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Meet Trailblazer Kimberly Dendy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Dendy.

Kimberly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I created SheEatsNDrinks about eight months ago while looking for a creative outlet for myself in hope of transitioning into a new season of life. My husband and I became empty nesters in May of 2016… I was a stay at home mom for over 18 years. Although I had a fullfilling career before I had children, these past years have been spent happily taking care of my family, raising children, involvement in their extracurricular activities and volunteering in many different areas. It was actually my daughter who mentioned that she thought I would be good at creating a food account since I take was already taking pictures of everything I ate. The account was created within just a couple of days after deciding on the “perfect” name.

I still have a lot to learn about growing a brand, what my goal is for this platform and deciding what I’m really trying to accomplish. Sharing what I’m eating is great, but my passions extend further than that. I believe that much more can be accomplished with SheEatsNDrinks.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has not been a smooth road! First of all… I am 51! Just keeping up with the technology, algorithms, trends in the influencer community, and all of the updates and changes within the different social media platforms can be a bit challenging. I’m still in a process of learning and deciding what will work for me and my goals and be trying not to copy what someone is doing. With all of these challenges, I am grateful that my two 20 year olds are always happy to teach and help when I am struggling. Additionally, when I started my SheEatsNDrinks account I also started a blog, which I was really proud of. Three months after putting an incredible amount of time, money and mental energy into it I was hacked and have not been able to get it back, and starting over has been extremely frustrating OR I’VE BEEN HESITANT TO START OVER. This has probably been the greatest struggle during this journey.

If I was to give advice to other women, I would say the same thing that I have always said to my own children… Just Do It! This generation has access to so many tools and information right in the palm of their hands. The time is now to start following your dreams and your goals. If you have an idea that you want to pursue, take one step a day. Not tomorrow, but today. If it doesn’t work the first time, make adjustments in your planning and keep going. I also specifically want to encourage older women to not let your age stop you from dreaming and pursuing those dreams and goals. Learn from the younger generation and watch what they are doing. It can work for you as well. I just have to say that I have had so much fun getting involved in this community, and I am having a blast getting to know the foodie community and meet the Influencers in the area… most of the them are much younger than me and respectfully call me mom! I love it and if you know me you know that I love my millennials. I love learning from them, and I love watching them live out loud so fearlessly. That wasn’t common when I was their age.

We’d love to hear more about SheEatsNDrinks.
My focus right now is growing my brand and really trying to determine what that looks like. I really enjoy sharing my love for food, but I am in the process of incorporating things that I am passionate about which includes continuing my service to the homeless and children that haven’t been given the best start in life. I’m hoping to incorporate SheEatsNDrinks in this focus.

Hopefully, what sets me apart is my age and perspective on community, service, faith and family. I want my voice to be different. Not better, just different.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
To the person looking to find a mentor, I would first encourage you to look in your immediate community, which could include your church or work place. Being a mentor for someone can be time consuming and difficult for a very busy person to take on. Make sure you are always kind, patient, and respectful of their time. When asking someone to mentor you, be sure to be concise in your questions, know what you are realistically looking for, and be willing to discuss what the commitment looks like.

In regards to networking, spend time with people that are doing things that match what your goals are. Join groups on social media and attend events in your area where experts are teaching. Always be willing to learn and share information.

I don’t have a mentor, but I have a circle of women that I trust to encourage me and tell me the truth in every situation. Those relationships have to be reciprocal and for me, this type of support system is vital to my personal growth.

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