This Orange County Local-Turned-Social Media Influencer Opens Up About Past Experiences and What’s Next
The future looks bright for Cassie Randolph. The reality star-turned-media personality and denim designer has come a long way since her days of earning roses on “The Bachelor”—carving career paths in speech therapy and the forces of fashion while cultivating her popular presence on social media and getting candid as a YouTube vlogger.
It all began with a dream; a literal one—of the “while you were sleeping” variety. Having dipped her toe into the reality realm in 2016 as a cast member on a web series that follows the conservative lifestyle of Christian students at Biola University, her evangelical Southern California alma mater, Randolph woke up one morning curious about becoming a contestant on the beloved ABC network franchise.
After passing a battery of grueling tests and interview rounds, Randolph, then only 21, was in consideration to join the group of hopeful paramours for Nick Viall’s season of “The Bachelor,” but producers had concerns about their 15-year age gap. Ditto for race car driver Arie Luyendyk, who was 36 when he was announced as the next season’s object of affection. Finally in 2018, Randolph got her moment—she was cast in the 23rd installment of the series, winning the season featuring pro-footballer Colton Underwood.
“It was very go go go,” Randolph recalls of her experience filming the show. “You never knew what was happening each day when you woke up. You didn’t even know when you were waking up!”
As with most iterations of the longtime reality series, Randolph’s season was chock full of shocking moments and rife with controversy and salacious internet chatter. While “The Bachelor,” which originally aired its first season in 2002, was a pioneer in the early days of reality programming, it entered the zeitgeist well before the social media era, sparing its original contestants from the onslaught of public commentary and cancel culture that its descendants are now forced to endure as an occupational hazard.
While Randolph’s public presence has since soared to an audience of 1.2 million followers as a result of her television exposure, she admits that skyrocketing to Insta-fame can be a double-edged sword.
“Reality TV is a very harsh world to be in,” Randolph explains. “That was a shocker for me. But I think it taught me to have more of a backbone. I used to be a lot more affected by what people thought of me, and now I just tune it out.”
In the time that’s followed since her time on television, Randolph has harnessed that mentality and embraced her public persona by sharing intimate glimpses into her world on YouTube—a modality that makes it possible for her to finally be in control of her own narrative.
“I think putting pressure on yourself is really hard,” Randolph explains. “It’s scary to put yourself out there, but you never want to one day look back and think: I should have been more confident…I should have just gone for it.”
Randolph, an Orange County native, has also been busy pursuing academic achievements in the field of speech pathology—an area that’s long been a passion of hers.
“I was always into sign language growing up,” Randolph says. “It’s a field that has so many different types of jobs. You can work in a hospital with trauma patients. You can work with kids in school who have speech impediments. You can work on accent reduction; you can work with actors and singers in speaking or singing.”
Amid the ups and downs of a public life, speech therapy is a career that feels like an anchor for Randolph, offering the type of secure path that will always have the strength to withstand the ebbs and flows of daily life in the media.
But Randolph’s latest passion project is a bit more tangible. Alongside her younger sister, Michelle, she recently launched her first denim collection, LNDN Denim (pronounced “Landon”—the name of their younger brother).
“My sister and I really wanted to start something together,” Randolph explains. “We’ve always been really casual, simple, laid-back California dressers, but [we’re] also really interested in fashion. Sometimes you need someone to give you an honest opinion or help you build on your ideas, so we work really well as a team.”
The California cool-girl vibe comes through loud and clear in the collection’s array of signature styles—from fun flares to simple straight-leg jeans that are both cozy and functional along with eclectic pieces like a shearling-lined denim trench, high-rise shorts, denim bralette tops and oversized jackets—in various gradients, washes and hues.
“I think we love denim because it’s so timeless,” says Randolph. “It’s always incorporated into every trend, but with a twist. We wanted them to morph to fit any shape, so we made the jeans with an angled V waistline to make them flattering to any body type. When we were going through the sampling and designing process, we had our friends and family try everything on and tell us: what do you like; what don’t you like? We probably went through 20-plus different samples.”
Sustainability was also an important factor that the sisters wanted to incorporate into their manufacturing process.
“It was a challenge because denim is one of the least sustainable materials,” says Randolph. “So we made sure we found factories and partners who had the resources to make [the collection] as sustainable as possible. We use the least amount of water; we try to use organic dyes. We’re very proud of that part of it.”
Currently available online, the goal is to launch LNDN into brick-and-mortar stores and expand its retail presence.
“I really only wear LNDN denim now,” Randolph says. “We were extremely picky, but we didn’t want to put a product out there that we don’t love. We wanted to be able to say: we made these things, we love them and we’re not just saying that—we wear them.”