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
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 late 2012, Finney founded digitalundivided,[11] a social enterprise that develops programs that increase the active participation of urban communities, especially women, in the digital space. DID hosts the FOCUS100 Conference, considered to be the "most diverse tech conference" the first weekend of Oct in New York City.[12] 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., [13][14][15][16][17]

She is also known as one of the first lifestyle bloggers for her blog, The Budget Fashionista.,[18] which was named by MSN as one of the 100 most useful sites on the web.[19]

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.[20]

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 has a graduate degree from Yale University, with honors, where she was a Courtland Van Creed Scholar and received the Weinerman Fellowship for her work in South Africa.

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


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,[21] is one of the top fashion blogs on the net.[22][23] The blog currently makes six-figures a year.[24][25] Finney is considered an icon and pioneer in the style blogging community.[26]

Finney 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 500 articles including Essence, USA Today, The New York Times, LA Times [27] and Redbook, as a style expert on looking fabulous for less. She's also the former fashion editor of Real Magazine.

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 2011-2013, Finney was the Editor-at-Large at BlogHer, a global media media representing over 40 million women.[28][29]

In late 2012, Finney founded digitalundivided, which held the first FOCUS100 conference in Oct of the same year in New York City. The first year, DID received support from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, marketing agency Ogilvy, and other top firms. The second year (2013), the event received support from Google, American Express, as well as Andreessen Horowitz and Ogilvy.[30] Finney also contributed personal funds to start to the company.[31]

Finney is credited with coining several major shopping and internet marketing terms, including "The Budget Fashionista" [32] (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.[33] She has been called "Master of Cheap Chic" [34] and "Scheherazade of the Sales Rack" [35] Finney's popular Twitter feed has been listed by numerous publications including the New York Post, Clutch Magazine,[36] and The Grio.[37]

Finney has been a keynote speaker at top conferences. In 2009, she gave the closing keynote address at the Blogher Business conference.[38] In 2008, Kathryn spoke on Guy Kawasaki main stage SXSW panel.[39] She was also one of the keynote speakers at the ERDA Alliance Money Makeover Summit.[40] She's also spoken at Black Enterprise Small Business Conference, Blogher Business, Women Funding Network, and Professional Business Women's Conference.

Finney is a trustee of The Robert Finney Foundation,[41] 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



  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. ^ digitalundivided digitalundivided
  12. ^ Silicon Forrest, Notes from the Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet Silicon Forrest
  13. ^ Wall Street Journal, Kathryn Finney Wall Street Journal
  14. ^ digitalundivided OZY.com Integrating an Industry
  15. ^ Silicon Forrest, Notes from the Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet Silicon Forrest
  16. ^ Venture Beat, Black Female and Smart Venture Beat
  17. ^ Pando Daily, digitalundivided wants to Start a Dialogue About More Black People in Tech Pando Daily
  18. ^ Gothamist: Kathryn Finney, Blogger, Thebudgetfashionista.com, Author, How To Be a Budget Fashionista
  19. ^ Liz Pulliam Weston: Best Web sites for saving money and time - MSN Money
  20. ^ Robert Finney, Computer Guru at St Louis Park High School Highbeam
  21. ^ "Shoppers flock to designer deals" Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
  22. ^ Chicago Sun-Times: jump local: Fashion's best blogs[dead link]
  23. ^ mode femme vetement fashion verbaudet at fashionnewssite.com[dead link]
  24. ^ 13 questions for a fashion blogger
  25. ^ Build a Blog: Creating a Six Figure Blog | Kathryn Finney
  26. ^ Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Fabulousness: The Budget Fashionista 5th Anniversary « Clutch Magazine
  27. ^ http://www.look-look.com/look/abus.news.html?sectionName=online&id=1 Archived July 13, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ [1] BlogHer Names Kathryn Finney, Editor at Large
  29. ^ [2] BlogHer Names 'The Budget Fashionista', It's new Editor at Large
  30. ^ Venture Beat, Black Female and Smart Venture Beat
  31. ^ Tackling the Lack of Women in Tech Black Enterprise
  32. ^ I Am Not A Fashionista: Why We’re Over All Words Ending in ‘-ista’ Coco & Creme
  33. ^ BlogWorks: June 2006 Archives[dead link]
  34. ^ Book Review: How To Be A Budget Fashionista
  35. ^ Express: A Publication of The Washington Post
  36. ^ Tweeting Fashion: The Top 15 to Follow « Clutch Magazine
  37. ^ Fashion to follow: 15 top twitter feeds
  38. ^ BlogHer Business ’08 : Agenda | BlogHer
  39. ^ Dailymotion - AustinLifestyles SXSW 2008 interview - Patricia Handschiegel - a News & Politics video
  40. ^ ERDA : The Money Makeover: Renew Your Relationship with Money
  41. ^ http://www.wfmn.org/PDFs/EqualityReport_Spring2007.pdf

External links[edit]