Welcome to another edition of “People Pulse.” Always hoping to bring you interesting folks doing even more interesting things in the Orlando and Central Florida area, we present Kaitlyn Study. Kaitlyn is a connector, of sorts, and clearly has big affection for the City of Orlando as you’ll see later in the article. So, huge thanks to Kaitlyn for participating in our series and here we go….
Q. What brought you to Orlando, and how long have you lived here?
A. I came to Orlando to attend UCF and I’ve lived here for 8 years. My plan was to move somewhere else after college, but I got a job in Orlando, moved to downtown and stayed! Once I moved, I was able to see a different life than the “college life” and I loved all of the different communities; Thornton Park, Delaney Park, etc.
Q. What’s one of your favorite things about living in Central Florida?
A. I love the diversity that it brings. I mentioned the communities and that’s one thing that really drew me to it. I love visiting Park Avenue, Lake Eola Park, Thornton Park, and Ivanhoe Village. Each community has its own personality and they’re always offering something fun and new.
Q. Your @AroundDowntownOrlando Instagram has collected 30k followers in just over five years. To what do you attribute its growth, and what’s been your favorite part of managing this community?
A. It’s been all about consistency! We’ve shared a lot of great photos from others and I’m thrilled that it’s gotten to where it is. One of my favorite things is to see people reaching out to me on the account. A couple of people have said that they’ve moved from Orlando but they continue to follow the account because they can see what’s happening at home. Those are some of the best messages I’ve received!
Q. What originally inspired you to launch an Instagram specifically dedicated to the downtown Orlando area?
A. I lived in the heart of Thornton Park when I moved from UCF. I fell in love with the area, and wanted to share what I saw with others who lived here and for those who didn’t. I created the account to showcase the Orlando experience, what was happening locally, share great stories, fun spots, and every once in awhile I’d sprinkle in a little about local companies.
Q. What’s your approach to determining what content gets featured?
A. I’ve had a lot of help growing the accounts over the years with seeing what works and what people like. We tend to promote really great photos, places that people wouldn’t normally know about, and more recently (before COVID) events that were happening that we thought people would like to know about.
Q. Orlando has “grown up” so much in just a short time. What has been something you’re most surprised about?
A. All of the diversity – there’s something for everyone here! From theme parks to outdoor activities to coffee shops to get creative. Orlando has something for everyone!
Q. Do you have any “best kept” secrets for things to do in Orlando and the Central Florida area?
A. I love the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. My family lives in Bradenton and when they come to visit I’m going to take them on it. I also recently visited Cypress Grove Park in South Downtown with my husband. He and I brought lunch and sat by the water watching the boaters, kayakers, jet skis, and nature. It was so relaxing and I tend to forget that Orlando has a lot of great options to get outdoors.
Q. What’s one thing you’re always sure to do or share with someone’s visiting from out of town?
A. I love Mathers Social Gathering. Their Froze drink is 👌. One time I visited and they had an electric violinist – wow, was it was amazing. I also take them to the great restaurants Orlando has to offer. If it’s not too hot I like taking them by Lake Eola, too, and Winter Park and Park Ave – a must-see for visitors!
Q. OK – one of our favorite questions: What are your go-to and just-can’t-live-without food places in town?
A. I love Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa and ROYALTEA in the Mills 50 District, and Dixie Belle’s Cafe. When my family does come to visit we ALWAYS go to Dixie Belle’s. They have sweet potato biscuits and they’re amazing!
Q. What are some of your favorite places in Orlando to be inspired, or just to be motivated?
A. I love all of the coffee shops here in Orlando. I often frequent them and get inspiration from their decor, the people working around me and I just love the environment. Sometimes I like working by myself at home if I have a lot to do or meetings to attend because the quiet helps me concentrate, but if I’m feeling like I need extra inspiration or motivation, I surround myself with people who are creators like me.
Q. What is one thing you personally hope to achieve during the remainder of 2020?
A. One of my goals was to read more than 12 books a year, but with the quarantine, I’ve knocked that out of the park LOL. I want to continue sharing great content and diversify the content on the @AroundDowntownOrlando IG account. I would like to get the followers more involved and to have them nominate businesses I interview, showcase fun events coming up, or even share different opportunities across Orlando. I’m still working through a lot of ideas but I’d love to hear what other people want, too!
What did you think? Enjoy getting to know Kaitlyn? If you know someone who is “doing their thing” in the Central Florida area and might be a great consideration for an upcoming feature, drop a note telling us who and why using the following form: