We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryley Fredericksen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryley, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business definitely did not start as, “I want to start my own business.”
I always say the three ingredients that made gradgirls happen were: 1. I wanted to find a space where I could showcase my very talented female friends 2. If I find out a business is female-owned, I can’t help but research the crap out of it. I wanted to have an outlet of what I have been teaching myself. 3. I feel so lucky to have had a lot of guidance through the end of high school, through my undergrad, and beyond. I started to realize not everyone is so lucky. I wanted to enable a community to be each other’s big sisters in these stages of life.
One day it just dawned on me I could fulfill all of these things through starting a blog/community/media brand, so that’s how gradgirls came to be.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I won’t even try to fool anyone, I am in the very, very beginning steps of my career and work.
Graduating during the beginning and height of the pandemic was not ideal. After months of the dryest highering season since the 2008 recession, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I started freelancing.
I took on somewhat random clients who were willing to pay me to run their company/brand/business’s social media presence. Throughout this experience, I realized how badly I wanted to do things my way and have an outlet that reflected my creative aesthetic.
As I was freelancing I also started to realize how much help I needed in launching my professional career. Transitioning out of 16+ years of school into working is not easy. I found myself leaning on my friends and family much more for guidance and advice. I was reminded how capable and talented the women around me are.
I kind of mushed all of these variables together and started gradgirls, an online blog, and a community that teaches inspires, unites, and encourages women.
After continuing to freelance and work on gradgirls for many more months, I was finally hired for a full-time, college degree required, yearly salary, big girl job doing medical sales.
I really like my job, I appreciate mentorship and stability a whole lot more than I did before the world fell apart. I love that I can use gradgirls as my creative outlet while also making a living doing something I believe in and am good at.
I would just encourage everyone, especially other women like me to seek out guidance, be honest about your struggles with people you trust, and be creative in finding a way to stay relevant and productive even when you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, or want to do.
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?
You pretty much cannot go wrong in Denver, but the season is the most important variable in planning a fun-filled week.
More people than I would like to admit think that Denver is in, or right near the mountains but that is highly false. Denver is 30 minutes to 1 hour away from the foothills, but it would take you another hour minimum to get anywhere significant in the mountains.
With this being said, I would definitely split the trip into two parts, staying in Denver, and staying in the mountains. We will start off in Denver so that yall can get used to the altitude before we lose even more oxygen in the mountains.
As for food, we would definitely need to hit Little Man Ice Cream, Happa Sushi, Happy Camper (pizza/bar), Cheba Hut (marijuana-themed sandwich shop), Snooze (brunch), Costa Vida (Mexican food), and if you’re willing to drive a little while, Fika Coffee House in Parker, CO and Beau Jo’s Pizza in the foothills. Once you make it into the mountains definitely try to stop at THE Breckenridge Brewery in Breck.
We would start the activities by entering a dispensary. Everyone is always so curious yet nervous to see what’s going on inside those things! It’ll be an adventure just to check one out. The bud-tenders are used to out-of-state visitors checking things out. Next, we would go to Casa Bonita. I can’t explain it, all I am going to say is to get ready for some crappy food and top-notch entertainment. If any sports are in season it’s always fun to go to a Rockies game or whatever! Wash Park is a great part of the city to hang out in, the zoo and aquarium are always fun too! If we had time I would also try going to one of the many major breweries near by such as Coors. And most importantly, hopefully, the stars will align and we are able to go to a concert at Red Rocks.
In the mountains, my favorite thing to do is roam around a mountain town, my favorites are Breckenridge, Buena Vista, and Grand Lake. I would recommend avoiding the super famous ski resorts like Vail, Aspen, and Telluride because they’re just not as special. In the mountains, there is always something to do outside no matter what the season. We can go camping, hiking, skiing/snowboarding, dog sledding, snowshoeing, fishing, or my personal favorite, tubing.
Most importantly, I would want to make sure my buddies are eating and drinking enough so that we can do the maximum amount of fun stuff! The climate in Colorado is gnarlier and more dangerous than you would think.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out all of the women who have gone before me and made my path to success more accessible. This includes women like my older sister, Jane Fonda, my mom, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women I have nannied for (you know who you are ;)), etc.
Instagram: @gradgirls_ @ryleyfred
Youtube: gradgirls, ryleyfred
Other: Podcasts on spotify and the podcast app are under “gradgirls”