It’s easy to underestimate the influence of, well, influencing. There’s a stigma against those who always seem to have their phone in their hand, but Adriana Davalos, also known as @kclifestylegirl, has turned it into a thriving full-time gig. The media powerhouse is showing KC the value of social media and its future in marketing one collaboration at a time.
“Influencers are the new media platform,” Davalos says. “My brand is all about showcasing the Kansas City community, sharing how my life fits in it, what’s new, what’s trending, what’s hot and what’s relevant.”
Her content may include interviewing Travis Kelce at the NFL Draft or promoting one of her clients through a TikTok video. As a former co-host and producer of Fox4’s lifestyle segment Great Day KC, Davalos is well versed in keeping locals current on what makes their city great. Before settling in KC, she spearheaded lifestyle shows for local news stations in Wisconsin and North Carolina.
“There’s so much life to Kansas City,” Davalos says. “I love being embedded into the community. That’s the most important thing for me.”
Since leaving Fox4 to pursue social media marketing full time, Davalos has become a “digital host” through her platforms, comparing them to TV channels. Similar to other media outlets, influencers have access to resources and audiences that a local business may not. When the KC socialite teams up with a small local business, she finds a way to document their services and showcase it in a “digestible” way to her followers, all while having an intuitive idea of what’s going to catch the public’s eye.
When Davalos recently became the marketing manager for Ted and Pam Liberda’s Thai barbecue restaurant Buck Tui and their food truck Sandos Shack, she created the usual eye-catching food content but also started a new practice. She and Ted began documenting themselves visiting other restaurants and trying their food for fun, maybe even hanging out with the owners and getting an insider’s experience. It parallels something you might watch on Food Network, but shorter and without the production fuss.
The series may not sound revolutionary, but its easygoing and entertaining nature is a new way of inspiring connection and promotion between chefs and KC businesses. The videos have already resulted in menu collabs, including Ted’s Thai-inspired barbecue pizza for Buffalo State Pizza Co.
“It’s exciting, and I think this is the future of restaurants here in Kansas City—more collaboration and creating unique dishes that haven’t been created before,” Davalos says.
Breakfast Pizza: I get up in the morning and do a 7:30 am class at F45 Training in downtown OP. I love the people there. Then, I go to Copps Pizza and have either the French toast or the pepperoni lovers pizza.
Shopping: One of my favorite stores is The Chic Closet, specifically the one located in Threshing Bee in OP’s Prairiefire. They have a lot of trendy stuff, and they’re coming out with gamewear that I’m excited to get. I recently got these Chiefs bags that I’ve been wearing to the games, and I get a lot of compliments, says Adriana Davalos.
Work Meeting: I’ll meet up with Ted at Buck Tui. He’s not just my client; he’s my content partner. We’ll have a bite to eat—their Tiger Cry Beef is amazing—then we’ll go somewhere to film content.
Restaurant Highlight: Ted and I recently visited Taco Naco’s new Westport location. They have a huge taco platter with the most amazing variety. Chef Fernanda is from Mexico, so she has an authentic perspective but knows her community, so she creates her tacos specifically for Kansas City.
Shooting Content: The Plaza is just the perfect place to shoot photos or headshots and get the lifestyle look of enjoying KC and being out shopping and dining, says Adriana Davalos.