Beauty and fashion blogger Katie Sands is #alwaysbeinghonest. It’s why she created the hashtag-- and why her Instagram handle is @honestlykate. She’s not only living authentically, she’s creating her own future, using her platform to reflect her journey as a young woman in NYC.
Wondering how? By asking for what she wants. #WorkingWonder.
“If you want it, ask,” she’s told her 100k+ followers. “This is something I always try to live by. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t ask for it. What’s the worst that’s going to happen, someone will say no?”
It’s a simple concept that many of us find so hard to execute.
To find out more about Katie, her journey as a blogger, some of her fav beauty tips, and more, read on.
Let's start with the basics. What does the idea of Working Wonder mean to you?
I believe a Working Wonder is someone who can accomplish as much as they can while looking and feeling their best, especially when it comes to guiding others along the way. There are so many people out there who don’t want to share contacts or put in a good word for others, and I can never understand why. Reaching out on behalf of a friend, or even a mere acquaintance, and connecting people is so important in the world we live in and could mean so much to someone. I always admire people who have the ability to make others feel comfortable and welcomed around them.
Life is too short to have a negative attitude and make people feel less than how they should feel - a simple smile and warm personality can go a long way. That’s something I always strive for, whether I’m working or just hanging with friends. Anytime someone is overwhelmed with work, but still takes the time to reach out and make others feel good about themselves, that is a Working Wonder to me.
How has the content and inspiration you share through your HonestlyKate platforms made you feel wonderful?
There is no better feeling than seeing people react in a positive way toward HonestlyKate. I created HonestlyKate at the end of last year as a platform I could use to reflect my journey as a young woman in New York City, trying to grow and inspire as many people I could reach. I know so many people trying to pursue their dreams in the Big Apple — and let’s face it, we all want to look good whether we’re on the subway, at a job interview, or just out for the night with our closest friends, because you never know who you’ll run into. From the beginning, it’s been my goal to inspire girls to curate their own futures and let them in on my fashion and beauty secrets along the way. What better place than New York to do it all?! When I see that my goal of helping inspire women to curate their own futures is working, I get so excited and it all feels so worth it.
You mention the ‘Honestly’ in your name represents authenticity. How do you encourage women to stay authentic while creating content for their audiences?
Don’t try to be everything for everyone, just try to be something for yourself - someone that you are proud of. I try to always stay true to who I am and what I value, no matter what kind of obstacles come along the way. Being honest is what my brand is all about, but I’ll admit it can definitely be hard to not get swept up by the glamor of it all — especially as things grow and evolve. I think it’s key to surround yourself with people that really ground you and remind you of what’s truly important. Cherish those people, and don’t lose them! I always remind myself of the core reasons of why I started to blog: my love for fashion and my passion for helping people be their truest selves. As long as you’re true to yourself and your ambitions, you will always be authentic, regardless of how saturated the industry you are in is.
Don’t try to be everything for everyone, just try to be something for yourself - someone that you are proud of.
Another important aspect of staying authentic while creating content for a particular audience is to have a clear vision. Of course, this vision can evolve, but it’s good to start with a direct message for your audience and to have a good sense of what you want your brand to showcase. Don’t be afraid to take risks in your style. Don’t be threatened by numbers of followers. Look at your engagement and find the link between what you love and what your audience wants to see or hear from you - figure out how you can relate to them, and in turn inspire them. It’s good to adapt, as long as you always come back to your true intentions and are sure it’s the right direction for you.
What is your advice for younger female entrepreneurs struggling to feel their own sense of wonder? Or, those wondering if they're on the right track?
A great piece of advice that I once received from a mentor is that it’s okay to feel stuck, or to feel like you aren’t doing enough — everyone feels that way at one point or another. And when that feeling comes, take a few steps back and ask yourself why you started doing what it is you are doing. Don’t be afraid to fall, because most of the time you will be falling in the right direction.
I also think that young entrepreneurs get stuck on this idea that everything has to be new and extremely original, and I believe that in the world we live in, authenticity is key — but it’s okay to take inspiration from the people around you and channel it to fit your own aesthetic. Once you feel more comfortable with the idea that everything doesn’t have to be extremely original and new, you can start to take the pressure off of yourself and focus that energy into putting a new spin on the things you’re passionate about.
Don’t be afraid to fall, because most of the time you will be falling in the right direction.
Do you think there is a difference between 'beauty' and feeling 'beautiful?'
I believe the word “beauty” refers to everything on the outer layer of the self. It’s the more superficial level. Your skin, your hair, your body shape — these are all visual elements that contribute to your outer beauty. But being beautiful is something that radiates from within. When someone emanates positive energy and inspires those around them, that is beautiful. That’s what we should all strive to be and feel.
What do you hope other women feel about themselves and the concept of "beauty?"
I hope women view themselves as beautiful from within. The outer layers come later. One of my aspirations for creating HonestlyKate was to promote a positive image of what it means to be and feel beautiful, and for me, that meant using fashion and beauty to help others develop confidence within themselves. Beauty is all around us but feeling beautiful is something all women need help with at times, and that’s what I wanted to help others with.
So, speaking of beauty... we all have our own tips and tricks. We recently found out that only 20% of visible skin aging comes from the natural aging process. Mary Kay®'s TimeWise Miracle Set 3D™ helps protect your skin against the rest – what else do you incorporate into your beauty and wellness routine to combat the environmental and lifestyle stressors that contribute to premature skin aging?
Oh, there are so many things! The number one habit I’m trying to get rid of is always drinking out of a straw! I know it sounds silly, but I’ve read multiple times that it’s horrible for aging in your face. It’s just so much more fun for me to drink out of a straw than not to! Another huge tip to help combat stressors that contribute to premature aging is to take a step back or a day off. A lot of times I realize that I’m stressing over things that are so minute in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy to get carried away with the little stuff, but taking a step back really helps to ground you and recognize what’s truly important.
Working out is one way for me to de-stress. I try to break a sweat at least three times each week. It’s tough when you’re so busy, but at the end of every workout class I’m reminded of why it’s so important to get the body moving, it really does combat stress and release good endorphins. I’m also trying to cook more for myself, which can be really difficult as an influencer. There are always dinners and events with people and brands that offer such delicious food, but at times it can be overwhelming. I now know it’s okay to say “Hey, can we meet for coffee instead?” Finding the right balance is important.
When do you feel the most wonderful?
I definitely feel the most wonderful when I’m working on my non-profit, Kate’s Closet! I can’t say too much about it yet... but stay tuned. Giving and helping others, especially those who really need it, is so important to me — it’s what makes me feel like I’m having a real positive impact on the world.
Who is a woman you would consider a Working Wonder? Someone, you want to give a shout out to?
My biggest fashion Working Wonder is Patricia Fields! She single-handedly created what a New York woman should emulate in beauty, fashion, and attitude. Both in Sex and the City, and now with Younger. One of the reasons I began my blog was because of my passion for costume design, it’s something I studied in college and always had my heart set on. My whole life I acted in plays and musicals, but then I realized that fashion and beauty were two things I also wanted to focus on for my career. Patricia Fields paved the way for me (and so many others) and showed us how to marry the two. She showed us that it’s possible to be passionate about more than one thing. She never takes credit and is always behind the scenes, but I think she deserves a major applause!
We'll be featuring wonderful women paving the way in their careers as part of our new Working Wonders series with Mary Kay. Check back for more inspiration and wonderful words of wisdom.