STORY BY MOLLY LAMOUREUX
High fashion and trendsetting are often times categorized as a “coast specialty.” The East Coast and West Coast have all the style, while the Midwest gets left out.
Katelyn Herlein, avid fashion blogger and founder of Katalina Girl, is here to prove that you don’t have to be a New Yorker to have chic taste and a unique style.
Molly Lamoureux: Tell me a little bit about yourself
Katelyn Herlein: I’m Katelyn, a true Midwest girl living in Des Moines and doing whatever I can to stay incredibly busy.
I am the founder and fashion blogger behind Katalina Girl.
Founded in 2012, Katalina Girl is my personal style diary to share the things I’m truly passionate about related to fashion, beauty, personal style, entertainment and travel.
My main goal is to ignite confidence within my readers not only through personal style, but also in their career and in life.
I currently work at Meredith Corporation as the E-Commerce Editor of an online fashion and beauty magazine called Divine Caroline.
At Meredith, I manage and style beauty bloggers from around the world, attend seasonal New York Fashion Week and organize large editorial photo shoots, among many other things.
ML: How would you describe your style?
KH: My style totally depends on my mood. Overall, I’d say I’m a mix of bohemian, grunge, sports luxe and downtown chic. Working 15 or more hour days means I have to keep it comfortable.
ML: Where do you draw style inspiration?
KH: Anywhere I can. Traveling, inspiration from other bloggers and at New York Fashion Week. There are so many beautiful and stylish women out there.
The names of some of my favorite bloggers are Peace Love Shea, Gal Meets Glam, Devon Rachel, Song of Style and Sincerely Jules. Those girls know how to dress themselves.
ML: What inspired you to start a style blog?
KH: Other bloggers. I loved what they were doing and I wanted to join in.
I started blogging as a way to still live in the Midwest and do what I love – fashion. Plus, I wanted a job that could be “portable.”
ML: Did you go to college? If so, where did you go and what did you study? What was your college experience like?
KH: I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Merchandising, Production and Design, as well as two minors in Event Management and Public Relations.
College was fun, but I was definitely one of those girls who wanted to get the heck out of there and show the world what I could do.
ML: What are some of your favorite brands? Where do you like to shop?
KH: I’m not into certain brands. If I like it, I like it. It doesn’t matter what the tag says. I love shopping new brands or brands most people don’t know of. It feels more unique.
If I had to name some of my go-to places though, they’d be Zara, Piperlime, Shopbop, Nordstrom and Forever 21.
I’m into mixing high and low pieces. I tend to splurge on handbags, shoes and denim. Everything else seems to cycle through my closet.
ML: What shopping advice do you have for a college student on a budget?
KH: Before you can even think about shopping, go through your closet and get rid of the clothing you don’t wear anymore. That way you can see what you actually need to go shopping for.
I have a rule that if I haven’t worn it in the last six months, I get rid of it. Try making a few extra bucks by selling them at a secondhand store.
Next, spend money on the pieces you plan on keeping for a while and go to fast-fashion retailers (such as Forever 21 or H&M) for your trendy pieces. Before you buy anything, mentally figure out three ways you could wear it. If you cant think of three it’s probably not a good investment.
ML: What are some of your favorite/go-to pieces in your wardrobe?
KH: I love my ripped jeans, my t-shirt collection, my designer handbags and my Joie Dalton booties. I also wear my converse low tops all the time. I always reach for my basics.
ML: Do you have any advice for college students who are considering starting a blog?
KH: Start now – right now! Now is when you have the most time. Blogs are a ton of work. My blog consumes about 40-50 hours of work every week. You need to know photography, coding, Photoshop, writing, the list goes on.
But the good thing is that you don’t need to know all of that right now. I’ve taught myself all of it over the last two years.
If you really want to know the nitty gritty it takes to start a blog, let’s grab coffee. There’s a lot more to talk about.