Over the years, I have learned that when you are confident in your own worth, the pathway through life becomes remarkably less burdensome.
Have you ever noticed when you read a review on a new restaurant venture, a new album or a writer's latest novel, critics can be enthralled and thrilled or acidly disappointed. After all it's a personal review in the context of their longstanding industry experience. Personally, I love reading genuine reviews on all genres of culture and life (when we had it!). You can crave a particular writer's style and wit, appreciate their clever metaphors and laugh as you connect to the creation that is under the spotlight.
In the food industry, music industry and literary world, reviews from noted critics are essential in establishing authenticity. One bad review from a New York Times respected critic can render the creator's endeavour lukewarm as opposed to the 'must have', 'must do'.
Since lockdown, I have been sent more requests for collaborations than ever before. Just to clarify, in our world, a collaboration is an exchange. Usually between a product or brand and a writer or social media influencer. A brand would ordinarily pay a negotiated fee for their product to be featured on the influencer's social media streams. The context of the "review" will always be positive, because there is a fee attached to the exchange. The perception to the consumer is that this is a great product. It might well be, but it also may not.
It is important to say that journalists cannot partake in the above mentioned exchanges. It would erode their standing and erode the integrity of their writing. It is also important to note, that there are seasoned industry writers (with huge followings), operating solely on social media platforms that do not take fees for reviews. They simply offer their seasoned critique on the genuine worth of the products under review and it can go both ways, positive or negative.
Our products (as are many other brand creations) strive for excellence. We only seek acclaim if it is sincerely intentioned. As a brand, we do not engage in ANY paid for exposure. Every review we have ever been fortunate to receive, is genuine. Genuine commentary from genuine industry supporters.
On another note. Recently we have had three requests for collaboration from figures with huge following (in each case over a hundred thousand). The requests outline a desire to design their own candle or perfume and the expectation is that that this will be free of charge. Once I send my fees for dedicating 6 months of my time to bringing something to life in the Jonathan Ward style, the requests fade away. For some, a candle is a trifle, a perfume a whim. Sadly, a hundred thousand followers is not enough for me to give my gifts away for free.
As I said in the beginning of this post, knowing your own worth is essential. Believing in your vision and the worth that it carries, removes other people's needs and goals from cluttering the journey towards reaching your potential. During our current freeze on all activity, it seemed more and more relevant to offer genuine insight into my world. Will it bode me well when we're on the other side of this horror show ? I am unsure, but in the words of "Paris is Burning", "that voice is still there".