When Someone Gets It Right

I have been blogging for a long time now, and have had the privilege of working with a lot of what people call “big brands.” Like many bloggers, I have a list–yes a literal physical LIST of “dream brands” that I have wanted to work with. As my blog has evolved, so has my special list, and I have always worked hard towards making contacts and connections, networking, and doing all the right things to get noticed by brands.

Why is my list what it is and why are there certain brands on it? Well, a few reasons. Let’s break them into three categories. First, some brands on my list are brands I just absolutely adore and would love to experience their product, service, or destination. Next, some brands are on the list because it’s a status thing–I mean let’s be real here. We can all say we aren’t competitive and that we don’t care when we get passed on an invite to an event or for a sponsored post, but it can be hard to not take things personally…so yes, some of the brands on my list are there simply for the sheer fact that when you get invited to work with them you KNOW it’s a special honor. #SorryNotSorry

Then there is a third category. A category that isn’t as glamorous or high profile to most. This category has brands in it that sure, you have heard of, but maybe you don’t know much about. You know that they work with influencers, and you are intrigued, but that’s about as far as it goes.

I’m going to be REALLY REAL with you right now. Before this past week, Kia fell in that little forgotten third category for me. The only thing I knew about Kia was that when I was a kid, people used to make fun of how crappy of a car it was. Literally, that. was. it. (I know, I’m so embarrassed to even admit that y’all.) So no, they weren’t on my special A list and I wasn’t constantly obsessed with reading tweets and recaps about the brand, desperately trying to make a connection. It wasn’t like that for me, but boy do I feel silly now, because it SHOULD have absolutely been like that for me now that I know what I know.

Do you ever get that really warm fuzzy happy feeling where you just can’t stop smiling, and you aren’t even sure why? That’s how I felt for the less than 48 hours I was in San Diego last week spending time with the amazing folks at Kia. My misconceptions about the brand quickly did a 180, not only as a blogger, but as a consumer.

I had no idea that nearly 40% of all Kia vehicles sold here are assembled in the U.S.A.

I had no idea that Kia is in the top 6 best car brands based on road test performance and reliability.

I had no idea they are in the top 3 in reliability according to Consumer Reports.

I had no idea they have been #1 in initial quality for two straight years according to J.D. Power.

Y’all, that’s just the basics. There is so much more that I learned when I actually got behind the wheel of the Stinger and the Sorento. Super classy, luxurious, and techie, these vehicles truly blew my expectations for the brand out of the water. I love a good underdog story, and I feel like Kia has a great one to tell. They were at the bottom, like the bottom of the bottom as far as car brands go, and just look at them now. I have only been in their “family” for a short time but I can’t help but burst with pride at how far they have come.

Now back to being an influencer. I tend to go off on tangents.

As I said, I have worked with a lot of brands over the years, and have been a part of a lot of different influencer programs. I have had some good experiences and some horrible experiences. I don’t talk much about it on the blog because I am a proper and classy southern lady, but I have had promises broken, contracts negated, and lies told to me by brands. It’s sad but true, and being taken advantage of is never fun. (especially when it’s online and you just want to reach through the screen and throat punch someone…Wait, what?) In the short time I have worked with this brand, I quickly learned that they truly treat everyone like family, and all of the Kia team I met are freaking amazing humans that I am lucky to call “my people.”

It truly is magic when a brand gets it right. Right with their influencers, and with their consumers. You guys, this brand has knocked both out of the park. I am one of those people that has had the same type of car since I was in college just because that was the “reliable brand” my family always bought. I never bothered to learn or explore any other options, and it’s a darn shame. For someone who thrives on reading and doing research for a living, I’m not really sure what I was thinking.

What I do know, is that I want my next car to be a Kia if at all possible. I am quite sentimental, and I tend to attach emotions and experiences to inanimate objects, and you bet I’m going to attach every little bit of amazing experience and emotion felt with my new Kia family to my next vehicle purchase. From the car karaoke, to the Krispy Kreme donuts and warm hospitality, I will remember it all.

Like I said, I’m quite the lucky girl to have gotten to work with a lot of brands on my dream list. It’s fun and a little surprising when one sneaks up on me and adds itself to my list without me even realizing it’s happening. That’s Kia for you. Stealing hearts, and being unforgettable. Keep it up y’all. You are doing an excellent job.

Kia is a brand that I never considered a dream brand to work with or purchase, but all that changed on an influencer trip to San Diego.

Ppsstttt: Are you heading to Mom 2.0? Kia will be there so MAKE SURE you go say hello. Tell them I sent you. I wish I was going, but unfortunately it’s not in the budget to fly across the country, especially when I have to save up for my new car. 😉

kia sorento

Disclosure: I was provided with flights, meals, and hotel accommodations for my trip to San Diego to experience Kia for myself, however all opinions are my own.

Running Skirts Sales Summit Day 2

 

Mmooorrrrnnniiinnnggg! catching up from the weekend?

Running Skirts Sales Summit

The Disney Dream part 1

Happy Father’s Day 2011

I hope everyone had a fab weekend! I will have pictures from Father’s Day up tomorrow. We had a great time at my parents house. My dad liked his gifts. Smile

Ok, so, we were discussing the Running Skirts sales summit. We woke up on day 2, and all went for a morning run by the ocean. It was so beautiful, nice and cool outside, no humidity. LOVE THIS WEATHER!

DSC_0603

Paige and I on our balcony before the run

2011-06-07083423

my knee/IT band was giving me fits. I played sand volleyball twice on Castaway Cay on the cruise, and it had been hurting me since then. I ended up walking for part of the run. I felt bad slowing everyone down, but didn’t really have a choice.

