BY BRIANNA YOTIDES
Ane Urquiola Lowe didn’t know it at the time, but the end of her four-year relationship was actually just the beginning.
Soon after the breakup, Urquiola Lowe, founder of Austin-based blog The Hungry Chronicles, discovered a new sense of freedom and excitement. She was inspired to take a break from work, get out of the house and discover new things.
The rough draft of what would become the Hungry Chronicles was a Tumblr blog Urquiola Lowe started in October 2011. In 2014, she moved the blog to a WordPress site and dubbed it Hungry Girl Austin. Then in May 2015, she decided to completely rebrand, and The Hungry Chronicles was born.
“Another reason that I started my blog was because I wanted a more creative outlet from my job, and I liked the idea of documenting my adventures through social media and a blog,” Urquiola Lowe said.
The Hungry Chronicles is broken down into three main sections: Hungry Girl Austin, My Hungry Life and My Hungry Travels.
Hungry Girl Austin highlights the restaurant and bar scene in Austin, incorporating written summaries of new “hot spots” and recent menu changes. It also features various topics like the healthiest restaurants in Austin, best places for brunch and Urquiola Lowe’s “favorite pink drinks in Austin.”
My Hungry Life is where Urquiola Lowe showcases some of her very own recipes and sponsored content, such as posts about making Cuban sliders with Kings Hawaiian buns and going to the X Games with an AT&T GoPhone.
My Hungry Travels documents her domestic and global travels. The section includes detailed itineraries of each of her trips and suggestions for the best things to see, eat and do in the various cities she has visited.
Urquiola Lowe’s website is a reflection of her assorted personal interests, from food and beverage to social media and travel.
“Through juggling so many elements that tie into what she loves, she’s starting to learn more about what she’s best at,” said Iker Urquiola, Ane’s brother. “She doesn’t stop when there is a new variable or road block introduced. She looks to learn more about it and how she can use it to her advantage.”
In fact, Urquiola Lowe was faced with a new variable fairly recently: A luxury travel agency, Strong Travel, offered her a position as an independent travel consultant, and she accepted. As a travel advisor, she will write blog posts on My Hungry Travels and encourage readers to let her help them with their travel plans.
“The blog and my social media presence definitely helped me get to this position, because many hotels, tour operators and visitors bureaus want to work with bloggers and influencers to help spread the word about travel opportunities,” Urquiola Lowe said. “Because I’ve grown an audience that sees me travel and is interested in travel, I have an excellent platform in which I can show them great places where they can stay and great things they can do.”
Urquiola Lowe said her favorite thing about running her own blog is the flexibility. She gets to work from locations around the world and collaborate with all sorts of businesses, from large national and international brands to local mom and pop shops. She’s worked with huge companies like Android and Schlotzsky’s and Austin-based brands like Beanitos and Skinny Pop.
“I choose to work with [local businesses] because I want to support the community, and it’s a great way for me to try out new places,” she said. “If I like the product or service, then I’m happy to share that with my audience.”
The authenticity conveyed in The Hungry Chronicles is something that Urquiola Lowe takes pride in. She only accepts opportunities to work with brands that she would use herself or recommend to others. When a company pays her to produce sponsored content, she engages with the company’s product just like any other consumer and then shares her experiences with her audience.
“Being able to infuse my creativity into what I do is very rewarding for me,” she said.
This unique and powerful creativity is exactly what has driven such a diverse crowd to The Hungry Chronicles site. According to Urquiola Lowe, 73 percent of her readers are female, and 27 percent are male. Twenty percent are ages 18 to 24, 44 percent are 25 to 34, and 20 percent are 35 to 44.
“For me, social media, especially Instagram, has been the best gauge of success and my growth and influence on others in the community,” she said.
So what’s next for The Hungry Chronicles? Urquiola Lowe plans on bringing on a beauty and fashion expert to round out more of the lifestyle aspect of the blog. She is most excited, however, about the endless potential of the travel advisory side of the business.
“I think traveling is incredibly fulfilling and a great way to open your eyes to other things that are going on in the world,” she said. “I’ve already established myself as an influencer of sorts, and now want to add additional value by helping people design incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences and share my passion of travel with them.”