After her freshman year at the University of Miami, Grace Wainwright moved home and transferred to the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. This girl who loves math and science and, eventually, obtained her master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Louisville, was looking for a hobby, though, and she started blogging about fashion in 2011. She loved the energy and positivity of this style of blogging and loved sharing her style with people. Turns out she had quite a talent for it and with 126,000 followers on Instagram and countless others on her blog, A Southern Drawl, she has put biomedical engineering on the back burner and is riding this fashion wave of success. She comes from a close-knit family and they all contribute to the success of A Southern Drawl, whether it be taking pictures, helping with finances or just being there to support their girl. Grace says, “There’s nothing like Louisville,” and her love for her hometown really shines through in her work. We welcome fellow online media friend Grace Wainwright today as our FACE of Louisville.
You started A Southern Drawl blog in 2011 as a hobby. It has become much more than a hobby over the past five years. Tell us how you achieved so much success in such a short time.
When it comes to blogging, consistency is key. I first started my blog with one post per week, which then turned into three posts per week. Eventually, as my audience grew, I began to post five to six times per week. Networking with others in the industry is also super important!
You have your master’s degree in biomedical engineering. If you weren’t doing A Southern Drawl, what would you be doing?
I would most likely be working in a cubicle for a medical device company. Trust me, this is much more fun!
Can you see yourself ever going back to sciences and engineering?
I can’t see myself going back, just because I love being my own boss. However, bioengineering is something that I’ve always been passionate about, so it wouldn’t be horrible!
Your whole family helps with your business. Tell us the role that each of the Wainwrights play — willingly or unwillingly! — in your career and your success.
My blog definitely would not be what it is today if it weren’t for my family. The Wainwrights are troopers, let me tell ya. My sister, Marilyn, is my photographer and we have a blast during our shoots! My mother helps me with managerial tasks, as well as takes my iPhone photos. My brother, Harold, is extremely creative and always has new content ideas for me. He also sometimes comes along on our photo shoots (as long as lunch/dinner is involved! Ha!). My dad is a wealth advisor, so he advises me on all of my finances. I’m 23 … who knew that I already needed to put money away for retirement?!
How would you describe Louisville style? What really resonates here that you write about with your audience?
The word I think of for this is “classic.” I try to sometimes put a twist on those classic looks that everyone loves.
What is your most favorite part of your job? Least favorite?
My favorite part is getting to meet new people! I’m a people person and I love being able to meet people from other blogs, brands and companies. Some of my best friends are bloggers based out of other states! I also love getting to connect with my followers, too. I’m not kidding when I say this: I don’t have a least favorite part of my job. I seriously love what I do, y’all!
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
My day usually starts with checking emails over some coffee and breakfast. I’ll surf the web for new arrivals on the sites of some of my fave fashion brands, as well as see what’s been newly marked down. From there, I’ll schedule my Instagram posts for the day, depending on what’s on sale and what’s in stock. Mid-day, I’ll hit the gym for a fierce workout. I typically shoot during the weekdays, so I get ready post-workout. This includes planning out outfits, doing my makeup, etc. After my photo shoot, I’ll edit photos and write a blog post for the next day, order new items for future photo shoots and pack up any boxes for returns of items that didn’t fit (I do most of my shopping online to ensure that my followers can access the same items). My last Instagram post goes live pretty late (around midnight) — and then I’ll immediately hit the sack.
What advice do you treasure?
My family’s advice. If you can’t tell, I trust them more than anything and they’ve played such a large role in my success.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my____________.
Water bottle. It must be the fitness side of me.
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
Most of my photo shoots are done in Nulu and I’m always there either eating dinner or grabbing a drink with a friend!
Favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Run along the waterfront!
Are you a night owl or early bird? What do you do during that quiet time?
Night owl … although, I would much rather be an early bird. I’m a bookworm, so my quiet time always includes a good book.
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
This is a tough one because Louisville has such a great food scene. For dinner, I love Mayan Cafe, Hammerheads and Seviche. For drinks, I love Louvino, Butchertown Grocery and Decca. For dessert, I love The Comfy Cow and Sweet Surrender.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and read all of the books 24/7. They never get old. However, my brother just convinced me to start reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss — apparently a lot of HP fans love this book, so I’ll give it a try (but let’s be real; nothing can match Harry Potter).
Lightning round! Give us your:
▪ Candy or junk food splurge: Oreos
▪ Guilty pleasure song: “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
▪ Tearjerker movie pick: Titanic
▪ Standby nail polish color: Essie “Marshmallow”
▪ Favorite cocktail: Moscow Mule (but I always prefer wine)
▪ Cartoon alter-ego: Dory
What are three of your favorite things right now besides faith, family and friends?
My wireless Powerbeats earphones, Justin’s vanilla almond butter and my new fall cognac booties.
Keep up with the best of Louisville — download the SB App. It’s free!