Heavy sigh. OK, here goes. I love doing Afrobella giveaways, and I try to host them as often as I can. Most of the time, they go extremely well — I review a product I like and I think is worth your attention, end my post with an offer for you lovely bellas to win one of your own, comments flow in, I choose some at random, contact you, send info to the PR, you get a lovely free package in your mailbox shortly thereafter. It’s all good. But there have been some occasional disruptions in the giveaway procedure.
Sometimes I’ll hear from a winner months after the prizes have been sent out, who then says she never recieved her prize. Then I have to contact the PR to ask why, and it gets tricky from there on out. I’ve had some people up and disappear on me, or just shrug their shoulders and say they sent it and don’t know what happened. At that point, there’s nothing I can do except feel bad.
Being a beauty blogger who hosts regular giveaways involves a relationship of trust between myself and the product people, and also myself and you, the reader and giveaway contest enterer. If I don’t hear from you after you’ve gotten your item, I won’t know if you liked it, hated it, or never got it. Or got something you really, really weren’t supposed to. Let me tell you a funny, frustrating story with a super happy ending.
For my birthday, I hosted a Creme of Nature giveaway. Got lots of awesome birthday wishes, came back, chose winners, everyone’s happy, right? Then a month later, I heard from one of the winners. Roshanne. Thank you so much for writing, Roshanne!
She says in part:
“I am emailing to ask you about the contents of the giveaway… Ive gone completely natural and just yesterday i was fed up with my hair and thought about getting a relaxer and saying forget it…..
So today when i opened my box there was a relaxer kit in the box along with a bottle of shampoo..and conditioner….lol…I was like wow is this a sign….but seriously after this long and drawn out email were we suppose to get a relaxer in the giveaway i dont remember..”
OK. Imagine your reaction, if you were me — a beauty blogger with a website called AFRObella, entirely dedicated to preserving and loving natural hair. And a package containing a complimentary box of creamy crack is being sent out on your behalf. OMFG, as the Gossip Girl fans say. I was aghast. Horrified. I immediately wrote back to tell her, NO — this is SO NOT a sign, and I would never ever have asked the company to do that. “Stay strong, girl,” I told her. Sell that stuff on Ebay, or give it to a friend who uses relaxer, whatever you need to do.
Then I e mailed the PR, the lovely Angela, and asked her — did all TEN winners get this additional item in their giveaway package? It took her about a week to get back to me with the answer. Yes. OMFG.
And to think, I would never have known unless one of the winners actually wrote back to thank me and to ask — why the relaxer, Afrobella? Oh jeez.
I am pleased to report, after lots and lots of e mails back and forth, Angela set up a conference call for me, her, and Shawn Tollerson, the VP of Marketing for Creme of Nature. Shawn explained that it was just an oversight, they were trying to just give the readers even more of the products the company has to offer. As it turns out, some are afrobella-friendly, others aren’t. And they just wrapped up a big ol’ package and sent it out without catering to natural hair needs. Shawn was hilarious. She said, “I give you my humblest and most sincere apology. I myself am a natural woman, and my children are natural. When I found out what happened, I was like aaaaaaah! Patrice is gonna kill me!!” She made me laugh out loud. So we talked and talked, and figured out how we’re all going to make this giveaway glitch right.
First things first, the original winners are being sent a brand new Creme of Nature gift pack, which includes the products I like the most — soothing shampoo for dry hair and flaky scalp. the lemongrass and rosemary leave in creme conditioner, and my favorite of all, the red clover and aloe daily breakage relief.
And secondly, for 25 more of you lucky Afrobella readers, we’re offering another chance at a Creme of Nature giveaway. All you need to do is write a comment below that begins by saying, “Pick me, Bella!” And tell me what Afrobella giveaway you’d like to see in the future! As you can tell, I’m trying my best behind the scenes to get you all some of my favorite beauty products out there.
** edited at 6:37 p.m. — I’ll close these comments on Tuesday and pick winners next week!
** edited again Tuesday morning, at 8:05 — 155 comments! Whew. I’ve now officially closed entries for this giveaway. You’ve given me a whole lot to read, bellas! Thank you! My goal is to post winners by Friday.