We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaleigh Kirkpatrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaleigh, what do you attribute your success to?
In my opinion, the most important factors behind my success and brand are attributed to two things: hard work and the constant pursuit of knowledge. At the Shameless Tourist, our core values are being “Shamelessly Responsive, Shamelessly Trendy, and Shamelessly in Tune with the Details.” Responsiveness is absolutely key in any business and although it sounds simple enough, being responsive and working hard to ensure this communication is consistent, has really been vital to my success. The second value “Shamelessly Trendy” actually refers to the constant pursuit of knowledge; I absolutely think it is imperative we follow the travel trends, continue to learn more about the destinations we sell, and anticipating client expectations. Our last core value, “Shamelessly in Tune with the Details” refers again to hard work and attention to detail, which is absolutely imperative in this business!
What should our readers know about your business?
I receive a lot of comments on the business name “The Shameless Tourist.” I wanted something fun and vibrant as a brand and after a trip to the UK and Ireland a few years ago, I came up with the name. The Shameless Tourist refers to no matter how hard we may try to “live like a local” when we travel, inevitably the city map sticking from our purse or the selfies we take with iconic landmarks show we are “not in Kansas anymore.” During the aforementioned trip to the UK, I decided, to ditch my preconceived notion of trying to blend in and just bought a selfie stick that I proudly toted, Shamelessly being a Tourist.
But on a more serious note, I am most proud today of the team we are building. I started off as a one woman show, and we have now grown to four women and counting. It is incredibly rewarding to see the business take shape. I’ve also recently expanded my business by representing a 75′ Sailing Yacht based in the Caribbean and owned by a local family. I love the ability to recommend such an amazing vacation– plus have special access to exclusive pricing for our clients aboard @sailsurleau.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I know I’ve mentioned this in articles before, but you can find me at Joe T Garcia’s 8 out of 7 days of the week. At one point I went there so often, if I left my house at 5:30PM, my phone predicted the traffic route! But, if I was showing a friend around the city, it would certainly include lunch at Pak-a-Pocket, BBQ at Cooper’s, tacos at Salsa Limon, a nice dinner at Del Frisco’s, and cocktails at the Usual or Wicked Butcher (I am a sucker for a great hotel bar). Between all of these great meals out, I would make sure to wander the streets of the Stockyards, take a class at Indigo Yoga, a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, and before dinner at Del Frescos we definitely need to make a stop off at DryBar!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout out to my fellow Shameless Tourist Team– Stephanie Wilson, Tara Cress, and Hilary Hamilton, – they all are the biggest part of our success! I also have to mention my parents for my work ethic and my husband for putting up with my long hours. Next, of course my clients, Tanglewood Moms, and Fort Worth Woman— without all of the referrals we wouldn’t have the business that we do. Lastly, I would have to mention my Mentors– Cara Goldsbury and Debbie Bush. Cara was my first mentor and lives in San Antonio, Texas; She certainly taught me most everything I know in this business and I would be no where without her. Debbie is a more recent mentor and has finessed my talents, teaching me to hone my skills. Both of these women have been in the travel industry over 30 years, so I am immensely lucky to have learned from them.
For the one with just myself, please credit the Scout Guide Aspen, Brooke Casillas Photography.