We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassie Hepler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassie, do you have a budget? how do you think about personal finances?
Having a budget is key to getting ahead in life. Without it, you are just sort of floating through in a sea of unknown finances! I’ve always been one to live way below my means and find ways to save… I like to say I only have two modes: frugal and fabulous. Being smart with money allows me to treat myself to a birthday trip to Kauai, Hawaii or buy that condo in Phoenix, Arizona with excellent credit which translates to low interest rates and mortgage payments. To me, happy memories are worth a good chunk of change as is building a nest egg for your future. You have to pay yourself first, then treat yourself. I will purposely buy high quality goods (cars, clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.) that last a long time and don’t depreciate in value. I’m not trying to impress anyone, just trying to live my best (and smartest) life. Because what is comes down to in the end is not the objects you own.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I grew up being my mom’s road trip buddy/navigator for her arts & crafts shows around the tri-state area from Pennsylvania. I was constantly meeting artists, seeing art and literally immersed in it. So it’s no wonder that the written word, photography, painting and sculpture has been a driving force in my life. I almost did a dual art history major in college but regardless it led me down the path of merging journalism with art that also became a path to creative expression through modeling and acting. Having virtual platforms was huge in networking with people from all over the world and prompted a lot of growth especially when I first moved to Philadelphia. Being any type of artist is never easy as we are never satisfied with our own work and constantly want to outperform our previous work. It takes time and patience but eventually you will find beauty in imperfections and let go some more to move onto the next project.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well that’s easy, I would send them over to Explorewithcassie.com and tell them to type in the city they want to visit and check out what pops up! If those don’t hit the spot, there’s plenty more ideas on Instagram. I also refer people to my favorite blogger buddies too because sharing is caring!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve had a lot of mentors in my lifetime, some I sought out and some found me. Throughout my journalism career, one of the first female journalists in Philadelphia, PA, Cathy Green was my cheerleader and still is to this day! She adopted me from the Philadelphia Tribune and has had my back with encouraging words since then. When I decided to start the Explorewithcassie.com (formerly Explore-Philly.com & Explore-NJ.com) blog, a photographer I modeled for Eric Smith soon became my IT angel as I call him and helped me purchase, build, design and launch the website in less than a month. He has been there for me through all the learning curves and headaches of WordPress. He’s still my go-to guy when I have IT questions about anything! I’m truly convinced there are earth angels watching over us. I like to think I’ve also been the inspiration for others to keep reaching for the stars and continue to pay it forward.
Other: Cassie Hepler is the owner/publisher of lifestyle and travel blog ExplorewithCassie.com as well as a multi-media journalist, photographer and signed actress & model with The Young Agency in Phoenix, Arizona at cassiehepler.com. She is also onboarded with TikTok since May 2020 as part of their new educational fund.
Nicole Dawn Photography, Brian Delfin Photography