UT alumna, beauty blogger takes her career in new directions

Abigail Zeitler

After receiving 400 Facebook friend requests following her first video blog, UT alumna Dani Austin has kept her followers engaged on her journey from student to YouTube famous lifestyle video blogger and fashion guru.

Austin’s YouTube channel, which she started at the end of 2012, now has over 100,000 followers. Recently she launched a fashion blog, theDaniAustin.com, which she describes as a “best of Austin, Texas style guide.” Austin’s parents are in the apparel business, which inspired her initial interest in creating the blog.  

“I was introduced to video blogging through my brother, who is a musician that has a channel on YouTube,” Austin said. “Sophomore year of college, we got bored during winter break and made a video together. That’s when I knew I wanted to start a channel.” 

With each video, Austin said she tries to offer her viewers advice that a big sister or friend would give, on everything from morning routines to makeup tutorials. In her videos, she draws on her own past experiences to give women advice on how to be confident in their own skin. Instead of buying the items she features in her videos, Austin has brands that sponsor her videos, including Cort Furniture, Neutrogena and Marc Anthony hair products, among others. 

“The reason I started a beauty and lifestyle video blog was because I didn’t have a sister growing up,” Austin said. “There were questions I had and things I wanted to know — from basics on how to put your hair in a braid to more intense subjects.”

Austin works with renowned photographer and videographer Todd White to film some of her longer segments, which include her New York Fashion Week and First Apartment Tour videos. This year, she attended New York Fashion Week and incorporated some of what she saw into her videos. 

“[Austin] just likes to have fun, which shows through in her videos,” White said. “Her presence encourages people to be themselves. When we filmed the video for New York Fashion Week, she tried to do a video doing a specific dance showing just her shoes. She didn’t get it quite right, but it worked because she is quirky and it fit her, so we kept it in the final cut of the video.” 

Austin said she plans to do more collaborations with fashion brands after her recent trip to New York Fashion Week. Austin will continue to post once a week on her video blog while she moves toward the fashion side of blogging. Addie Rock, Austin’s intern, said after being on a few shoots with her, anyone can tell Austin has a passion for what she does, and photos will make viewers want to start their own fashion blogs.

“Dani has a very unique style that is a mix of modern and classic,” Rock said. “She’s focusing on fashion for the time being, and I’ve seen so many people online tell her what a style inspiration she is to them.” 

Austin said that running a blog can be hard work, but it will pay off in the end. Through her success, she started her own jewelry company, Keely D. Accessories. She plans to expand her jewelry company and style blog over the next two years.  

“I hope that the people who watch my videos now will grow up with me and follow me through my journey,” Austin said.