We spend our days writing, commenting, uploading and sharing. We post deeply personal and private things, share pictures, thoughts and feelings, sometimes in as few as 140 characters. We found each other online. We know each other’s faces only from Instagram but know each other’s lives as intimately as a family member. We share a common passion that can be viewed by the masses as torturous, boring, ridiculous or a combination of all three.
We are running bloggers.
We started our friendships online.
We met in real life at a running retreat.
The second annual Rise.Run.Retreat, a dream realized by two such bloggers – – Sarah Canney and Jesica D’Vavanza – – was held this past October in Waterbury, Vermont. The idea was simple: get a bunch of like-minded running bloggers together for a weekend of information, products, food and, of course, a half marathon.
Unless you’re part of the blogging world, it’s hard to describe it without sounding creepy or weird. Some of us bloggers would be meeting “in real life” for the first time at the retreat, and some already knew each other from races or other industry events. No matter, we greeted the known and unknown the same – – with big hugs and a barrage of questions. You see, we know precisely what is happening in each other’s lives, thanks to weekly blog post updates we read with the greatest enthusiasm, as if we’re having coffee with our old friend.
It was the blog world that brought us together, but sharing our running worlds, emotions, goals and lives made us friends both on and offline.
As much as life happens over the Internet these days, especially for bloggers, real life interactions remain much more important.
As a KÜHL ambassador, I’ve been showcasing and touting the style, quality and fit of KÜHL women’s clothing for almost a year now. Every woman at the retreat had seen my posts, “liked them” and probably even typed an encouraging comment. However, very few actually went on to order the clothing, until the retreat.
You can see an image of a person or a piece of women’s clothing and think you know it, but it’s only when you have the real experience of talking face-to-face or touching and trying on an item do you feel a real connection. That may sound a bit overboard when it comes to clothing, but I can tell you, it’s not.
When the women at the retreat who had never seen KÜHL clothing “in real life” were able to touch, try on and see several team members modeling the clothes, they all wanted in! From the LÉA DRESS to the ALINA FLANNEL to the MØVA PANT, these women now had a different reason to get online – shopping!
As a group, we already knew that sometimes when you think you know a person from their blog, they don’t live up to your expectations when you have an opportunity to meet them. The same can be true for clothing.
When these runners, who view comfortable everyday clothing as a necessity, were able to see the KÜHL clothing, in varied styles and on varied body types and realized we really do wear these pieces all the time, you could sense a shift happening. They went from having a passing interest in the clothes to wanting to order them as soon as possible.
No matter how real a reality show or an online video may seem, you never know what you’re getting (in a person or a product) until you have a real life experience. And, even as a group of women who spend the majority of their time online, and who pride themselves on being able to spot a fake, came to know — nothing beats the real thing and KÜHL clothing is as real as it gets.