This week I took my friend Chris shopping for free workout clothes. Sounds weird, right? I know. And Im constantly explaining to people what I do for "work". I do work for a few companies that send me free things, or coupons for free items, for simply reviewing the items and sharing the information with my friends and family. Most of the time it is new products, just coming out in stores, and they are hoping to get customers to try them out. So I get to try the item out for free, I pass coupons out to friends, family, strangers in stores, and let them know what I think of the item, then they buy the item with the coupon and tell their friends/families/strangers, etc. The companies may give an item for free, but they get lots of new customers by word of mouth. And word of mouth could make or break a new company or product!
I started about 9 years ago when I was a pregnant first time Mom to be. I was looking for a way to save my family money, and stumbled across this opportunity. It was a local (Boston) company that specialized on word of mouth advertising. I submitted my application, got accepted, and started submitting surveys for them. About 6 months later I got my first campaign, an envelope of coupons for free cheese spread for me to use, and a bunch of coupons to pass out to others. Since then, I have branched out to about 10 companies. Some are food companies, some are word of mouth advertising companies, one is a big baby store. Most send me free items to try, one has me come in and do round table discussions or videotape me putting together their products to see how easy it is for customers to build their items, some pay me cash for submitting my ideas and reviews, one pays me in high dollar gift cards to stores like Target and Babies R Us. Its a pretty decent "gig" to have. Im not making millions here, but I can pretty much cover all of my family's Christmas gifts with my perks and pay. Not a bad deal!
So about 2 weeks ago, one of these companies sends me notice that I'll be sampling Old Navy's workout wear. AWESOME! I did this last year, too, and fell in love with the items I chose. I was pretty excited. But the HUGE bonus was that I could choose a friend to go with me and that she and I both would get to pick a free workout top AND free pair of workout bottoms! I grabbed Chris, who like me, has been losing a lot of weight lately, and also like me, has just started to workout on a regular basis. We headed to Old Navy on Tuesday morning, raided their workout wear section and each grabbed about 10 items to take into the dressing room with us. The stuff is super cute, and there is something for everyone. Dont like shorts to run in? There are plenty of capris or leggings. Dont like tight tanks? There are plenty of loose running shirts or jackets! The sizes generally ran from XS to XXL, depending on the style, and each style came in a plethora (I love when I can use that word in a sentence!) of cute colors! Neons, brights, darks, basics..... Old Navy workout wear has something for everyone!
So we get into the dressing rooms and start trying things on. Sometimes it was comical, especially when a too tight sports bra would get stuck over our heads, but for the most part everything fit and looked super cute. Chris ended up getting a free pair of black capris and a grey running shirt that keeps you dry when you sweat. I ended up getting a free pair of grey and neon yellow compression leggings and a grey moisture wicking running jacket. We also both bought other workout wear and clothes for our daughters, so Old Navy actually made quite a big sale by sending us to pick out free items. I made a point to wear my new running clothes that night and they worked perfectly for me. The moisture wicking tank that I got, as well as the capris, let me move freely but didnt let my jiggle (ladies, you know what Im talking about) get out of control. The sports bra held me in and made it comfortable for me to run, which is a HUGE deal for me. And the clothes didnt make me sweat, either. The jacket was awesome for the cool morning jog that I took the next day. Its cold in the early mornings here on Cape Cod, so I needed that extra layer that morning. And when I took the jacket off mid run and wrapped it around my waist, it didnt weigh me down at all and was comfortable to have hanging off of me. I was impressed! And another test of the quality was when I put all of my new clothes in the washer. Cold water, Tide detergent, and I had absolutely no color runs. The clothes came out the exact colors as they went in. No loss of stretch, no holes, no ripped seams, no issues whatsoever. Again.... totally impressed! I am very happy with my purchases, both free and paid for, and I will gladly recommend Old Navy's workout wear to anyone.
This week I received a box full of Nerf Super Soakers and another box of Cheetos new white cheddar all natural puffs to try and pass out, and I also received some L'oreal hair products to try out and share. Its a pretty cool "job" to have, and anyone can do it. Do you want to try? Let me know and I can add you to a few of the companies I go through!