I’m Kayleigh, and I’ve always been a writer.
It started early. In fifth grade, I wrote short stories and won a statewide poetry contest. But I soon turned my obsessive curiosity a into a job at my high school newspaper, which gave me an excuse to ask a million questions of anyone and everyone without apology.
At 19, I won a best documentary award by the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters for a 30-minute program on former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s crackdown on sexual predators. I studied the media’s portrayal of race and class and taught creative writing workshops at Rikers Island juvenile prison while studying at New York University.
My varied interests have taken me around the world and to work in many capacities, including as an email, web, and thought leadership copywriter for various corporate and federal clients.
A former stint as an incognito luxury hotel, spa and restaurant evaluator for Forbes Travel Guide was one of my most interesting experiences. Evaluating dozens of properties against really tough facility and service standards for coveted star ratings is pretty rewarding when it’s anonymous and fair.
I’ve covered lifestyle, food, and drink for The Daily Beast, Travel Channel, Travel + Leisure, Caribbean Travel + Life, Private Clubs, CNN.com, AAA Journey, Entrepreneur, The Latin Kitchen, Fox Business Network, the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Wine Enthusiast, Bust, AARP The Magazine, ABC News, the Washington Examiner, Wine & Spirits, and more.
My first book, Booze for Babes: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking Spirits Right, was aimed at empowering ladies to counter stereotypes by knowing their way around fine liquors. It was ahead of the market to be one of the first of many books celebrating female distillers, bartenders and entrepreneurs, and their contribution to drinking culture.
It’s only natural that my background in financial and real estate reporting has also led to investing in real estate, which has helped me develop the problem solving and analytical skills and abilities required to conquer complex regulatory and logistical development and construction problems. I’ve gained experience with fix-and-flips, new construction, commercial-to-residential building conversions, and unique land use propositions to capitalize on growing trends. My philosophy? That every project should be taken on with the intention to build the community and help residents and business owners grow and flourish within it.
I’m Kayleigh, and this is my world. Welcome.