amazing for handling it with such composure!

  • Reply
    Lawren Bagley
    July 21, 2016 at 1:02 am

    You go girl! I hate you had that experience with them, by good for you for standing up for not only yourself, but for what is right! PS- you’re going to be the most beautiful bride ever.

  • Reply
    Shelby
    July 21, 2016 at 1:30 am

    I am so glad you shared this. I cannot believe that.

    xo, Shelby
    http://www.prettyinthepines.com

  • Reply
    Jaime
    July 21, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Wow, wow, wow! This is crazy!! I’m so proud of you for writing this post and sharing your experience on working with them. Some companies really don’t understand how hard bloggers work and what goes into planning, writing, posting. Don’t even stress over them. You have so many more important things to worry about!

  • Reply
    Annaliese
    July 21, 2016 at 2:40 am

    This is crazy!! Good for you for sharing an HONEST review about the situation! So sorry this happened to you but hopefully it will be a lesson for brands for how to treat bloggers correctly!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 21, 2016 at 2:59 am

    You go girl! Way to stick up for yourself! You deserve better!

  • Reply
    Brie
    July 21, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Thank you for posting such an honest review! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, but am proud of you for standing up for yourself!

    xo Brie

  • Reply
    Emily
    July 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I was in shock watching your snaps. This is shameful of them. So glad you shared your experience, it’s more important for people to know what they might be getting into.

    xo. Emily
    http://www.stylemetactical.com

  • Reply
    Amanda Miller
    July 21, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Way to speak up love! Some bloggers feel they are too small and that they don’t have a voice! We ALL HAVE A VOICE and need to stand up for ourselves and this blogging community~!!
    xoxo Amanda
    The Miller Affect

  • Reply
    Jason
    August 7, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up
    the fantastic work! http://bing.org

  • Reply
    Annabel Eguagie
    January 23, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you Ashley for your post. This is soooo informative and inspiring. I am glad you stood your ground. I really love this post because I am also trying to start blogging and this just made me realize what is out there and how to prepare myself. thank you again.

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