We ran into a guy putting his surfboard into his car, and asked it we could take a picture.

2011-06-07083524

I couldn’t get over the gorgeous scenery.

2011-06-07083652

2011-06-07084153

We covered somewhere between 4 and 5 miles, and then were dropped off back at the hotel to shower and get ready for some training.

2011-06-07140438

next skirt outfit. Smile

We had a great day of training and I learned a lot, and then that afternoon we were sent off to the spa to enjoy some relaxation time. You weren’t supposed to take pictures, but I snuck a couple.

2011-06-07174319 2011-06-07174330

the spa was so awesome. It had indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a heated outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, relaxation room, room with fireplace, it was so awesome.

2011-06-07174613

see the big balcony on the second floor? That is our suite. Smile

DSC_0604

beautiful flowers. everywhere. smelled. wonderful.

That night we went to a cute place on the water called Jake’s for drinks before we went to dinner. Sadly, June gloom had set in.

DSC_0608

but we still had a great time!

DSC_0609

DSC_0610

247557_10150221652315345_22593420344_7436209_673032_n

after drinks, we went to a Mexican place in Del Mar for dinner. It was so yummy! Loved it!

DSC_0612

DSC_0614

Good times were had by all, and I was so sad we had to leave the next day! Here are a couple other pictures I took of the resort the morning we left.

DSC_0615 DSC_0616

the awesome bathroom in our room

DSC_0617

Wednesday morning we were all sadly brought to the airport to begin our journey home. I know the trip seemed so condensed in these posts but there was so much going on, I had such a great first visit to California and hope I get to go back soon!

Running Skirts Sales Summit

 

FRIDAY! I know I have been slacking on the Friday Favorites posts, but I REALLY want to tell you about my time with my new running skirts family, and don’t want to wait till Monday, so once again, no Friday favorites. But I think you will like this post!

Ok so we left off at the train station in San Diego. After sitting for a few minutes, I see one of the twins, in skirt gear of course, walking towards me. Yay! It finally felt real! It was Cindy, and Christy was waiting in the car with Cindy’s sweet baby Ryder. (Confession: at the start of the sales summit, I could NOT tell the twins apart, but now I can vey easily!)

We started heading to the airport just a few blocks away to pick up two of the other girls. As we are driving and they are pointing out the water and the boats, etc. One of the girls goes “is that Meb?” I stated looking and thought “certainly they don’t mean THE Meb…not Meb Keflezighi…..who WON the San Diego Rock in Roll just 24 hours ago? oh, yeah, it is, just going for a shake out run, ho hum. HOW COOL! I was psyched and I had been in San Diego all of 20 minutes!!!

We picked up Larissa and Paige, and headed to our hotel. Our 4th member of our gang was flying in that afternoon, so we were instructed to get some lunch by the pool and relax until then. We had NO idea where we were going to be staying, and honestly I had not thought much about it. Well, we pull up to the La Costa resort and spa…HOLY COW! They were totally spoiling us!

We checked in and walked to our room. Aw, sisterly love.

DSC_0591

In case you are blind and can’t tell from the above picture…this place is GORGEOUS. mountains all around, flowers everywhere, it was amazing. The surprises kept on coming. We get to our building and put the key in to two large double doors, not the single kind like a regular room. It opens into this:

DSC_0593

DSC_0595

with a balcony that overlooks this

DSC_0594

and then there were two rooms, one off each side of the living area, so it was two girls to a room. This was me and Paige’s room. I was stoked to have my own bed and no cover hog-Bobby around for a couple nights.

DSC_0592

The twins left to go get things ready to come back for our first meeting that would be held in our suite, and so the three of us headed to find food and the pool.

2011-06-06114939

2011-06-06120025

it’s hard to tell, but in the above picture, that wall of greenish stones is like a waterfall, so peaceful.

2011-06-06133438

We sat in the sun at the little restaurant area, and I got a turkey burger

2011-06-06123229

it wasn’t bad! We ate and talked and soaked up some sun, and then Juli, the 4th and final sales rep got to the hotel, and we headed back for some learning and fun!

We went through some training and learning time, and then we all got dressed in matching skirts and headed to the store. I was SO excited to see the store after seeing so many pictures of it online!

DSC_0596

DSC_0597

they had wine and cheese for us at the store, and all the other ladies were wearing pink, too!

DSC_0598

DSC_0599

DSC_0600

255653_10150221033765345_22593420344_7431139_8212022_n

We went around and did introductions, and Joe Taricani was there and he hung out with us for the evening, and even recorded part of his show there, and we were in it! We went out fron to take some group shots in front of the store. The first one is my fav!

253948_10150221004650345_22593420344_7430906_4992430_n

246908_10150221033540345_22593420344_7431137_2158035_n

then we had a little fun out back with some expo equipment…but I won’t get into that lol! Let’s just say I may or may not have thought about getting a tetanus shot after hanging that sign on barbed wire!

251080_10150221034955345_22593420344_7431146_7107400_n

After that, we all went to this great place to eat called Rimel’s. We had such a great time, everyone was so sweet and easy to get along with.

252563_10150221035430345_22593420344_7431150_3783639_n

I had some chicken tacos

2011-06-06202109

cell phone pic with a flash…sorry!

I was so exhausted by time we left, I think we all were! We all went to sleep as soon as we got back to our lovely hotel. It was a great day, and I knew the next day was going to be even more fun. I was just so sad it was going by so fast!

In the next running skirts post…our group run, and the spa!

QOTD: What is the most beautiful hotel you have ever stayed?