Custom Summer Hat

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Mrs. Hellman Hat: Hats by Olivia [c/o] | Dress: BCBG-true to size [here] [here]| Earrings: Baublebar-sold out [Pink Version] [Similar]  [c/o] | Shoes: Dillard’s, Nordstrom | Chloe Bag: Neiman Marcus, Similar [dupe!] | Bracelets: Alex & Ani, David Yurman | Lipstick: Requiem

Photography by: Angie Garcia

I always get questions about my last name.

“Are you going to change your Instagram handle?”

“Are you Katey Hellman or Katey McFarlan?”

“When will you rebrand?”

At first, it wasn’t even a question. 90% of bloggers who start their blog before they marry don’t change their last name on the blog. There are so, so many reasons from contracts to SEO purposes. I would never assume people even know my name, if anything I think they just scroll on instagram and think, “Oh that’s the girl with the dog named after a fruit!” haha. So changing names to the mix just confuses Google AND readers!

And then there were privacy reasons. Do my future kids want their last name plastered on the internet? What if they are shy? My sister is incredibly private and hates me even tagging her on social media. Granted, my readers know my real last name, but the people that quickly scroll through and don’t follow. Should they know their last name?

And now, almost 7 months into marriage? Take the business aspect out of it and go ahead and remove the privacy issues, I just like the difference. Legally, I’m Katey Hellman but I also love being Katey McFarlan at work. I started this blog in college and entered into my career with my maiden name. It’s a nod to the work ethic my father instilled in me.

I remember he was helping me study for a physics test one night in high school and he looked at me and said,

“When I look at employees I don’t look at who produces the best. I look at who works the hardest. If you fail this test tomorrow I’ll be so proud of you because you studied harder than anyone else. If you make an A on this test tomorrow I’ll feel the same way. I never ask you to produce anything in life, I ask that you work harder than the person next to you.”

I took that with me into my college internships and then post-grad career. I always thought in my mind, “I may not know how to do this the best, but I’m going to work the hardest.” That’s my McFarlan background.

And then there is real life, where I’m Katey Hellman. Katey Hellman is Katey without her phone. Without social media. Without my blog, which we might as well call my first born. Katey Hellman is the introvert that gets so shy at church when people say, “What do you do for a living?”

So as for now, I’m keeping them separate. It isn’t to separate my readers from my personal life, in fact I think it almost brings them in more.

Sometimes when I go to write something and I think, “Wait, should that be private?” [like this post!] I realize, “Katey, your personal life is private anyways. This is Katey McFarlan writing, and if Katey McFarlan wants to share, let her!”

Or when I’m out shooting and people say, “Are you that blogger in Fort Worth?” I don’t feel embarrassed I just think, “Hi! Yes! I’m Katey McFarlan, so nice to meet you!” When I’m sure they are thinking, “Why are you taking outfit pictures?! Weren’t your senior photos like 10 years ago?!” haha!

It sounds so silly, but it allows me to feel so much closer to y’all and makes me much less nervous to click “publish.” I never knew how powerful a name was until I got married.

So to my dad, thank you for giving me independence, strength and drive to be Katey McFarlan.

To my husband, thank you for teaching me how to deeply love others as Katey Hellman.

And to my readers, y’all know me by both names so thank you for not thinking I’m ridiculous!  😉

Maybe I’ll change it for business on a whim one day. Who knows how I will actually feel once I become a mom. But in the meantime, I’ll walk around with monogrammed straw hats and carry both names!

P.S. This hat is a STEAL compared to others I have found and so fun for summer! You can purchase here at Hats by Olivia.


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  1. KatieLynn_18 wrote:

    We love you by both names! Thank you for being an absolute doll and putting up with my 40,000 questions on Twitter and Instagram!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      You are SO SWEET!! Thank you for always being so supportive!!! <3 you! xo

      Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  2. This hat is everything! So freakin’ adorable. And I love both of your names – nothing wrong with keeping them separate! 🙂

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  3. Savannah R. wrote:

    Hi Katey! I LOVE this hat! HatsByOlivia has been on my radar for a few months now because I’ve been looking into cute looks for a little honeymoon photo session. This post has done it for me. ‘Will be ordering my “Mrs.” hat shortly…On a separate note, I love that you’re a Hellman. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be taking my soon-to-be husband’s name come wedding time. There’s something so special about sharing your partner-in-life’s name. It’s like you’re a team! I’ve gotten some pushback from friends and coworkers who think taking his name is old-fashioned. A lot of people are surprised to know I won’t be hyphenating either. I get that some women may want to keep their last names but me taking my fiancé’s is important to me.

