Working With Brands


As a blogger, whenever we have an opportunity to work with a brand, we want to grab it with both hands! It definitely is one of the most rewarding perks of being a blogger, right? I don’t always say yes, though. If something isn’t for me, or if the brand don’t seem legit or suitable to my blog, I say no. Today’s post is just a little bit of a ramble about working with brands: What I expect to do and experience from the collaboration and what they will gain and receive from me in return.


I just love working with brands. I am very versatile on my blog and usually cover just about everything so fortunately for me this allows me to work with some fabulous brands – and other bloggers too from time to time! I’ve always had relatively positive experiences throughout my journey with blogging but recently I worked with a company which made me question my worth a little…

Lately I’ve been propitiously promoting brands and companies and getting a little bit of paid work – which is fantastic! There is absolutely nothing wrong with bloggers or influencers making a bit of extra cash with their writing hobby – or creating a full time job out of it as a matter of fact! All the same, I enjoy working with brands that don’t particularly pay you but gift you items in exchange for a review. I love discovering new and upcoming brands just as much as I revel in working with well-known and popular brands!

but, I digress…

I was recently contacted by Miss Evolution Clothing asking if I’d be interested in working with them; I done a bit of research on them, checked out their site, and agreed to do a collaboration! I was gifted $25 on their site to spend on whatever I desired. I went for the burgundy skirt (see pictures above) and had just enough left for a little pearl foot bracelet & a choker. Not too shabby, you might be thinking, something for nothing – can’t complain about that right? But I, we bloggers, put in so much hard work and knock our pans in to make sure we are positively influencing the brand’s products and doing everything we can to impress them and our followers too!

I always try to go over and above when I work with a company. I really do. I was really excited about this post. My boyfriend and I decided to do an outside photoshoot (which I don’t normally do) because I wanted to make the pictures stunning… interesting… candid…

I had been posting on my Instagram story on the drive to where we were taking the photoshoot and began receiving messages from the company, telling me not to post on my story but on my actual Instagram so my ‘followers’ could see. I told them I would – once I had actually taken photos and edited them etc. Later, I received messages asking for me to tag them in all of my Instagram photos (which I actually had already done) to which they replied they wanted me to caption my photos with their brand too – all this for what? They were being very blunt, dismissive and not very grateful to be honest. I found this so disheartening because I had really went that extra mile for this company. And all we had agreed on was a blog post – all of this was little extras.

So I guess me writing this post is just me saying that I will not accept brands speaking down to me like I owe them something; we put a lot of time and effort in to creating photos, posts, scheduling tweets and other promotional outlets for the post, and we do not appreciate being taken for granted. We do get paid work and we do not appreciate being taken for granted when we are working for free. It is in our interests to promote you and make you, and us, look good. Let us do our thing. Please!

By way of complete contrast: The items I received from Miss Evolution were lovely. And reasonably priced too. If I had not of collaborated with them, I wouldn’t have had anything pessimistic to say, I was just a bit disappointed with their professionalism in working with bloggers. But perhaps that’s just something they need to work on.

The skirt was just stunning (it smelled a bit funky when it arrived as it’s PU leather and packaged really tight and sent all the way from China, but once you air it out for a few days and give it a good old hand wash, the smell was gone). The pearl foot bracelet was so elegant and had total beach vibes (I don’t think it’s available anymore though)! I’ve never wore a foot bracelet before so I felt like a total Queen! The choker was so me! It came in 2 bits so you can wear it with or without the gold part! It’s beautiful and I look forward to wearing it on a night out!

Miss Evolution send you out items individually so I received all of these items separately with about a week or two in between so that could be why some of the items were no longer available! They do have some lovely stuff on their site and you should have a little shimmy! Just make sure that if you are ordering for your jolly holidays that you get ordering now so that your items arrive in time!

I hope this post wasn’t too long and that you guys don’t think I’m a b*tch for writing this but I want to be honest with my followers: This wasn’t the greatest of experiences (in terms of blogger collaborations) that I’ve ever had. And rather than email the company and say ‘no I’m not doing this post anymore as I don’t feel you are appreciating me and my hard ass work and efforts’ I decided to just share my nature-filled photoshoot style photos that I’m ever so proud of and write the damn post!



Charlene McElhinney

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Snapchat: TheMcElhiester


*I received these items in exchange for a review. All opinions and photographs are my own*.  



  1. July 9, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Such a shame about this brand being unprofessional as that skirt looks really good on you. Thank you for sharing your story with us, very grave of you and I’m sure many people will respect that you’ve shared this!

    Jessica & James | /

  2. LuxeStyle
    July 9, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    So sorry to hear this lovely πŸ™ It sounds like you’ve been working really hard to go above and beyond too x


  3. July 9, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I’m glad that you wrote this, Charlene. It’s not right that you agreed on the blog post and then they wanted social media extras, without discussing that at the start with you. Big no no.

  4. July 10, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    These products look fab and totally in love with the foot bracelet. Totally sucks that they were unprofessional and I would have totally done the same thing as you. You are in the right here lovely! They are asking far too much. If they wanted you to do Instagram posts with all their links, they should really have offered more payment or vouchers to use on their site. It’s not fair of them to expect it.

    Just a little rant sorry. I hate to see people treating others (especially those as lovely and professional as you) like this!

    Steph xx

  5. Nicole
    July 10, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Loved this post! I only work with brands which I think are suitable for my blog and audience too! It’s the best way forward I think

  6. July 10, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Total bummer that they were being disrespectful!
    You weren’t doing them a favour – it’s a business transaction after all!
    Manners cost nothing.
    The pics are so cute too.

