From Small-Town Sweetheart to Big City Babe
Written By: Alexa Erickson Kaitlynn Carter Brody Jenner
Photographed By: Angel Manuel
Growing up in New England myself, I can assure you that when someone from New Hampshire refers to themselves as a “small-town girl, ” they mean it. But when you take a quick glance at the stunning features and fashion of Los Angeles resident Kaitlynn Carter, you don’t think small-town anything. She is a trendsetter. From her style, beauty and food picks to her endless travel trips, she is a whimsical wanderlust with a zest for discovering how to live like a queen. Taking her humble background to the glitz and glamor of the golden coast, Carter is a rising star among the scene.
Having always been moved by the written word, Carter studied creative writing and journalism in college, but upon graduation, she worked in the finance field for several years before a friend suggested she get into blogging. Teaming up with Ali Grant of Be Social Public Relations, Carter began her journey into social networking and soon found that her newfound passion could also serve as a solid career. Western Wild serves as a space for Carter to inspire. Skin care secrets, wardrobe must-haves, recipe roundups, love advice and exotic getaways fill the life and style blog with Carter’s soulful, fervent and influential voice.
It’s been a whirlwind experience since Carter picked up and headed west. She’s left no chance to falling through the cracks of the nonstop commotion the City of Angels beholds. From hitting it off with her reality star boyfriend, Brody Jenner, dressed in an all-white body suit, and a pink and blue wig topped with a unicorn horn, to becoming a household name in the blogosphere with Western Wild, she is making moves. And if her blog posts aren’t proof enough, check out her Instagram, @Kaitlynn_Carter, serving as a photographic journey into the jet-setting style maven’s world.
Q: Tell me about growing up in New England, and what made you transition to the West Coast.
Kaitlynn Carter: I think growing up on the East Coast (especially in a small town) has been such an asset to my life. There’s something so charming and humble about small-town New England. I grew up going to “keggers” in the woods and never locking my front door. I’m grateful for New Hampshire because it instilled a lot of qualities in me that I don’t think I would’ve ever developed if I’d grown up in LA. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty; I am fiercely loyal and honest; and I believe in love. As an adult, having developed those qualities, I wanted a change of scenery. LA is a beautiful city full of opportunity, sunshine and some of my favorite people on the planet. It just made sense for me.
Q: Has living in Los Angeles been a culture shock compared to the small-town environment of New Hampshire? What do you love most about the change?
KC: I actually lived in London and Boston while working at my last job (plus, I studied in Florence, Italy during college) so I was already fairly accustomed to “city life” by the time I moved out here. It’s funny because, although I now live in LA, I technically live in Malibu, which is almost just as small as the town I grew up in. It’s like I never left home!
Q: Do you ever miss the seasons?
KC: The seasons are what I am by far the most nostalgic about. I miss jumping in piles of raked leaves in the fall and smelling the lilacs bloom each spring.
Q: Let’s talk about Western Wild. Where did the inspiration to start this life and style blog come from?
KC: Well, I needed a job, of course. I studied journalism and creative writing in college, and I was considering going back to school so I could teach writing, but somewhere along the line, someone suggested I start a blog. I didn’t realize I could make a living with a blog, but I paired up with Ali Grant from BeSocialPR and, as my manager, she helped bring deals in. It turned into a full-time gig!
Q: How did you choose the name?
KC: My sister actually came up with the idea. I had honestly gone through hundreds of options, then one night we were watching the movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Afterwards, my sister asked, “What do you think of ‘Western Wild’ since you’ve moved out west, and you’re exploring and having fun?” I liked it, and so did my boyfriend and a few friends I asked, so that became the name!
Q: I love that on your blog, you mention that if you are not learning something new, you are bored. How do you stay inspired?
KC: That’s something I struggle with every day, so I just push myself to take on new projects, meet new people and also, sometimes, take a step back and chill. I find I am the most inspired by being present in the moments of my life.
Q: Western Wild covers a variety of topics. What’s your favorite to write about?
