Kelly Ann Collins, DC Blogger and Socialite
Perhaps I’m late to the proverbial party but I first heard of Kelly Ann Collins on DC Style Magazine’s blog, where KAC contributes a weekly blog entry, on Mondays. She is introduced as “a member of the local smart set.” I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, or why a “socialite” writer would be touted as such. I must say, after chatting with Kelly Ann, herself, it was pleasure to find out…
After growing up in a small town (25,000 inhabitants) in West Virginia and studying psychology in college, Ms. Collins moved to Pittsburg to work as a crime reporter. She was eventually lured to DC for a job with USA Today. During her time covering the grisly aftermath of violence such as Columbine, Kosovo, etc. she says her job became “kind of depressing” and she longed to get back to her creative writing roots and move further into the realm of lifestyle writing.
In 2003, she experimented with the launch of her first blog. By November 2004 she settled on the name "Washington Socialites" as it was essentially a party report of champagne soirees, martini masquerades and charity galas. WS achieved great success in gossip-loving and glamour-craving DC and the blog’s appeal quickly reached beyond the beltway. According to Kelly it got 80,000 visitors a day, including loyal readers on the West Coast, and in Europe.
A year ago, Kelly created a new endeavor, Ask KAC.com. The downfall to the forum, she recalls, is that people asked questions she’d rather not repeat, much less have to answer. A return to her former structure of imparting information and fielding comments on her current website, simply named KellyAnnCollins.com, appears to be the formula for success. She, and her assistant, Editorial Dude, receive approximately 10,000 hits a day – and growing.
What’s it like to be a socialite? Kelly says that with Washington Socialites, she was invited, or paid to appear at twelve or more parties a week. She recalls, “It wasn’t fun anymore. When something stops being fun, I stop.” After a little party pause, she says happily, “Now, I can go out and it feels like recreation.”
My more pressing question, though (because I think there is more than one correct answer) was how exactly one defines the term ‘socialite.’ Kelly explains, “A socialite is someone who’s in-the-know, knows a lot of people, knows what’s ‘in’ and is involved in charity activities. Not just the people who party until they fall over.” Her own charity activities are numerous and she particularly likes galas and balls.
This year she is on the Host Committee for the Courage Cup, benefiting the Work to Ride charity, which takes inner city kids into nature and uses horses as ‘animal therapy’ (the kids learn to play polo). The Courage Cup takes place tomorrow, June 17, from 12 – 7pm at the Great Meadow Polo Club in Virginia. (more info at www.couragecup.org)
Of course, The Liquid Muse would be negligent not to ask a socialite about her favorite places to go out. Her answers:
Bar? “Definitely the Fly Lounge” She is also a fan of parties thrown by promoters Absolute Addiction.
Drink? Ironically enough, this socializing expert didn’t have her first alcoholic beverage until the age of 27. She is exploring the world of libations in stages saying she first liked Gin & Tonics, went through a serious Chocolate Martini phase and now has moved onto Dirty Martinis and Vanilla Stoli.
And, of course, as any self-respecting socialite should, she quickly adds, “Oh, and I like champagne.”
Visit: www.kellyanncollins.com for more info.