First of all, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart – whether you’ve been following my journey from Day One, or just joined the SAK party – I appreciate every single one of you. Today I am celebrating 5 years of Simply Audree Kate! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my fashion blog would expand past a resume extra curricular, have more than three readers (my parents and sister), nor did I think that I would be sitting here today, in New York City, still writing this blog and working in the fashion industry. So, thank you!
At the end of high school I finally changed my career path from medicine (ha!) to fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer and go to college at FIDM in Los Angeles. My parents encouraged me to stay in Arizona and study something more sustainable like communications or business. As a freshman at Arizona State University, I had no connections to the fashion industry, no local resources or even friends that were really interested in fashion. During the spring semester I started toying with the idea of a blog so I could start creating my own “fashion experience” for my resume. My dream was to intern at a magazine in New York City, so I figured I needed to cram as much styling, writing and sewing experience as I could on my resume. In March of that year, I attended a photo shoot with a friend who was a model, and I started talking with the photographers about the fashion industry and styling. One photographer in particular encouraged me to launch the blog and ‘just go for it’. After a couple of months playing with the idea, figuring out my name (I was so indecisive with catchy blog names that I ended up using my name, Audree and I shortened my middle name from Katherine to Kate) and teaching myself how to build a website.
The last week of June 2012, Simply Audree Kate was born. I made my logo on Paint (ha!), my website was pretty bleak and my first post (SEE HERE) was a DIY sewing tutorial for the Fourth of July. That summer I did my first outfit/styling post and it was about Color Blocking (SEE HERE) and I was hooked! I loved having a space to talk about fashion openly, wear what I wanted to wear without feeling judged and have my own little hobby. During that summer I visited New York City for the first time ever (SEE HERE) and I fell in love with my future home.
Once college started back up in the fall, my blog kind of disappeared. I felt weird for having a blog (believe it or not, there were barely any bloggers back in the day) and my friends didn’t really understand what I was doing. I didn’t touch my blog for about 5 months until January 2013 when I started my 365 Day Challenge (SEE HERE) – I made a New Year’s Resolution to wear a different outfit, every day for an entire year. I had heard about people doing it for a month, or not shopping for a year, but since I had SO many clothes, my sister challenged me to not repeat an outfit for an entire year. It was a super fun challenge, helped me get back into blogging on a regular basis and I learned more about my personal style. During the next two years of college, I slowly grew my local fashion community, became involved with Phoenix Fashion Week (SEE HERE), met like-minded students at ASU – which I co-founded the amazing student organization Business of Fashion at ASU with – and I wrote my senior honors thesis with a BOF co-founder about implementing fashion resources for students at Arizona State University (Spoiler Alert: ASU will be launching their fashion course this fall! WOOHOO). During college, SAK was always there as a side hobby. I wrote a couple posts a month, collaborated with some local small brands and was happy. I continued to write the blog as a creative outlet but always assumed I would ditch it post-college for my “day job.”
When I moved to New York, I met so many bloggers. It was during the time of a huge upwards swing of bloggers and people who had side hustles; I felt invigorated! I finally found my people. The blog audience doubled in my first year in New York and I finally started realizing that it could be more than a space filler on my LinkedIn profile. After my first year in New York, I left my “day job” at a magazine to pursue styling and freelance. I hustled my way through the next 6 months with freelance contracts, and finally had more time to blog. Fast forward to January 2017, and I finally felt “okay” and confident to say that I am a Fashion Stylist, Freelance Writer and Full-Time blogger. It’s still weird to me!
A lot has changed in five years. Simply Audree Kate has helped me gain confidence. I was always scared to say that I liked fashion and that I wanted to work in fashion. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that it wasn’t a real career or that it was superficial. If anything, this blog has shown me how hard it is to grow a business and personal brand, that it can be a real career if you so choose so, and that fashion doesn’t have to be superficial. And I hope that you also feel that way. My ultimate goal of starting Simply Audree Kate was to help my readers (girls, boy, women and men) to break down any barriers they have with fashion and have fun. Fashion shouldn’t be scary or exclusive – I’m not saving the world with my outfits, but I hope that I can inspire someone, maybe another small-town girl with a hidden dream, that they can accomplish anything they want.
I love writing this blog, creating content, and working with brands I grew up loving. I cannot wait to see what the next five years has in store for me. So once again, thank you. Thank you for going on this adventure with me, supporting me and believing in Simply Audree Kate. I love you and cheers to five years! xo
P.S. In honor of 5 years, I wanted to re-create my FIRST EVER OUTFIT post! AH! I actually still own the same vintage top, but updated everything else. Through the 5 years, I have accumulated hundreds of pieces in my closet, done massive donations, but this top has always stayed with me. I think part of it was that it held so much sentimental value to me since it was my first outfit post, but it also reminds me that vintage shopping is a huge part of my brand. I love this shirt! Instead of the blue vintage trousers, I wore a blue vintage skirt, and a new leather jacket. My style has changed throughout the 5 years – I’m a little less cookie-cutter and girly, and now a leather jacket is a huge closet staple in my wardrobe today. I topped off the look with my new feather sandals, an oversized clutch, and one-too many accessories. Also, this is the first time in 5 years that my hair has remotely looked the same – I’ve done highlights, ombré, red and everything in between.
Shop my look in the links below:
SHIRT, SKIRT, CHOKERS (VINTAGE) | JACKET, CLUTCH (C/O LULU’S) | HEELS (STEVE MADDEN – C/O LULU’S) | CUFF ( C/O THE 9TH MUSE)
PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY