PSA from Our Editor

Written by:

Hi my lovely readers,

It’s such an awful feeling, whether you’ve been in the writing business for a long time or you’re just a few months into writing your first blog, when you receive a comment on a post that makes your heart sink because somebody totally misunderstood what you were trying to do. I infuse pieces of my personal life in this blog when it’s relevant, but this is not my full time job – it’s a total labor of love. Late nights after work, weekends spent on my computer. This is something that I do because I’m passionate about this town, and I love to write, and write about it. I started this blog out of a love for Hoboken and a lack of a female voice in our community, and I hope that I’ve brought that to our little mile square. I’ve met so many amazing business owners and wonderful people through it, and my life wouldn’t be the same without this town.

Behind all of these posts, whether written by my contributors or myself, is an editor, who happens to be me.  Although I don’t always have the time to respond to all of your comments, I read all of them and they usually make me smile with your positivity and love for local businesses and Hoboken in general. Isn’t that what is so great about living here, almost all of us share that common ground of having great pride for this little city.

I just wanted to share a comment that was left on a recent post {our Best of Guide} which I felt needed to be addressed in a public response, since they were slandering several local business’ interactions with me. While I normally do not highlight negativity on this forum, I thought this was a perfect place to address these offensive remarks and set the record straight. I understand we’re in the day in age that it’s so easy to type or text anything that comes into our head, but I’m hoping this is something we can all learn from, myself included.

We received this comment from someone named “Gigi” {I’m assuming the name was fake since their email is gigi@gmail.com}. Here it is:


Let me start out by saying I use to be a big fan of Hoboken Girl blog. I thought it was a great way to find new places in our lovely town. However, this blog has now become an excuse for the editor to get free goods and services for her and to promote her friends businesses (quite shamelessly). This list is my final tipping point. I was a close follower of this blog and it appears the majority of vendors on this list provided the editor with FREE services for her wedding in exchange for a positive write up. Honestly, these are not valid recommendations – rather, they are an excuse for the editor to collect as many free services for her and friends as possible and trick all of us into paying for it as patrons.

– Rebellations – contently featured on the blog – gives free blow outs to the staff and one of the stylists is best friends with the editor.
– EC Beauty Studio – Didn’t the editor get all her pre-wedding facials here? I’m sure at NO cost to her…
– AMA makeup academy – Also mentioned in all her wedding posts…
– Aarraa – The editors good friend seems to be the stores in house stylist – Coincidence?
– Turtle Club – Didn’t she hold her bridal shower here?

This girl is nothing but a cheapskate and is not interested in bettering Hoboken or our local business, like she would love all of us to believe. I suggest you stop reading this blog, like a plan to starting today.

MY RESPONSE:

Hi “Gigi”,

I wanted to first start off by saying “Thank You” for being such a loyal reader. Normally I don’t respond to people who don’t have all of the facts, but since you’re slandering my name and reputation and are being very, very offensive, I figure I’ll respond and set the record very, very straight.

First off, just as an FYI, when a post is sponsored (aka a business has paid for us to write or given services for free in exchange for a positive write-up, it is mentioned in the post at the bottom as SPONSORED). That’s a pretty normal tactic in the editing and writing world and if we didn’t, it’d be a big problem.

None of the above vendors gave me anything for free to be promoted in any of my write-ups about my wedding or the best of guide. In fact, I’ll publicly state right here for all of the world [and the businesses to see!] how much they cost me.

EC Beauty Studio: Erica’s facials usually run me from $80 (when there’s a special or she tries to offer me a discount since I’ve referred so many people to her since starting my visits with her – her peels and oxygen facials are amazing!) to $150, $200-$250 on a day when she or Dilcia (one of the other facial estheticians) encourages me to buy products. One of my friends even bought me a $200 gift certificate for EC Beauty for my bridal shower, so that was great to use when I was getting monthly (read: expensive) facials before my wedding! But, as I have stated in my posts – this is worth it to me and THAT is why I share it.

Rebellations: The stylist you’re mentioning is a great friend of mine (who I met by chance while she was doing my hair 4-5 years ago – a friend recommended the salon she was working at at the time!), and since then I’ve referred a zillion clients to her, but only because she is THE BEST. Literally. I have girls who have never dyed their hair before going to her and emailing me that she’s changed their “hair” lives. She has not paid me anything to write about her or given me free services in exchange for a write-up; while as my friend who sometimes does my hair at my house, she does try to not charge me sometimes, but I always end up paying in some form – I usually tip her $100-200 per session regardless of the session price. Feel free to ask her next time you roll through the salon (since you seem to know so much about her!). Also, she did my hair and all of my bridesmaids hair for my wedding (which I paid for – for all of the girls as part of their gift) and was written a nice big check (by me) for her services. Because even friends won’t constantly work for free. Would you?

AMA Makeup Academy: Guess how much money I spent on my wedding makeup? $400 for me ($300 for the bride and $100 for the makeup team’s transport). My bridesmaids paid for themselves – $100/bridesmaid, but I paid $100 for my mom and my MOH additionally, AND I paid for the trial makeup which was $100 to just do a test run of my wedding day makeup. To me, it’s totally worth the money. Jules and her team are honestly the best makeup artists around, and I’m so glad I found them this year via an Instagram search. Stunning work.

Aaraa: I have been shopping at Aaraa for years, before I even met the in-house stylist several years ago (who started there last year). The fact that Aaraa is the best accessories boutique around is a total coincidence — really, can you tell me a better accessories boutique in town with affordable prices? Didn’t think so.

Turtle Club: I absolutely held my bridal shower here. And here’s where it gets sticky – you’re now offending my mother. BIG no no. She paid thousands of dollars to have my bridal shower at the Turtle Club, and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote a blog post about it. That is what my blog/Hoboken Girl is about – it started as a documentation of my chronicles in Hoboken, and, because of readers like you, turned into something more with active and amazing contributors and followers. I have nothing to hide, and while there are perks from time to time being a blogger (really, ask any blogger or magazine writer you follow or subscribe to), the truth of the matter is that I do not often get many things for free. Again, when I do and am asked to write a positive post about it, it is mentioned, or if there is a payment involved, sponsored is written at the bottom.

I want to thank you for taking the time to really scrutinize what you think is going on here – and for getting me fired up enough to write this all up and set the record straight!  Have a lovely day 🙂


 

I know this post is not at all the tone I set for this blog, but I think I would be encouraging people to spread hate if I just glazed over this comment that clearly was false and totally upset me. So I thank you so much for taking the time to read – I know I’m not alone in this. If you own a blog or online business with an open forum, I’d be interested to hear from you about how you handle negativity. Usually it doesn’t get me, but today it left me feeling utterly disappointed not just for the way this has struck a chord with me, but also for the businesses we nominated with careful thought.

 

~Jen


Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. With deep entrepreneurial roots in Hudson County — as her grandparents owned textile businesses on Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen dating back to the 50s — she started the site as a Hoboken resident to discover the amazing things happening in the area. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her two pups, or watching Bravo TV and ordering takeout with her husband.