On any given day, Kate Padgitt can be found frolicking through Dallas in search of brightly colored walls and perfectly tree-lined sidewalks to use as backdrops for her upcoming blog posts.
The recent University of Texas at Austin public relations grad originally started her blog, A Lonestar State of Southern, as a class assignment. Since then, however, the brunette beauty has turned her favorite hobby into a full-time career with more than 80,000 Instagram followers.
When Padgitt was required to start a blog her sophomore year of college, she had no prior knowledge of fashion blogging. Thus, she began by writing about what she already knew and loved – the differences between the styles of the Deep South and Texas.
Although Padgitt is a born and raised proud Texan, she has forever been infatuated with southern flair and can be found wearing Jack Rogers sandals just as much as her beloved Luchesse cowboy boots.
“The more I put into the blog, the more I realized I absolutely loved it,” Padgitt said. “Before I knew it, it was my full-time hobby.”
A Lonestar State of Southern allowed Padgitt to publicly experiment with finding the perfect fashion collaboration of southern style and Texan tradition. Soon she had created a colorful personal brand that others wished to follow. Her blog became constantly flooded with questions on the likes of bow ties versus sun hats and monograms versus seersucker.
“I love putting together timeless looks that have a young flair, and always throw a southern twist in whenever I can,” she said. “I draw my inspiration from the feminine, classic style of the South.”
SMU senior Allyson Zabaleta has been reading A Lonestar State of Southern every day for a year since a friend showed her Padgitt’s blog. The accounting major enjoys the combo of classic, preppy and trendy styles, and finds the looks to be attainable and realistic for everyday life.
“I like that Kate is my age because her style more accurately reflects things I could wear,” Zabaleta said. “Plus, I love when she talks about restaurants or stores that I can go to as well because she’s based in Dallas.”
The life of a fashion blogger is not all glitz and glamour, however. Padgitt admits that, in the beginning, the hardest part about maintaining a blog was juggling being a full-time student. She would forego sleep to find enough time during the day for schoolwork and A Lonestar State of Southern, but she doesn’t regret it.
“Being passionate about blogging and truly loving it made the long nights worth it,” Padgitt said.
Now out of school, she still strives to find the perfect balance between blogging and life’s other pleasures – for her, horseback riding and acting. But Padgitt says it’s easy to want to pour all of her time and energy into the blog because she loves it so much.
“While that is wonderful and oftentimes necessary, I’ve learned it’s just as important to take breaks, to breathe, and to not get swept up in a race against the clock that doesn’t even exist,” she said.
As a result, Padgitt fills her life with faith, friends, family and travel to keep her inspired and excited about each new day.
Clearly it is working. Padgitt has amassed a social media presence that includes almost 1,000 likes on Facebook, a Liketoknow.it account on Instagram, and a YouTube channel complete with tutorials and other how-to videos. She credits time and consistency for building such a following and says that success didn’t just come overnight.
“In fact, I can’t remember a point in my two and a half years of blogging where I thought ‘Whoa, I just grew a lot!’” Padgitt said. “It happens little by little when you dedicate consistent time and energy, and it’s when you look back that you really see how far you’ve come.”
Hannah Avery, an SMU senior and social media intern for the blog Design Darling, also enjoys A Lonestar State of Southern’s blog and Instagram.
“I follow Kate because I love her preppy style and she also comes across as a genuinely nice person, so I actually enjoy reading what she posts,” Avery said. “On Instagram, I definitely take advantage of her Liketoknow.it posts that email me exactly what she’s wearing.”
For anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps and not just her clothes, Padgitt encourages potential fashion bloggers to simply start a blog of their own. Begin by posting about loved items, like she did, and take it from there – one stylish step at a time.
“Blogging is a continual process of learning, growing and evolving in terms of style and taste, so don’t put pressure on yourself to have everything figured out right when you start,” she said.
Through A Lonestar State of Southern, Kate Padgitt seems to have cemented her stay in the constantly changing worlds of both blogging and fashion. And followers say they can’t wait to see what she comes up with (and wears) next.