The Honesty and Integrity Behind My Blog

So this blog post wasn’t something that I originally planned out, but based on some recent questions from readers and followers, it is one that I feel needs to be written. The photo of Bucky and I is because we celebrated his 11th birthday yesterday!

If you’ve been an active follower of mine, you’ll know I recently did a big giveaway with my hair dresser Erica. She chose 8 very deserving winners instead of just 1 makeover winner like we originally expected due to the high turnout and quality of entries. You can read the original blog post here, where you’ll read that I have gone to Catwalk Hair Studio (where Erica works) since the day they opened their doors over 9 year ago.

I had a friend text me asking shortly after the hair makeover giveaway asking where she should go to get her hair done. She said she saw where I had gone to Erica for years and even saw the giveaway I had recently promoted for her. However this friend’s text came with a question that said, “Are you really pleased with how she does your hair?” I was taken by a little shock, which leads to this biog post. After this conversation, I noticed a few more people asking me questions that showed doubt about something I recommended to them.

I understand there are so many bloggers and influencers to be found on the internet. I personally love this new era of blogging being able to be a full time job. There is a lot of work that goes into it, and other company’s and brands can really benefit from what the influencers have to offer. I also know that our generation is used to a sales pitch or marketing scheme, making them very hesitant to trust anything.

Let me just say that if I was not pleased with the way Erica did my hair (using this as an example), then I would not continue to go to her MUCH LESS share about her on my blog. I stand proud upon this blog being my true thoughts, feelings, products and services that I like because I use them and have purchased them. I only make a little side money on this blog, and whenever I first launched it I had no expectation to make a living blogging. I just wanted to share more about myself individually rather than the “Southern Jewlz Randa” that everyone knows online. I wanted to share about entering a new phase of life being married, as well as other fashion picks that I purchase, style and use besides the SJ products that I have for sale. If anything, since I have started blogging and sharing so much more about my personal life and style, I feel people should have far more trust in me. Instead of just seeing the “Southern Jewlz Randa” online, you’re now getting more of a glimpse into my personal lifestyle. I love to share health and fitness, fashion, beauty, life experiences and soon to be some home decor from our house!

I do not feature anything on this blog unless I have bought it, used it and truly love it. Do I get emails and requests from people wanting to send me free products to try? Yes I do. However, this is something that has gone on for years with me owning my own boutique. Lots of brands and companies would send me sample products to use in hopes that I would carry their items, but just like the integrity of this blog, I only bought the products that I personally liked and thought my customers would enjoy, too. There have been multiple brands and product offerings sent to me since launching this blog, and I am always honest with them that I base my blog upon my own personal style rather than just receiving something free that I can then promote to make additional money on. Now on the flip side, I have also accepted some free items that match my personal brand to try out, but again I am honest and say that I will only blog about them if I truly love and believe in product or service. If I wouldn’t make a purchase myself, then I’m not going to encourage my readers to do so. I know it’s not worth me receiving free product or making some quick short-term money to jeopardize the trust of my followers. Following along this blog doesn’t mean that you ever have to purchase anything I recommend or sell at SJ, nor do you have to try any of my workouts, health or beauty tips for that matter. I’m just sharing all that encompasses my life and welcome you into my world.

How do I make money with this blog? Based upon products that I do feature through Reward Style (Like to Know It) I do receive a small commission based on sales that are made from my readers. This blog also does direct traffic to my online boutique Southern Jewlz, which can turn into additional business sales for me. So here’s my one line of the blog to help encourage you to make a purchase with me haha – it’s Pink Week! 30% off the entire Southern Jewlz site with code “Pink” and an additional 50% off sale items with code “Week”. No need to wait around for Black Friday! (ok sales pitch is now turned off haha)

I’m no celebrity status blogger by any means, I am just me. I do not receive my clothes or beauty products all for free. I purchase my clothes or else I carry the styles at Southern Jewlz. However over the tenure of my business I have learned that not everything I love will always be a best seller, so this blog allows me to show you more of my personal style separate from SJ.

I have so many readers and followers who have been with me for as long as 10 years. They have seen my personal style and my seasons of life change and evolve, and I hope I continue to keep them following along with me in the future. Creating long-lasting relationships with my readers and documenting my life’s journey and evolution is what I aim to gain out of this blog. In the future, I hope to create a community of like-minded women that are similar to myself who can all connect together, rather than just with me. To me, blogging means being honest, transparent and selfless. I love to focus on my readers, listen to their feedback, and strive to be brave with transparency even in times that are difficult or situations that may not always be pretty. For instance, If you’ve been recently following along my instagram stories, you’ll know that I’m recovering from my first ever professional micro needle session on my face. I do not want to be taking ugly selfies showing blood wounds for my own benefit, but I am pushing through and sharing all of the real because I know my followers will benefit from the transparency.

Since closing my store, I do miss some of the customer interaction and this blog helps to fill that void for me. In this ever evolving world, I have to be on my toes and ready as the world continues to change so quickly. Who knows? Maybe I will one day be a full time celebrity lifestyle blogger, but for now that is not the reason that I started and continue to blog. I truly love helping people and hope that sharing my life may help improve the life of at least one person out there!

With this being Thanksgiving week, I just want to thank each of you personally for following along on my journey. Whether you are a Southern Jewlz customer or not, whether you’ve ever left me a comment or not, whether you have ever asked my advice or not, I am thankful to have each of you along for this ride. I like to think of it as building my personal Randa Carrabba brand, which proudly stands upon honesty, integrity and longevity.

Happy Thanksgiving loves! Feel free to share below what you’re thankful for or even what you would like to see on my blog in the future. Keep in mind I am getting super close to sharing more of our home design with y’all too!

xo,

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