Back in May Comfizz launched their competition to be in with a chance of being selected as a Comfizz Style Ambassador. Having relied on their ostomy support wear since after my surgery, I knew straight away that I just had to enter!
To enter the competition, Comfizz wanted you to send in your images of Comfizz “in style”. You could send in as many as you wanted (which I felt helped bring out my creative side more!) so long as you made sure the photos were tasteful, focused & interesting.
I sent in a selection of photos showing off different Comfizz garments and enjoyed composing them such as in the photo above. The one I really enjoyed putting together was a “before vs after waistband” idea. I wanted to somehow try and get across my thoughts without a waistband having to find the confidence to wear tighter fitting clothing with my ostomy bag compared to the confidence I felt with the waistband as an option to help smooth out any potential bag bulges etc.
So what would being a Comfizz Brand Ambassador entail?
The main prize of winning the competition was to take part in a photoshoot modeling a range of Comfizz garments with the other winners. The photos would then be used for future brand campaigns and marketing etc, as well as being used across social media & in other things. Being a Brand Ambassador also provides other opportunities over the year, such as taking part in Comfizz projects, videos & being a “voice” for Comfizz. For me, it also opened up this amazing opportunity to be a Comfizz blogger & share my thoughts on ostomy life & how to embrace it as much as possible, especially when adversity can sometimes make it difficult!
How I felt being chosen as a winner
Seeing a lot of interest on Instagram, it became evident that there was a lot of competition! I really hoped that I would be in with a chance of winning, but at the same time didn’t get my hopes up too high! It was a nervous wait waiting for the winners to be announced & I never imagined that I would actually be picked! When the news came I remember being on my lunch break at work checking my e-mails & squealing in my office that I had been picked! I had to read over the e-mail a few times to actually check what I was seeing was real! I was really excited to share the news & it was great to see the people close to me so excited for me too. Over the next few weeks, a date & location was set for the photoshoot.
7th August 2019: On location for the day
Leading up to the day, I didn’t really know what to expect! I felt a mix of nerves & excitement but my focus was being able to be part of something fantastic that would help others when it had been finished. Lorraine was great in the run-up to the photoshoot (as always!) & was on hand via e-mail reassuring me & putting my mind at rest with any worries or questions I had. I didn’t meet or speak to any of the other ambassadors prior to the day but we were told who the winners were & saw photos of them to help put names to faces! Lorraine also advised us of what sort of clothes we would need to take for the photos so it was fun shopping for clothes & picking outfit ideas in the weeks before the photoshoot, as well as accessories and deciding on make up/hair for the day.
The day took place in Leeds, which was around an hour and a half journey for me each way via train. I arrived early & fueled myself with coffee then headed over to meet everyone close to the venue. The hardest part of the day was sparking up a conversation with the Comfizz team & other ambassadors straight away and introducing myself, but even then I had worked that up in my head to be this incredibly difficult experience when in reality it was completely fine! My anxiety always makes me overthink & wonder if I will say something to embarrass myself & I always get nervous meeting new people, but that is so common & completely okay! Usually, after initially meeting and greeting, I calm down within the first few minutes. Luckily I had already met Lorraine & Nozar very early post-surgery around 2012, so it was a fantastic experience being reunited with them again & getting to meet Mike & Omeed from the Comfizz team who would be our photographers for the day.
We headed on to our location after coffee, which was a lovely penthouse & absolutely stunning to look at! There was a lovely rooftop garden with views all over Leeds, with a jacuzzi which we would get to use later in the day for some of the photos. We were given photo plans for the day, along with a pack of Comfizz garments (which we could keep) and suggested photo ideas for each so we knew what was required of us and when. This helped put my mind at ease even more so as it was a completely new experience for me. We were also given the choice of what music we would like on for our turn in front of the camera which really helped settle us into the day & get over the initial nerves. Everyone was so lovely to work with & it was fantastic & inspiring hearing other ostomy stories. Our photographers Mike & Omeed were also so professional, friendly & easy to get along with. They allowed me to share my ideas & were fantastic at giving us direction, reassurance & putting us at ease. It was definitely a surreal moment sitting in a rooftop jacuzzi at 4 pm on a weekday being photographed, sipping Prosecco and not being in the office as usual behind a desk! Definitely something I could get used to, also! 😀
The day really did feel like it was an amazing prize & I felt so pampered & appreciated. More than anything, I felt empowered & honoured to get such an amazing opportunity to be part of something that would help others who had, in the past had, were about to have or maybe needed to have an ostomy in future. I felt a lot more body confident & so good about myself at the end of the day that I was on a natural high that I didn’t want to come down from. I made some great friends & stay in touch with a few of them now & we are hoping to organise meeting again in the near future.
Would I recommend the experience to others?
Absolutely! If you have any doubt in your mind, I would ask yourself what you would be wanting to achieve from entering competitions such as this. If it is for a good reason such as helping yourself on your own ostomy journey or to help others, then definitely go for it! Anything that can help others is always a big positive & if it isn’t at your own detriment then it’s a win all around! Apprehension about the experience and wondering if you should enter or enquire about teaming up with ostomy brands is completely normal, but they do say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I feel it was definitely worth giving myself that extra push to face my anxiety & do it because I got so much from the experience & would do it all again if I could. I can’t wait to do more work with Comfizz and the other ambassadors & I’ve also been lucky in the sense that I now blog for Comfizz too which I am thoroughly enjoying.
A huge “Thank You” again to all at Comfizz & the inspirational ambassadors I worked with for such an unforgettable experience! ♥