We had the good fortune of connecting with The AZ Hikeaholics and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The AZ Hikeaholics, what do you attribute your success to?
We started The AZ Hikeaholics after Lauren lost her job in March of 2020. We loved to hike, but started to hike more and more on the weekends. We decided to create the account to share our hikes, recommendations, and to encourage more people to get outside. The outdoors can be an intimidating place, especially for first timers. We hope to be a resource for everyone and anybody. And just as important, we want to educate people on Leave No Trace principles and the importance of being a good outdoor steward. The most important factor behind our success is how authentic we are. We don’t just share a photo with no context behind it. We educate, encourage, and hopefully inspire people. We are also realistic with our followers. We both work 8-5 jobs during the week and explore on the weekends, use PTO, or when we have a holiday. We also don’t try to sugarcoat the outdoors because sometimes it can be rough!
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.
At our core, we consider ourselves hikers. Hiking is our origin story, but now we do and share a lot more than just hikes and we use our creative lens to capture our experiences to share with others. We’ve never consider ourselves photographers but have seen success in sharing quality photos with quality information on how others can get the same experience as us. We are most proud of our growth as an influential account in the regional hiking community, and are also proud of the growth of our creativity and artistic talent to capture the adventures we do with photos and video. We are extremely excited to keep exploring and experience new places and old places in new ways!
It has not been easy, especially in the beginning when trying to grow our account. However, we stayed true to our principles and the vision we had of sharing helpful and inspiring information. In social media, it’s very easy to see the success of others and try to measure your own against that. Admittedly, we have struggled with that at times and have to remind ourselves why we have our account in the first place. When we started to see serious growth, we also started to come across online bullies and trolls. At first it was hurtful, we took it personally, and wanted to push back on everything. We realized it wasn’t healthy and that the best solution is to just delete the negative comment. Along the way, we’ve learned that success comes from being consistent, staying true to our brand, and to not forget why we are The AZ Hikeaholics. We feel grateful to be able to do what we do and are happy to have a community interested in hearing about our adventures and our advice.
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?
We would take them to Lost Dutchman State Park to hike and maybe camp for a night if that’s their thing too. The Superstition Mountains are one of our favorite places to be in Arizona with so many great hikes in a beautiful desert landscape combined with the rugged mountains and canyons. After hanging out in the Superstitions we’d take them to dinner at Blanco Tacos, one of our favorite restaurants. Next, we’d take them to Sedona for the day and would spend our time hiking and maybe take an off road Jeep tour with a local tour guide. While in Sedona, we’ll take our friend to eat at Hideaway House. We’ll plan to stay the night in Sedona or Flagstaff, making sure to take the 89A up the rim to Flagstaff. If we are in Flagstaff at night, we’d definitely visit the Lowell Observatory. The next morning we’d head to the Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim. We’d spend the day there marveling at the beautiful canyon and maybe hike a little below the rim. Once back in the Phoenix area we’d take our friend to either a local brewery or another Fox Concept Restaurant. After all of the adventuring we would take them through Old Town Scottsdale to check out the local shops.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We don’t think we would be where we are today without the encouragement, support, and love we provide to each other. We’ve both been highly collaborative with each other’s creativity, vision, and strengths. Additionally, we have taken on different responsibilities behind the scenes that have been pivotal to our success and it doesn’t feel like The AZ Hikeaholics is a product of one person’s efforts. We feel that finding that shared commitment and effort has encouraged us to continue to dedicate our time and effort. And equally important to highlight is the mutual support we provide each other through the challenges and struggles. We are more than just an influential hiking and exploring account, we are a couple and The AZ Hikeaholics is a product of what we love to do together.
Other: TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZM8NE2mE9/