We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Irwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberly, what do you attribute your success to?
I often get asked for tips on how to grow a following organically or how to become a popular “influencer.” While I am still trying to crack the secret code myself, my biggest piece of advice is to be yourself. The whole idea around influencers originated because marketers found that instead of creating a fictional character or persona that would match a target audience, they could use a real person who speaks to their target audience who has also already gained that audience’s trust and has a loyal following. I didn’t set out to be an influencer or anything of the sort. In fact, I didn’t even like instagram when it came out and it was like pulling teeth to get me to create one. This endeavor all started with a passion for writing. I interned with Yelp.com’s Denver community manager and often wrote newsletters highlighting local businesses. When I left that role, I decided to keep writing through a blog. I paired that with my love for local businesses and networking with other community members and along came @denvershewrote. Timing was everything and with the onset of local influencers, I just networked at PR events and continued doing what I love and talking to people and it all fell into place. Anyone can see when you are being genuine. If you put your heart into something and talk about things you really care about and what you are passionate about, and put that online for other people to relate, then you will be successful in whatever way you are meant to succeed. You won’t be successful if you try too hard to make something work by being someone that isn’t you. That is the best advice I can give. Just be yourself!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been one to have many interests and hobbies. Because of this I had many people tell me to focus on one thing and do that one thing well. Well, I could never do just one thing. My mind doesn’t work that way, and had I listened to that, I wouldn’t have the exciting busy life that I do. I always wanted to be a hair stylist. My childhood dream was to work at cost cutters and every one of my dolls became a shining example of that dream. As I got older my interests expanded. I took tons of photography, art and writing courses in college to channel my creativity in different ways. I had a lot of interest in advertising and marketing. I was a good student in college and graduated Cum Laude from CU Denver with a Bachelors in Communication. I interned with Yelp as their Marketing Intern and shortly after went back to school to get my hair license because I couldn’t stifle that love for doing peoples hair making people feel good about themselves. I wanted to do it all! After getting licensed, I started doing hair and marketing. As if it weren’t enough having two jobs, I added my blog onto it. I love food and love to explore Denver. I am a huge people person, so when it came to attending events, networking, checking out new restaurants with new people, I was into it. I started my blog with a friend who worked for a PR agency. She taught me about that world and though she decided blogging wasn’t for her, I carried on with @denvershewrote / DenverSheWrote.com until it evolved into what it is today. So now I blog, visit restaurants, write about cool hotel stays, share beauty tips, cut people’s hair, do people’s makeup and have a healthcare social media strategist job on top of all of that. Each thing builds off another. I feel confident in sharing beauty tips and tricks with my followers because I am in the industry! I am able to help my fellow salon colleagues with their marking and branding because I live in that world to. I get to have the fun hobby of eating, traveling, networking and adventuring on the side and also get to write about it. If I had focused one thing so I could do one thing well, I would have missed out on so much and I would be soooo bored. Do what you love, and figure out how you can be successful doing it. I am nowhere where I want to be. I am still working out how to make everything a solid career, but I look for opportunities to learn and grow along the way. That is my career path and how I got to where I am. Can you tell I like writing…

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a fun question and one I get asked a lot by visitors or followers on my instagram who are having guests come into town. There is so much to fit into this one question, and this answer changes constantly. A lot of my favorite spots have closed because of the pandemic which is sad. So there are places that would have been included on this itinerary that are no longer. But to start… I would divide the week up by area. We would need a day in the mountains, a day in Downtown Denver, a day in Boulder, a day in Fort Collins and a day in Golden. I am missing a lot I know, but these are my top favorite spots.

Mountains: My go to mountain destination is Breckenridge/Frisco. I would do a brewery tour up there and make sure to hit up Outerrange, Highside, Broken Compass and Breckenridge brewery. I would do the short hike to see the Troll in Breckenridge then grab a bloody mary and huevos rancheros at The Blue Moose. I would do the window shopping thing, being sure to stop into Marigold’s Funnk and Junk, the Vintage store next door and The Goods for some new Colorado-ey shoes. I would grab lunch at The Canteen and eat anything on their menu, OR stop into Eric’s Downstairs for cold brews and their house smoked wings. I would ride the gondola and take a scenic stroll or hike. Feed the fish next to Ollie’s with the 25-cent catfood machine and then go to dinner at Rootstalk and have any one of their delicious house made pasta dishes with some wine. The next day I would wake up, drive to Silverthorne for breakfast at Sunnyside. Go back to Frisco for a day of kayaking on Lake Dillon. I would grab lunch back in Silverthorne at The Dam Brewery. It is a classic stop and I am obsessed with their house-made beer mustard. You must get the pretzel bites with mustard. YOU MUST! Do some shopping in downtown Frisco. Then for dinner make a reservation at 5th Avenure Grill and get the shrimp appetizer and the pistachio crusted trout. YUM. I would rest my head at Frisco Mountain House on VRBO or other like rentals or Hotel Frisco if you don’t want to spend a lot.

