Kathryn Finney

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Kathryn Finney
Born Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Occupation Author, entrepreneur, blogger
Years active 2003–present
Known for Founder of The Budget Fashionista, digitalundivided
Website
www.digitalundivided.comwww.thebudgetfashionista.com www.kathrynfinney.com

Kathryn A. Finney is an author,[1] tech entrepreneur[2] television correspondent,.[3][4][5][6]

In 2013, Finney received a Champion of Change Award from the White House for her work in making tech more inclusive.[7][8] She was also named to the 2013 Ebony100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States,[9] as one of the Top Ten Women in Money by AOL in 2010 along with Maria Shriver, Elizabeth Warren, and Suze Orman,[10] and an Essence Magazine Woman of Style. In 2015, Kathryn was honored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day”.[11]

In late 2012, Finney founded digitalundivided,[12] a social enterprise that develops programs that increase the active participation of urban communities, especially women, in the digital space. For three years, DID hosted the FOCUS100 Conference, considered to be the "most diverse tech conference" the first weekend of Oct in New York City.[13] She also spearheaded the FOCUS Fellows program, a tech inculator and fellowship program that provides diverse women founders with training and access to various startup resources, including support, mentorship, and seed funding.[14]

Finney's work in the area of tech entrepreneurship has been recognized by several press outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Pando Daily, and New York Times.,[15][16][17][18][19]

She is also known as one of the first lifestyle bloggers for her blog, The Budget Fashionista.,[20] which was named by MSN as one of the 100 most useful sites on the web.[21]

Early life[edit]

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Finney was introduced to technology through her father, Robert Finney, who was introduced to technology via courses at the local OIC, and rose to become a Senior Systems Engineer at Microsoft and later EMC. He led the development of one of the first high school based computer based technology academies at St Louis Park High School in St Louis Park, MN.[22]

She graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis, MN, where she was her class president, member of National Honor Society, delegate to Girls State and Girls Nation, and received the Washburn High School Service Award.

Finney has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in Women's Studies and Politics, where she was a member of the Rutgers College Student Government, a James Dickson Carr Scholar, Rutgers College Honors Program, The USA Today All Academic team, and was voted by her graduating class to received the class of 1998 Alumni Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Community Service. During her junior year, Finney was a Washington Center Washington Fellow and interned at the White House as well as with the late Senator Paul Wellstone.

She also earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Yale University, where she was a Courtland Van Creed Scholar. She received the Weinerman Fellowship for her work as an international epidemiologist in the South African region.

Prior to starting her media company, Finney worked for USAID and other non-profits in Ghana, West Africa and South Africa.

Professional[edit]

The Budget Fashionista years[edit]

Finney started her blog in April 2003 as a hobby, and started blogging full-time in June 2004. Her blog, The Budget Fashionista, which was one of the first fashion blogs,[23] is one of the top fashion blogs on the net.[24][25]

Finney is considered an icon and pioneer in the style blogging community,[26] having earned the monickers of "Master of Cheap Chic" [27] and "Scheherazade of the Sales Rack".[28] She is considered to be one of America's best bargain shoppers (Style Network, 2004) and has appeared on several national TV shows such as NBC's Today Show, Fox Network News, CNN, etc. She has also appeared in over 1000 articles including Essence, USA Today, The New York Times, LA Times [29] and Redbook, as a style expert on looking fabulous for less. She's also the former fashion editor of Real Magazine. Finney's popular Twitter feed has been listed by numerous publications including the New York Post, Clutch Magazine,[30] and The Grio.[31]

In May 2006, her first book was published entitled, How to be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House. It became an Amazon bestselling book in the Art and Photography category and is now on its 11th printing.

From 2012-2014, Finney was the Editor-at-Large at BlogHer, a global media media representing over 40 million women.[32][33]

Building digitalundivided (DID)[edit]

In late 2012, Finney utilized personal funds [34] and founded digitalundivided (DID), a social enterprise which finds, trains, and supports innovative leaders and entrepreneurs.[35] She also launched the FOCUS Fellows, a rigorous fellowship program for black women founders of developed, but early staged, technology-enabled companies. To date, more than 50% of the FOCUS fellows have raised Angel and venture funding, while 10% have raised at least $1MM. Many had gone on to work in leadership positions at leading start-up companies like Uber and Facebook.[36]

DID held its first FOCUS100 conference in October 2012 in New York City. It initially received support from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, marketing agency Ogilvy, and other top firms. The following year, the event received support from Google, American Express, as well as Andreessen Horowitz and Ogilvy.[37] On its third year (2014), the event received support once more from American Express, as well as from Facebook, Mobile Future, and the Portland Development Commission. During the event closing, Finney announced 2014 as the last year of the FOCUS100 conference. She also announced the expansion of its FOCUS Fellows program to a residency “inculator” for black women-led startups.[38]

DID continues to to bring its ensemble of programs like START and Innovation Thursday, to various cities in the U.S in partnership with various organizations and companies such as UNCF[39] and Etsy.[40]

Finney has received numerous recognition for her work in building tech eco-systems in urban communities, including the Champion of Change Award from the White House in 2013 [41] and the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day” from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer[42] in 2015. She has also received the New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award,[43] UPSTART 100 List of Top Innovators,[44] SXSW Black Innovator Award, The Grio 100,[45] Ebony Power 100 List of the Most Influential African Americans, Black Enterprise “40 under 40” list,[46] and induction into Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy”.[47]

Finney has been a keynote speaker at top conferences. She has keynoted at the White House,[48] as well as for Omidyar Network,[49] SXSW Interactive,[50] and more.

