Original and Unedited!
IMAGES ARE NOT EDITED iN ANY WAY.
words | Brooke Romney
photography | Jared Platt
styling | Jennifer O'Bannon
hair | Suzanne Bell & Abby Runyan for Hair Do Salon
Living Original seems to be effortless for Sadie Robertson. As a reality star, author, fashion designer, and humanitarian, her consistent authenticity has earned her an enviable following. Attracting millions of fans is impressive, but even more remarkable is that through all the fame and success she has remained true to herself and her purpose.
Her parents (Korie and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty) knew they had something special from the beginning. “At 5 years old I would stand on the table and ‘preach’ to my parents. I was never shy about sharing how I felt or sharing God’s love. From that point on, my dad nicknamed me ‘the original.’”
At 19, Sadie is still unapologetically sharing her message, and people are listening to and loving it.
“I want my followers to be their own original. I want them to be confident in who they are and what their talents are. The world shows us all kinds of things and it is easy to want to be someone else, but it’s just not possible. So work on expanding your own original self.”
Finding that best self is easiest surrounded by people who share a purpose and who exude love and support. Sadie has found that grounding influence in her family, friends, and her faith. Fame, popularity, talent, and success, even on a small scale, can change people so quickly, but Sadie counters that by remembering to stay accountable.
“No matter who you are, someone is always watching. Someone is always looking up to you. They need you to be an example. Being perfect is not important, but being real is, and real is so much easier. Remember that it is okay to show people your struggles and how you are getting through them. The struggle is what inspires people and how you get through it is what is really important.”
Inspiring people is Sadie’s mission, and she can’t wait to take her message live with her second Live Original tour.
“I love social media and all my friends there, but there is nothing like connecting with people in person. Before Dancing with the Stars, I didn’t think I could do it, but God used that experience to give me courage. I talked with my ‘squad’ and we decided we could make this dream of connecting with people a reality by going on tour.”
The tour will focus on “Going from Chained to Changed.” At a point in her life, Sadie felt chained to anxiety and fear but through God, she loosened those chains and became free and fearless. By sharing her honest experiences, she hopes others will have the courage to make changes in their own life, whether it be something small or something significant. “During the tour, we will all be there together, holding hands, rooting for each other. We will be united in this amazing effort.”
The tour will be part self-reflection and speaking, but another part entertainment and is for anyone who wants to increase or explore their faith and surround themselves with positivity. “I used to be super ADD and found myself getting really restless, so our tour is going to be something totally different. It is the first time our generation is speaking to our generation, and that makes me so excited, I can’t wait to share it with everyone. There will be live music by Family Force 5, videos, worship, and so many opportunities to connect and be inspired.”
Sadie is hoping this tour gives other teens the strength to stand in a world that consistently belittles faith, hope, and religion. She finds her own courage to hold strong by having a personal connection with God which is reinforced with regular prayer and Bible study, and by surrounding herself with people who help her focus on the good.
“If you want to stay strong, you have to surround yourself with the right people. My assistant who is with me all of the time reminds me to seek the beauty in every situation, and it helps so much. If you turn on the news, you see 20 things going wrong, and it feels overwhelming and negative, but she has encouraged me to seek the beauty. There is always beauty, even in the worst situation, and when I find it, I find God.”
Doing this in everyday life can be a challenge, but it feels easier when you start small. Sadie likes using social media to share the goodness. It can be simple to post a motivational quote, share a picture that recognizes natural beauty, comment something kind or uplifting on every post you read, or sometimes put the phone down and focus on real, in-person connections.
With her recent book release, Life Just Got Real, Sadie perfectly illustrates how girls can look past differences and find the common goodness within each other. In a fast-paced and fun high school story, Sadie creates strong female characters who are all incredibly different on the outside but fundamentally similar. She weaves a compelling tale of opposites, shining a little light on what life is like before and after money and fame, and how the world benefits when everyone strives to be their authentic self.
“I wanted to remind people that sometimes the best friendships are with people who are completely different from you. Don’t shut people out...you never know when a friendship can be made.”
In a world full of girls tearing each other down, Sadie is proof that nice girls don’t always finish last. She has consistently been supportive, loving, respectful and kind.
“We are called to love. That is the whole message that Jesus shared. All I am called to do is love and accept people; I was not called to judge. Love covers everyone.”
Love even covers the people millions of miles away that Sadie serves through her humanitarian service and through her partnership with ROMA boots. Being blessed with so much has been a catalyst to help change the lives of others around the world whether she is building a school in Uganda or putting shoes on the feet of children in Guatemala, she is always seeking ways to help make the world a little better.
“I was so excited to partner with ROMA boots because they donate one pair of boots with every pair of boots sold. I went and did a boot drop in Guatemala with them to see what a difference these shoes made in the lives of the people was amazing. It gave them an opportunity and a chance where there was little hope before. Doing things like this makes me incredibly happy.”
While not as important as her humanitarian work, another thing that makes Sadie happy is fashion, and she is thrilled about her new Wild Blue Denim line sold at Rue 21 stores across the country. “I am a denim girl, and I wanted to create a pair of jeans that everyone feels great in. I want every girl, regardless of her shape or size to be able to go into the dressing room, slip my jeans on, and want to strut.”
Sadie created a Wild Blue Denim option for every taste. There are a variety of styles, cuts, and washes, so it is easy to find your perfect pair. Sadie’s favorite is full of rips, tears, and wear. She loves pairing them with an inspirational t-shirt, a bandana, and free bird shoes, but they also look great with a dressy tank and strappy heels. The perfect pair of jeans has always been a closet staple.
Sadie’s other staple? Her killer smile flanked by enviable dimples. She is constantly sharing that grin with family, friends, and strangers. She encourages teens to find that special bond with their family or with an adult who will always have their back. She has benefitted from the wisdom of her parents and knows that when friends fail, family will love you unconditionally.
That being said, family relationships can also be really hard. “Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and make it right, but the relationship is more important than the problem. Our family has learned that the world might be against us, but we are always there for each other.”
Sadie holds so much wisdom of her own and is the real deal...practicing exactly what she preaches, day in and day out. She feels God has given her a platform to share and spread His love and good news. But she knows it doesn’t take a million dollars or a million followers to make a difference, just a little gratitude and a healthy dose of happiness.
“Be an atmosphere shaker. Challenge yourself to use what you have been given. Be nice to people, always. Share happiness. Allow someone to share their story and really listen. It creates a chain reaction that can change the world.”