Creativity is in Molly Longest's DNA. In her sophomore year, she co-founded the style blog PurdueLaLa with her best friend, Katherine Crowley. She contributes original photography, brainstorms DIY projects, styles photo shoots and compiles eclectic music playlists. And Molly's personal style has been evolving ever since.
With this Style Maker's help, fashionistas and cooking newbies aren't far from help: Learn how to whip up a luscious lemon cream sauce for penne pasta, create an "arm party" — stylish layering of bracelets — and follow her advice to always seek inspiration.
- Mix and match
"I love mixing unexpected pieces together like a casual flannel shirt with loads of glitzy necklaces, or baggy menswear pants with feminine heels," Molly says. For her, style doesn't have to break the bank.
"I am beyond thrifty," she says. "The majority of my clothing has been purchased on sale or from Goodwill." Sound money management, in fact, is leading Molly from PurdueLaLa to a new blog, as she prepares to graduate in May. The new site, called Going for Broke, is under construction and will give advice on making the most of life and style without going into debt.
- Going for broke
With her blogging experience and communications degree, Molly plans to move to either New York City or Chicago, where she'll have great opportunities to fulfill her dream of finding a creative career. Her interests range from photography to fashion styling to blogging, designing and writing. Someday, she'd like to start her own business.
Ever since she first picked up her parents' SLR camera in high school, Molly has enjoyed styling her friends and photographing them in unique locales. Her talent as a photographer has led to a small business where she shoots graduation and engagement photos and fashion spreads.
- Dreaming big
Looking ahead, Molly pictures herself as an entrepreneur who not only creates fashionable products but also gives back to the community. Her role model is Blake Mycoskie, who started TOMS shoes. "Not only is he successful, but he finds fulfillment in what he does and makes the world a better place," she says.
If Molly could have dinner with three people who inspire her, Mycoskie would be included. "I would ask him for advice on starting my own business and, hey, maybe he'd invest in it!" Also on the list are Grace Coddington, creative director for Vogue magazine, and Anthony Bourdain, world-famous chef and outspoken food author.
- Find your inspiration
Molly encourages all style makers and creative people to start something they love and always seek inspiration. "Foster your creativity, let it grow and take advantage of the support network at Purdue," she says. "Start something while you're in college when you can afford to fail. There is an incredible creative environment here at Purdue. You just have to find and embrace it."