Finney serves as an adviser to black women-led startups and organizations, including MentorMe, Inc and All-Star Code.[51] She is also a trustee of The Robert Finney Foundation,[52] a foundation she started with her mother and brother to honor her late father. The foundation provides scholarships to African-American students pursuing studies in the field of technology. Finney has also served on the boards of the Hudson Guild

In Modern Culture[edit]

Finney is credited with coining several major shopping and internet marketing terms, including "The Budget Fashionista" [53] (which she owns the trademark), the term "Love what you buy and buy what you love", meaning shoppers should focus on purchasing items that make them feel and look great and "blogroots", which is a term meaning to aggressively market a product, book, idea, through networking with blogs.[54]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kathryn Finney Author Bookshelf - Random House - Books - Audiobooks - Ebooks Random House Author Page- Kathryn Finney
  2. ^ Minorities Entering Tech Wall Street Journal
  3. ^ Kathryn Finney on Dallas Fox TV Video Fox Dallas, June 2006
  4. ^ Kathryn Finney on Geraldo Rivera's Fox Show Video Fox News Network- Geraldo Rivera Show
  5. ^ Kathryn Finney/The Budget Fashionista CNN Clips Video CNN
  6. ^ Kathryn Finney on CNBC's On the Money Video CNBC, September, 2009
  7. ^ WhiteHouse.Gov WhiteHouse.gov
  8. ^ Black Enterprise: White House Recognizes Tech Leaders As ‘Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion’ Black Enterprise
  9. ^ Ebony Power100 2013: Emerging Leaders Ebony
  10. ^ The Top 10 Women in Money | The Top 10 Women in Money | Comcast.net AOL Top Ten Women in Money
  11. ^ [1] Manhattan Borough President's Black History Month Reception
  12. ^ digitalundivided digitalundivided
  13. ^ Silicon Forrest, Notes from the Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet Silicon Forrest
  14. ^ [2] Inside the Campaign to Disrupt Tech's Huge Diversity Problem.
  15. ^ Wall Street Journal, Kathryn Finney Wall Street Journal
  16. ^ digitalundivided OZY.com Integrating an Industry
  17. ^ Silicon Forrest, Notes from the Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet Silicon Forrest
  18. ^ Venture Beat, Black Female and Smart Venture Beat
  19. ^ Pando Daily, digitalundivided wants to Start a Dialogue About More Black People in Tech Pando Daily
  20. ^ Gothamist: Kathryn Finney, Blogger, Thebudgetfashionista.com, Author, How To Be a Budget Fashionista
  21. ^ Liz Pulliam Weston: Best Web sites for saving money and time - MSN Money
  22. ^ Robert Finney, Computer Guru at St Louis Park High School Highbeam
  23. ^ "Shoppers flock to designer deals" Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
  24. ^ Chicago Sun-Times: jump local: Fashion's best blogs[dead link]
  25. ^ mode femme vetement fashion verbaudet at fashionnewssite.com[dead link]
  26. ^ Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Fabulousness: The Budget Fashionista 5th Anniversary « Clutch Magazine
  27. ^ Book Review: How To Be A Budget Fashionista
  28. ^ Express: A Publication of The Washington Post
  29. ^ http://www.look-look.com/look/abus.news.html?sectionName=online&id=1 Archived July 13, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Tweeting Fashion: The Top 15 to Follow « Clutch Magazine
  31. ^ Fashion to follow: 15 top twitter feeds
  32. ^ [3] BlogHer Names Kathryn Finney, Editor at Large
  33. ^ [4] BlogHer Names 'The Budget Fashionista', It's new Editor at Large
  34. ^ Tackling the Lack of Women in Tech Black Enterprise
  35. ^ [5] digitalundivided
  36. ^ [6] digitalundivided: About FOCUS Fellows
  37. ^ Venture Beat, Black Female and Smart Venture Beat
  38. ^ [7] #FOCUS100 NYC Conference Saturday Session Recap
  39. ^ [8] UNCF & HBCU Partners Launch Tech-empowerment Week At The Atlanta University Center
  40. ^ [9] digitalundivided Presents Innovation Thursdays At Etsy Hq
  41. ^ [10] Kathryn Finney | White House Champion of Change
  42. ^ [11] Manhattan Borough President's Black History Month Reception
  43. ^ [12] Meet Kathryn Finney, Women of Influence honoree, and learn how her father's work ethic influenced her career
  44. ^ [13] Kathryn Finney Profile on Upstart100
  45. ^ [14] theGrio's 100: Kathryn Finney
  46. ^ [15] 40 Rising Stars 40 & Under
  47. ^ [16] Spelman College Announces Honorees and Speakers for 2015 Women of Color Conference
  48. ^ [17] Kathryn Finney | White House Champion of Change
  49. ^ [18] Social impact drives Omidyar Network's civil tech investments
  50. ^ [19] Kathryn Finney's Lanyrd profile
  51. ^ [20] Kathryn Finney's LinkedIn Profile
  52. ^ http://www.wfmn.org/PDFs/EqualityReport_Spring2007.pdf
  53. ^ I Am Not A Fashionista: Why We’re Over All Words Ending in ‘-ista’ Coco & Creme
  54. ^ BlogWorks: June 2006 Archives[dead link]

External links[edit]