Wichita over Austin: Why a Social Media Guru Boomeranged to the ICT
By Emily Younger-Barnwell
Want to find the latest and greatest food joints in Wichita, but don’t have the time to scroll social media or Google Maps? No problem!
Thanks to bloggers and social media influencers like Ashley Abedini, Wichita’s finest grub is just a click away.
Abedini, a 34-year-old entrepreneur, is the creative mind behind ICTBrokeGirls, a social media channel covering Wichita’s restaurant scene with an extra emphasis on mom-and-pop shops that may not always get the love they deserve.
“To the surprise of many not from here, Wichita is a truly diverse community. We have a variety of rich cultures in town. It’s important to showcase this and help give a voice to the small, locally owned spots that do a great job demonstrating this through their food,” explained Abedini.
While Abedini is a proud Wichita native, she once had her reservations about the Air Capital of the World, asking herself does the ICT have the culture, the vibrancy and the opportunities for young professionals? It took living in Austin, Texas for five years for her to find the clarity she needed.
“I knew Wichita had grown since I left, and there was an exciting entrepreneurial buzz around the city at this time that was hard to ignore,” she said.
The social media agency owner moved back to Wichita in 2021. To reacquaint herself with her hometown and make new friends, she started ICTBrokeGirls, a spinoff of her Austin account ATXBrokeGirls.
“I have not only explored so many great spots and have helped expose others to these spots, but I have created many memorable connections and relationships through this platform. It can be hard to make friends and establish connections as an adult, but my account has been a big reason I have been able to,” Abedini said.
Let’s not forget – the account allows her to taste some delicious dishes and refreshments! So how does she decide which places to visit and what to order?
Word of mouth and follower recommendations are a big help, according to Aberdini. As to how she selects what to eat, reviews are gold.
“I also ask the people working there what their favorite dish is. Some of the best recommendations come from those working there,” she said.
Since her return to Wichita, Abedini has fallen even more in love with her hometown and its residents – describing it as a Midwest destination.
“Wichita is a fairly large city without big city problems. Nothing beats the cost of living, traffic, and parking options here!” she exclaimed.
Don’t believe her? Read comments from fellow Wichita boomerangs in a recent ICTBrokeGirls social media post.
If you made it to the end of this blog, congratulations! Your reward? Abedini’s short list of Wichita restaurant/food recommendations.
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