Kristen Kilpatrick x Madison McKinley
We are excited to announce the launch of our MM Cowgirl. Each month we are going to feature someone and share their amazing story and talents. The MM Cowgirl will also answer the MM Cowgirl questionnaire that our team has created! We are excited to feature Kristen Kilpatrick this month. 


Kristen was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, I currently calls Austin her home. She has always been passionate about Fine Art and Photography, which in the end, made choosing her degree so simple. In December of 2012, she graduated from Texas Christian University receiving her BFA with an emphasis in photography, which launched her career in the Arts.

Her unfailing inspiration comes from light, as it is the key component of her work. She loves the emotion and mood that light can evoke through a single image, which is why she chose to specialize in natural light photography. While her work consists of both film and digital images, she prefers to shoot film in permitting light conditions. The romantic, soft and airy looks of the medium just can’t be beat. The processes involved with film photography allow for a rich and timeless result- film can truly make a moment last a lifetime.

Whether it is film or digital, her utmost desire is to capture each individual’s spirit and personality, while giving life to each photograph, and of course, having fun in the process!


1. What is your favorite Madison McKinley jewelry piece your own and why?

This is a tough one because there is no right answer! I am a lover of each unique design from  Madison McKinley’s collection. To me, you cannot escape the fact that she is handcrafting these stunning pieces from her own studio nestled on the ranch. To be surrounded by those “office views” is truly a dream! If I *had* to narrow down one piece I am particularly fond of the Comanche Necklace. Whenever I wear this piece I never want to take it off. Makes such a statement!

2. What is your favorite Summer vacation spot? Tell us your favorite spots in the area!

 If we are talking summer destination spot, then I would have to go with anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. My favorite spots in the area would be anywhere I can be outdoors and my go to spot is, Hico, Texas.  Here you’ll find me in the horse pasture! 

3. What is your favorite way to style your Madison McKinley Jewelry?

Jeans + white top! 

4. What is your favorite go to everyday outfit?

At this point it feels fail proof that I always end up in my vintage Levi's and a tee shirt. I'm all about cute comfort! 

5. What is your favorite cowboy hat?

My beige Stetson! 

6. What is your favorite go to cowboy boot company?

I'm a Frye girl, but for riding you will only catch me in Ariats!

7. English riding or western riding?

I grew up riding English and did competitive Three Day Eventing for as long as I can remember. I used to put my english saddles on our ranch horses, but riding in an english saddle around the ranch just wasn't the same as the dressage ring! So now I seem to be riding western more often than not!

8. Are you a wrangler girl or a levi girl?

Levis 100%. I might even have to name my next dog “Levi” as an ode to the brand. They are so good! 

9. Horse or donkey lol?

As much as I love donkeys because of their cartoon like features and quirky characteristics,  the answer is without a doubt horses. I truly believe being a horse lover is innate. I was born into this world desiring anything equine related and the obsession only grows more each day.😬 

10. Spurs or no spurs?

I lived in spurs during my eventing days. My show horse was an Irish TB, fresh off the tracks. He wasn't qualified to race due to his slow pace but made an excellent presence in the dressage ring! Needless to say this gentle giant wasn't moving anywhere without spurs! So spurs! 

11. How do you take your coffee?

Black with steamed almond milk, and on special occasions cream and honey!

12. What is in your travel jewelry bag?

I always pack thin gold rings, dainty gold necklaces and my gold hoops + my MM staples!

13. What is your go to lip balm?

Petal by Fresh. This color looks so natural and moisturizes better than most! 

14. Tell us why you love fashion/arts and give us a taste of your style!

I love the play of color, composition and the balance of good design. As a photographer, my job requires me to constantly be thinking about the fusion of these elements, which in return gives me such an appreciation for fashion. Fashion is creative, personal and requires bringing together different components to create a unified/cohesive end result. I love pattern play, color theory and the way art history has affected so much of the fashion you see today. 

15. What is your career choice and why?

I feel so fortunate to be pursing my passion. In college I bounced around from different majors but never felt peace about any of them until I discovered the BFA program at TCU. This revelation of discovering you can have a career in the arts was life defining for me. 

16. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I will have (hopefully) produced several equine series Fine Art books. Im currently in the works of my first ever coffee table book and plan to release this by 2018.

17. Where did you go to college and what was your major?

I went to TCU and couldn't have loved my college experience anymore than I did. I majored in studio art with an emphasis in Photography. Throughout my training we spent so many hours in the studio, but also in the books endlessly studying art history. 

18. What’s the best advice you ever received?

To fully know your target audience and who you are as a brand. Thank you Taylor Lord for the endless advice you have given me over the years! 

19. What would be your ideal working environment?

For me, I like to shake up my work environment to constantly stay inspired and keep my eyes fresh. Luckily, my job keeps life in motion for me, but I dream of working from a studio with incredible natural lighting. Somewhere I can set up still lives and play with light & props. 

20. What is the best horse name

I have always loved the name "Hawks Honor", but I'm biased because Hawk was my last show horse. Our pasture ponies in Hico are Moe and Duster. We have a ranch rule that the horses come with the names from their previous homes.

We love the way Kristen styled her Madison McKinley jewls! Here a few images from Kristen's journey in South Africa wearing her Madison McKinley Jewels! 

Kristen Kilpatrick x Madison McKinley

All the love, 

The Madison McKinley Team 

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