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Daily Inspiration: Meet Katie Emery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Emery.

Hi Katie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I moved to Pasadena back in 1993 as a 25-year old newlywed with naturally dark brown hair.  (That seems like a frivolous detail, but it’s important to the story, I promise).

Within a couple of years, my hair started turning gray.  Maybe it was because we moved to the city (Hancock Park-adjacent)?

Just kidding – I’m Irish-American and apparently people of Irish descent tend to gray earlier than everyone else (the luck of the Irish!).

I’d been battling the occasional gray strand since about age 15 or so, but by my late 20s, they’d become much more prevalent.

For the next 20+ years, I did everything I could to hide those grays.

I got my hair dyed at salons, I touched it up with box dye at home, and I kept root mascara and root powder in my car console so I could give myself a quick touch-up between dyes.   If I had a vacation or big event planned, I rushed to schedule a dye job.

In 2018, I finally decided I’d had ENOUGH.  I quit dyeing cold turkey and never looked back.

The night I decided to quit, I started looking for information online. I joined some gray hair Facebook groups, created my own gray hair Instagram account, and started Googling the hell out of anything related to gray hair.

Basically, I became OBSESSED!

Unfortunately, most of the articles I found online were coming at gray hair from a negative standpoint – nobody was describing how I felt – that going gray could be a joy-filled experience.

There was also a lot of conflicting information about how to take care of transitioning hair, so I thought I’d just start my own blog and help other women – just like me – to go gray and to see what a transformative experience it could be.

I had started getting interested in creating my own blog in 2017 as a means to create some side income and to express my creativity. I’d even started two very short-lived blogs, but it wasn’t until I hit on the topic of gray hair that I realized I’d found my niche.

Within a very short time (three months), I had enough traffic on my site to get accepted into an elite ad network and start generating some income. It was thrilling!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It was a fairly smooth road in terms of getting traffic and making money. My fellow bloggers are often shocked at how quickly that happened to me, but let me tell you – I worked my butt off to get here!

I had to make money – and quickly – as my husband had lost his job a couple of years before and it was difficult to find a new job in his 50s.

My day job didn’t pay enough to support the whole family, and I knew I had to make this work.

So, I invested a lot of money into online classes, and I even hired a WordPress tutor. I woke up as early as 5:30 a.m. during the week so I could fit in some blog work before my day job, and the second I came home I went back to work on the blog for an hour. After dinner, homework, and family time, I’d get back on to the computer to do more blogging-related tasks.

It paid off but it’s definitely still not passive income – I’m still working my ass off in the mornings and evenings but the good news is that I LOVE it.

I’m 55 years old and having the time of my life! It’s the first time EVER that I’ve made great money doing something that’s creative and that I enjoy. It’s thrilling, honestly.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m the founder of KatieGoesPlatinum.com, a website devoted to the subject of gray hair.

My site provides comprehensive information about gray hair and shows women that growing out their grays can be fun and empowering at ANY age.

As a content creator, I don’t just run a website – it’s more like a mini-media empire comprising the site, social media channels, and an eBook shop. I also run a salon directory to help women all over the world find gray-friendly salons near them.

I’m best known for being down-to-earth and honest about the gray hair experience and gray hair products.

I’m most proud of how my site has helped so many women find joy in going gray. You might think that hair is not really a big deal, but for many women it IS – and I have the emails to prove it!

Women write heartfelt emails to me all the time about how much I’ve helped them and how happy they are that they made this decision. Going against societal expectations is not easy, and I’m happy to have helped anyone do so.

I also always let my readers know that going gray is NOT for everybody and that there’s no shame in going back to the dye, of course. So even women who aren’t quite ready to go gray thank me for that.

I feel like I’m putting something good out in the world, and that makes me feel so happy!

What sets me apart from others, I think, is that I keep my content fairly positive. Even with the popularity of gray hair now, major media outlets still come at gray hair from a negative angle (for example, insisting that gray hair is always going to be coarse and wiry, or that it will make you look old – nothing could be further from the truth).

I’m happy to bust those myths.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
There are almost too many to mention!

Carly Campbell runs an awesome Facebook group called “Blogging Like We Mean It” and that group taught me a ton about blogging!

Her group also introduced me to some of my other mentors:

Tracie Fobes – my blogging coach. She taught me the building blocks of blogging (and beyond)

Debbie Gartner, Mike Futia, and Brandon Gaille taught me SO much about SEO!

Meredith Marsh taught me the ins & outs of YouTube

And now, I’m also learning all about creating (and marketing) my own products from Monica Froese. She’s my new fave!

But the person who is extra-special to me is Joli Campbell of QuickSilverHair.com – she’s a fellow “silver sister” and we help each other by reading and fact-checking each other’s blog posts and products.

We also vent to each other as running a blog is serious work and can sometimes be frustrating. So it’s wonderful to have someone to talk to who understands the ups and downs of blogging.

I also couldn’t have done this without the support of my husband. He has taken over literally EVERYTHING else in our life (housework, cooking, homework with our younger son), etc. so I can work on the blog in my free time. Even if the blog wasn’t making money, he would’ve cheerfully done it as he believed in me and has always been my biggest cheerleader.

I’m lucky, I know, as the rest of my family (parents, in-laws, etc.) and friends are super-supportive as well. Even pre-Covid, I had to start cutting back on my social life to run this blog and nobody holds that against me.

It’s great to have that support.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Desiree Louise of Sunshine Headshots (striped shirt photo ONLY) – all others were selfies

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