‘Pennsylvania Junkie’: Penn State Alum Spreads State Pride On TikTok
With just over a quarter of a million followers and over 3 million likes on TikTok, Cat Janisko has created a unique social media persona as the “Pennsylvania Junkie.”
Based outside of Philadelphia, Janisko focuses on sharing the most exciting and unique parts of Pennsylvania by traveling to historical locations and mom-and-pop shops across the state, comparing different regions of the state, and sharing Pennsylvania-themed humor on TikTok and Instagram with her community.
Janisko grew up in Richland Township, a small town in western Pennsylvania. She came from a family of engineers, doctors, and nurses, but Janisko knew she was different.
Naturally inclined to music and communications, Janisko attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, to study vocal jazz. However, following two years in the program, Janisko decided to move back to Pennsylvania to study broadcast journalism at Penn State.
For Janisko, Penn State was a “creative space” for her to explore freelancing and digital content creation. Broadcast journalism and the Bellisario College of Communications allowed her to express her creativity and push the boundaries of what she could accomplish.
“I’ve always been a very creative, musical person,” Janisko said. “So, when I got to Penn State, I finally felt like I was at home. I felt a part of something.”
Upon graduating in 2013, Janisko worked as a news anchor, reporter, and even a marketing manager on QVC selling Dell products. While at QVC, Janisko created Catsy Lu Beauty, a cosmetic company.
Janisko began to post beauty-related content on her TikTok account in support of Catsy Lu Beauty. But, it didn’t take long for Janisko to start sharing another passion of hers on the platform.
“I’ve always been a geek and nerd about the state of Pennsylvania,” Janisko said. “I’ve always loved traveling the state, and I’ve lived all over the state, so it was very natural for me to have this account and go in this direction in my life.”
One of Janisko’s Keystone State-related series, “PA Things I Can’t Get Past,” has garnered millions of views on TikTok. Videos include topics including difficult Pennsylvania town pronunciations and the ongoing debate between Sheetz and Wawa lovers.
Janisko is now a regular content creator on the platform and has earned many brand opportunities and sponsorships that have helped her grow her platform.
“As far as content, some of it’s sponsored content, so I get contacted by brands and companies to do videos for them,” Janisko said. “The other side of it is I just go where my heart calls me to go. Sometimes I’ll see an ad or see something while out adventuring that I want to cover, so I just go to wherever my heart is leading me, and people either jump on board or they don’t.”
Although Janisko focuses on sharing Pennsylvania and its culture with her followers, she also discusses spirituality and what aligns with their souls. She urges her followers to listen to their hearts and explore what truly fulfills them.
“I want people to understand from this that as long as you lead with heart in your life, everything else falls into place,” Janisko said. “When you lead with heart and you focus on abundance in other areas of your life outside of your career, the money falls right into place.”
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