For a day in Downtown Denver I would be overwhelmed by the options. I would do an outside day and sit at Commons Park or maybe hit up a Rockies Game. I would do brunch at Snooze at Union Station or Thirsty Lion. Walk around the town, maybe play a game of miniature golf at Urban Putt. Go shopping in the Dairy Block. Grab drinks at Run for the Roses. Maybe hit up one of the many museums or the brand new MeowWolf. I would then have dinner at one of MANY places because I just cant pick… The Merchantile, Safta, The Kitchen, Tamaki Den, Palace Arms, EDGE, Stout Street, Blue Sushi, La Loma, Jovannina’s Broken Italian, STK or The Original. I am sure I am forgetting LOTS of amazing places. Day two I would hit up the highlands/Tennyson for food and shopping. Wendell’s for breakfast, then shopping all the shops. Postino, American Elm, The Family Jones, Avanti, Ale House, Linger, Little Man or Uncle. There are SO many places I would rest my head. I cannot even name them all, but my FAVORITE downtown hotel would have to be Hotel BORN.

Fort Collins: Can you tell there is a trend here of shopping and eating… Fort Collins has Horsetooth reservoir which you can kayak or paddle board on. There is tubing down the Puter River and a ton of hikes you can go on. I would grab apps at Austins and drinks at the Sunset Lounge on top of the Elizabeth Hotel. I would book a stay at the Elizabeth Hotel as well. For food I would hit up Penrose or The Emporium for dinner. After dinner drinks at Social or Elliot’s Martini Bar.

Boulder: Wake up with a morning hike at Chataqua Park or through the Boulder Canyon. Hit up the local farmers market. Take a free fly fishing class at Front Range Anglers. Grab a brecky sandwich to go at Salvaggios on the hill or wait in line at The Buff. Shop your heart out on Pearl St. Eat at Bar Taco, The Corner Bar, Hapa, Rosetta Hall or West End Tavern. Sleep at The Hotel Boulderado or if you’re fancy stay at the the St. Julian. Go bar hopping at Press Play, License No. 1 and the Sundown Saloon. OR you could say screw it to all of that and hop right outside of Boulder to stay at the Niwott Inn and Spa, get afternoon tea, a massage and rest your head in any of their rooms with a frieplace. Grab dinner down the block at 1914 and be well.

Golden: Book a stay at either Hotel Golden or Table Mountain Inn. Both are located right off the main street. Take a hike in the morning or a long walk down by the river. You can also tube the river if it is warm out. Check out the many museums or take a tour of the Coors Brewery Facility. Eat breakfast at The Table Mountain Grill and order the fried chicken and biscuits. Do lots of shopping up and down mainstreet. Grab a beer and listen to live music all day at the Buffalo Rose. Enjoy their patio and their cocktails. Get cupcakes around the corner at Gold Mine Cupcakes. End the day with dinner at Bridgewater Grill.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Though I don’t believe there is any ONE person who got me to where I am today when it comes to @denvershewrote, I must give a shoutout to Tiffany Nieslanik. Tiffany was my first boss after graduating with my undergrad. She hired me on as a Marketing Intern for Yelp and then I became what they now refer to as a Brand Ambassador. Many of us applied for the internship and she saw something in me that made her choose me. She quickly became a mentor for me. She taught me the basics of marketing, shared her love for all things local and pushed me to be a better writer. It is because of her kindness, encouragement and love for marketing and events that I took the path into marketing that I did. She believed in me as I started my career and that was super rewarding. With so many types of managers I have had along the way, I feel truly grateful to have had someone so supportive in my very first years in marketing when I really needed to build my confidence.

Website: denvershewrote.com

Instagram: denvershewrote

Linkedin: Kimberly Irwin

Facebook: denvershewrote

Image Credits
@elliegrace_photography and @denvershewrote

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