By Emily Williams, Staff writer
Following your dreams can be a scary thing that requires you to step out of your comfort zone, defy all odds and just go for it. But as intimidating as that process may seem, that is exactly what Elizabeth Young, junior from Paducah, Kentucky, did when she launched Kentucky Styled, her now successful blog and Instagram account that centers on fashion and beauty.
Young said her journey with Kentucky Styled began when she was a freshman at Murray State and began to admire some of the bigger fashion blogs she followed on social media. She said both her roommate at the time and her boyfriend encouraged her to step up, take action and launch an Instagram account, which later evolved into a personal blog.
Tommy DeRossett, Young’s longtime boyfriend and junior from Paducah, Kentucky, said Young spends around seven or eight hours a week maintaining the blog, whether that be planning during her downtime, taking photos, etc. He said he is very proud of her for what she is doing with the blog.
“She’s always been a really shy person, so watching her actually put herself out there and try was really awesome,” DeRossett said. “The fact that it’s just taken off and she keeps putting effort into it is just really awesome.”
DeRossett said Young puts her all into everything she does.
“A year ago, I didn’t like the way I looked, I didn’t like the way my hair was. If there was anything that I could pick apart about myself, I did,” Young said. “I didn’t feel like I had potential and I felt like I had all of this stuff that I was really passionate about but I didn’t know how to put it into action. It was so frustrating.”
Young said her decision to pursue this dream has really allowed her to grow as an individual, to break down personal barriers and to express herself in a creative and unique way.
“Now, it’s like, I am totally OK with talking to strangers and giving them advice, and I’m completely fine with putting myself in front of the camera,” Young said. “All of a sudden, I thought, ‘If I don’t like the way that my hair looks, or if I don’t like the way that I do my makeup, why don’t I learn how to change it?’”
Young said she wasn’t trying to make herself perfect – because no one is perfect – but she was trying to defy odds and do what she thought she never could do.
“So, I just got up and I did it,” Young said.
Young said it has been very cool to do what she thought wasn’t possible for someone to do in a town as small as Murray. She said she has been sponsored by companies such as LiketoKnow.it (a company that partners with Instagram accounts and provides ready-to-shop product links), Payless ShoeSource, Timex and local boutiques such as Ribbon Chix.
“You don’t think about how someone taking a picture of you in your favorite outfit can make you feel,” Young said. “It’s this whole new sense of confidence.”
Savannah Houser, Young’s cousin and senior from Paducah, Kentucky, said she recently took photos of Young to post on her blog and she really enjoyed it, since it is a rare occurrence that the two of them get to spend time together anymore. She said she believes Young’s passion is showcased through her blog and Instagram page, and she believes that is why she has so many followers who support her.
“Elizabeth has always had such a passion for fashion,” Houser said. “She’s always had a keen eye for style, and I believe that’s what makes her so successful as an up-and-coming fashion blogger.”
Houser said she believes Young is an inspiration to other fashion bloggers as well as an example that you can accomplish your dreams and be successful at them.
“Elizabeth has always shown me, ever since we were little girls, that anything is possible if you just set your mind to it,” Houser said. “I’ve always admired her for that.”
Young said she can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kentucky Styled.
“I feel like I’m an overall happier person for pursuing my dream,” Young said. “I think I’ve proven that you can start a blog, you can start a business, you can do the things that other people have said you can’t do. There’s nothing holding you back.”