Kate Albrecht is a recovering actress turned lifestyle blogging sensation. With millions of monthly views, Albrecht's DIY blog, Mr. Kate, is a go-to source for aspiring fashionistas and stylish celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon and Hilary Duff.

Albrecht, 29, runs her style empire, including her line of chic, whimsical jewelry, from Los Angeles, but she's heading to Concord on March 23 to host a prom style event at the Sunvalley Macy's.

From tips on how to spruce up a classic clutch with a splash of bright nail polish to tutorials on decoupaging coffee tables, Albrecht believes in style on a budget and empowering young women to find their individual style. We caught up with Albrecht before her appearance to chat about prom, materialism and the modern domestic diva.

DIY blogging sensation, Kata Albrecht, aka Mr. Kate
DIY blogging sensation, Kata Albrecht, aka Mr. Kate (Bridge and Tunnel Comm)

Q What type of kid were you growing up?

A

I was an artsy kid. I loved my dress-up trunk. My grandmother would raid thrift stores so it was full of legit costume jewelry, vintage sequin coats and hats from the 1960s and gloves that went up to my elbow. I was pretty shy up until high school, but I've always been a crazy dresser, so even if I wasn't expressing myself verbally, I was wearing vinyl pants and dyeing my hair with Kool-Aid.

Q

How do you define the modern domestic diva?

A

Women are defining themselves so much more by their careers but are striving for a balance. She is working, but she still wants to cook a great dinner for her boyfriend. So maybe she shops at Trader Joe's and buys the packaged items but individualizes it with her own unique sauce. She is a more approachable and realistic, multidimensional female.


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Q

Who was the first celebrity to reach out to you? How did it feel?

A

The women who run HelloGiggles, including Zooey Deschanel. They reached out to me to help contribute to the blog. It was great. We all believe in being supportive of females and empowering girls to express themselves.

Q

Your brand logo is a mustache and a beauty mark. What's the message there?

A

I think it's my spin on the yin and yang in all of us. The modern female embodies some qualities that are traditionally masculine; she is in the public sector but also wants to decorate her home. We all aspire to have balance, and I love juxtapositions because I think they express both sides of ourselves.

Q

In a recent interview you told a popular website that one of your biggest turnoffs is materialism. But so much of what you do is based on accumulating stuff, from clothing and home decor items to your line of jewelry.

A

I'm more about helping people figure out what their personal style is and what they feel is the best way to express themselves. It's not so much consumerism and accumulation as it is a celebration of what you feel are those special tokens that express who you are.

Yes, I design a jewelry line, but what excites me the most is a person that sees my rings and says, 'Oh this ring will match perfectly with the vintage piece I got from my grandmother.' It has spoken to them in that personal way.

Q

You are coming to the Sunvalley Macy's in Concord to talk prom. What's your advice for looking the part on a budget?

A

I'm excited to help girls feel their best on their special day. I think buying the affordable dress on the sale rack that doesn't have the embellishments on it is the way to go. You can always achieve that look by layering some necklaces on top of each other. At Macy's, we'll also be talking about things like how you can spruce up plain pumps with a bow hair clip.

Q

What about style tips for those of us past our prom prime? What are your favorite places for women to shop on a budget?

A I love Zara. I like Rachel Roy at Macy's, and I do a lot of shopping online at Modcloth.com and, for shoes, Solestruck.com. Honestly, I don't think we have reasons to dress up that often anymore. So we have to create them.

Try putting your hair in a sock bun with a necklace wrapped around your head as a fun hair piece. Sometimes that little twist on style can make a great conversation piece and allow you to have that much more fun at an event or party.

meet mr. Kate

DIY blogger Kate Albrecht will make an appearance to talk prom style from 2 to 4 p.m. March 23 at Macy's Sunvalley, 341 Sunvalley mall, Concord. www.macys.com.

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