KC: My favorite thing to write about is BY FAR travel. I absolutely love sharing my travel experiences because I think those are generally the most informative and the most valuable. Travel is the only way by which we can even come close to understanding what it actually is to be human and living on this planet. I hope that my writing about travel inspires other people to break from their comfort zones and explore the world — even if it’s just one baby step at a time!
Q: You’ve lived and traveled to an array of worldly destinations, from living in Florence and London to traveling to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Fiji. How important is traveling to you and how does it inspire your day-to-day life as well as Western Wild?
KC: I think travel makes me appreciate how fortunate I am to be where I am. It also inspires me to pay attention to all the details around me constantly. It gives me an added energy for life because I know there is so much else out there I have yet to see!
Q: I love all of the tips you provide your readers. From dating advice to fashion and beauty, you’re well-versed in providing readers with informative answers. Can you give LOCALE readers a fun tip on how to live like a local in Los Angeles?
KC: Be late for everything and always blame traffic!
Q: Favorite places to frequent in LA? Where do you like to shop, eat, drink and play?
KC: I’m a big Planet Blue lover when it comes to shopping. I’m at their Malibu store once a week. I just appreciate the variety — any one brand, no matter how spectacular, gets repetitive after a while. I’m so obsessed with brunch at Terrine in West Hollywood right now. They serve spicy fried chicken with maple grits, and I actually have dreams about it!! When it comes to playing, I love late night karaoke at Blind Dragon (where I hosted Western Wild’s launch party!) or getting fancy with drinks at Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel.
Q: Tell me about this fabulous unicorn costume you wore to a Halloween party in LA and how it landed you a conversation with now boyfriend, Brody Jenner.
KC: Well, it landed me a little more than a conversation! (laughs) Basically, I was in an all-white bodysuit with furry, white leg warmers and a purple, pink and blue wig with a unicorn horn attached to it. Brody saw me from across the party and came directly over to chat. He didn’t realize we had actually met a few months before, so I mentioned that, and it got us talking. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Q: You now have a section on your blog titled “WWBJD?” where you ask Jenner a question about love and relationships that you’ve received from one of your readers. What has been his best advice?
KC: He actually gives terrible advice on those, which is funny because he has a lot of brilliant insight when it comes to our relationship! He believes in being able to be 100 percent yourself in a relationship, and in complete honesty between partners. Of course, there are compromises between you, but if you’re giving things up that are truly important to you or you’re keeping secrets from your partner, that may not be the relationship for you. I love that he thinks this way because we both just put everything out there, and there’s no confusion or “games.” It’s so refreshing!
Q: Your recipe roundups in your food section sound so delicious. I love your array of items, from Sunrise Baked Eggs in Tomatoes to Soba Noodles with Eggplant. Where do you find these recipes?
KC: I have so many cookbooks! I flip through those a lot. I also find dishes at restaurants that I love and beg the chefs to give me their recipes! Sometimes, I’ll see a meal on television or somewhere else and I’ll make up my own version.
Q: How do health and fitness play a role on your blog and in your life?
KC: I wish I were so much more into fitness. I get bored too easily with any set routine, so I really just do random hiking, spin classes and beach walks to keep active. Healthy eating does play a big role in my life, though. I eat almost entirely organic, I try to cook more than I go out to eat, and I don’t each much meat or dairy.
Q: What is a must-try fashion trend to take advantage of this August? What about for the fall season ahead?
KC: Seventies fashion was big on the runways this year, so for August, I’d throw on a bell-sleeved dress with some mules. For fall, I’d take advantage of the chance to wear all your flared denim with some cozy sweaters!
Q: Can Western Wild readers expect anything new in the near future? Do you plan on adding any new topics? Traveling to any exotic destinations?
KC: I’m always mixing up what I write on the blog, so readers can definitely expect unique material going forward. I am headed to Bali for a few weeks in September, so I’ll definitely be posting about that!
Q: Where do you see yourself and Western Wild in 10 years?
KC: Wow, I really haven’t thought that far ahead at all! I just want to be happy, whatever that entails.
Hey Ms. Carter