  7. Millie Clinton
    July 10, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Disgusting how this brand treated you! Bloggers have SO much to offer companies and its terrible that it’s the norm that we should be belittled.

    xo Millie

  8. July 11, 2017 / 8:20 am

    I hate all the times I’ve been asked to do it on my new main blog and they’ve literally had no manners and even if I think about doing it and say no they automatically put me into their subscription mailing list!! This is terrible how they treated you! Why all brands think we do nothing else other than blog is beyond me!!
    Elisse xx

  9. July 11, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Tbh, brands who use bloggers as advertisement are the worst. They expect you to do one thing and then go back and expect way more, completely awful work ethics if you ask me

  10. July 11, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    Sorry to hear how they treated you, it certainly wasn’t right!
    Your photos are great by the way!

  11. Kayleigh Zara
    July 12, 2017 / 2:27 am

    I’m so sorry you had this experience lovely! I’ve worked with brands before where I’ve had to literally argue with them to receive payment it’s awful the way that some use bloggers for advantage x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌻✨

  12. July 12, 2017 / 9:00 am

    Such a shame that the brand were unprofessional with you. Thanks for sharing so people know in the future!
    The skirt and foot bracelet look so lovely on you though πŸ™‚ xx

  13. July 12, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    I think it’s definitely a good thing you wrote this post because it’s easy for a blogger to kind of just get lost in the dream idea of working with brands and they’ll put up with anything. Bloggers (and brands) need to see that we don’t have to put up with any crap just to get free things! If brands want us as business partners, then that’s what we are! Free stuff or not, we always have the power to say no!

  14. July 12, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Ok, so firstly you are SLAYING in this post. Wowwwww you are so unbelievably beautiful Charlene! And secondly, you are SLAYING in what you’re saying in this post! I kept saying ‘yaaassss girl’ whilst reading. You’ve managed to get your point across maturely and honourably, and I’m so proud of you for speaking out about this.
    Hayley X

  15. July 12, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    As a book blogger I don’t have any experience working with brands. This seems like such a difficult situation because the items you got look and sound great, but it’s a shame about the brand being way too needy! Your photos are stunning though so there’s a silver lining!

  16. July 13, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Damn girl, you look absolutely stunning in this outfit! The skirt suits you so perfectly and I love everything you’ve paired it with! The foot bracelet is so dainty and adds such a classy touch! Such a shame that the brand were a bit pressuring, it’s never nice when you’re already trying your hardest to produce great content for them! It’s important to talk openly about things like this so that new bloggers know what to expect and when to stand up for themselves, so I think you’ve done a great job here!

    Abbey 🐬

  17. July 13, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I really agree with this! Just because a brand pays or sends gifts to a blogger doesn’t mean they have the right to talk down to someone. I had a very similar experience, I was asked to write for free by a clothing company. I agreed because it was about being body confident and I included their name in the title and a paragraph about their company. I then received 10 rude emails saying I had to advertise them more in the post and to include a follow link!

  18. July 14, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that you had such a terrible experience with this brand! I’ve had experience working with brands before and they have been positive until my most recent one.
    Only wanting to pay the bare minimum when other brands have paid triple. I said no in the end and I’m glad I did, they were incredibly rude and brushed me off when I asked for more!

    It’s so important that we all talk about our experiences, as it means we don’t have to worry about being the only ones going through it!

    So much love for this post.

    Alys |

  19. BeautyandTheBoy
    July 14, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    This is such a good post its good that you are showing what can happen because i think a lot of the time people think its all sunshine and happiness when working with brands and sometimes thats not the case. xx

  20. July 18, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Great post Charlene. You look stunning in the pics and the skirt and accessories are gorgeous. Your honesty is refreshing and certainly helps bloggers that are new to working with brands xxx

  21. jennavon
    July 20, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    Brilliant post. Luckily I have only had positive experiences with brands but I’m now aware that negative experiences are out there.

    Jenna von x

  22. July 26, 2017 / 1:35 am

    You the spoke the truth, girl! And this was a major warning for those who may not be working with brands yet. Thanks for being so candid in what you wrote. And nothing you said makes you a b****. It’s make you honest with your readers, which makes me trust and support your sponsored content more.

  23. August 10, 2017 / 12:09 am

    You are completely right! You don’t sound ungrateful, if anything, they sound ungrateful, and it seems like they don’t know how much effort and work goes into blogging! It’s a full time job, that doesn’t necessarily pay. I spend at least a few hours a day doing things for my blog, and I have not gotten a cent. I completely understand where you are coming from. They seem completely unprofessional. I am glad to hear that you liked their products though! xxx

    Melina |

  24. October 1, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    I always get a little bit jelly at how confident you seem to be in all of your photos, also major body envy…you have an amazing figure! I once worked with a brand who sent me some coloured contacts to try & I did my post as agreed. Then they took my photos without asking & edited them to make the lenses look more vibrant than they really were so I went balistic. Not on. They were not sharing my face falsely advertising their product! Never worked with them again & I made it doubly clear that no one takes my photos without permission, whether your products are included or not let alone make the product look ‘better’. The cheek of some people is unreal! Thankyou for sharing your story, it all helps with experience πŸ™‚ x x
    Ellis //

  25. January 10, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    Oh my god that foot bracelet is STUNNING. I’ve just been approached to promote a product on Instagram for the first time, I must say I’m excited and quite nervous as I’ve heard such good things but also to take precautions ( I guess you could say that ) as I’ve heard bad things too. Lovely post x x

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