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      I completely agree girl!! I changed my name legally right when I got home from my honeymoon and it’s still so exciting when people call me Katey Hellman! I can’t wait for you to get to do that! xo

      Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  4. This is such a cute post Katey! I absolutely love how you explained your thought process. Also the hat couldn’t be cuter!!

    xo Laura Leigh

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  5. Morgan wrote:

    Adorable hat! Love that you are so open about this topic because I’m sure there are so many women out there that could use this advice and/or encouragement. Also the advice from you and your dad about even if you’re not the best, work the hardest really struck a cord with me today! I need to implement that thought into my blogging mindset .. thanks!

    How 2 Wear It []

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  6. Gretchen wrote:

    First of all, thank you so much for sharing what you do with us all! It is something you obviously don’t have to do, but I love reading what you do share. You are so authentic and such a genuine person!

    Although I don’t know who my future husband will be yet, I still look forward to changing my last name. It is something I have always admired and thought was so special. What could be better than forever being connected to your best frind and love of your life.

    Thank you again for sharing! p.s. love the hat!!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      It’s so fun! I changed my name the day after I got home from my honeymoon! Haha. I couldn’t wait! You do feel incredibly connected! I still get butterflies when people call me Mrs. Hellman

      Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  7. Kathryn wrote:

    Oh I love this post! It puts a lot of meaning behind your name and that’s something to treasure. With a heart as big as yours, why wouldn’t you utilize two names?! Love it.

    xx Kathryn

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  8. Momof2 wrote:

    I ordered the hat from Olivia for my daughter and it was amazing! We took pics by the ocean in Aruba and the pictures are breathtaking!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  9. Alexa wrote:

    Absolutely love this post! Back when I wanted to be a vet my family would always ask if I would change my last name once I was a DVM and my answer would always be “I don’t think so, if I’ve worked that hard with my own last name, then I want that to be how I am presented in a vet office”. And I agree with Katie Lynn, we love you by both names! (:

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  10. That hat is SO cute! <3

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  11. Julie wrote:

    I’m doing the same thing regarding my performing career. I’ve done all my networking with my maiden name and already have established relationships with theaters, directors, and coaches. It’d be far too confusing and it would be like starting from ground zero again. No, thank you! Love your blog!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  12. Laurient wrote:

    I identify so much with this post. I got married in October and on one hand I was so excited to take my husband’s last name, but on the other hand I was kind of sad to not have my maiden name anymore because that’s who I’ve been my whole life! It took me 4 months to change it legally and I still use my maiden name at work, but have changed it everywhere else because it was important to my husband.

    Also that hat is amazing and I seriously just ordered one for myself!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  13. Mallory wrote:

    I love this! I worked in my professional career with my maiden name before I got married and really struggled with rebranding with my married name professionally… so after giving a lot of thought to it, I didn’t do it! Much like what you shared with your father, I attribute so much of who I am today as a result of my family, strong upbringing, and the name I so proudly held . Regardless, the decision is tough (especially coming from a conservative/religious background where the expectations often were to change your last name and not say much about it) but your outlook is amazing and so relatable for many. Thank you for sharing!


    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  14. Sharan wrote:

    Thank you for sharing! I find myself struggling with the same thought if I want to share intimate details of my life with the world or to keep certain things private 🙂 It’s totally understand and a thought that I am sure that has crossed many people’s heads!


    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  15. Jess wrote:

    You’re just too cute! It took me awhile before I changed my last name of social media, and 6 months before I changed it legally! ? And it was losing my debit card that gave me the swift kick in the booty to go ahead and finally change it. The bank was like “we can send you a new one.” I said “wait, no, let me change my last name and then I’ll order one!” I couldn’t go very long without my debit card so I changed it the next day!

    Published 14 Apr 16Reply
  16. Maya wrote:

    I LOVED this post!! I discovered your blog about a month ago and have been reading regularly since then. I noticed you have a very strong, genuine and compassionate voice. And this post really exemplifies that!

    It was also very relatable for me because I went through a similar situation. I started modeling about a year before getting married and didn’t know if I was going to change my “model name” with my legal name or not, including social media. However, I did end up changing it in the end since I’m not (Yet! haha) well-known enough for it to really matter.

    If I were in your shoes and already super established, I would have done the same as you though. And my husband–who works in SEO!– would have definitely thought that was a good choice too 🙂

    Oh and I LOVE your hat!!!

    Xx Maya from Maya Unmarketed

    Published 15 Apr 16Reply