Katie Wafer is a proud fifth generation Colorado native who is deeply involved in the Denver community. At the age of 26, Katie founded Hydrate IV Bar, which offers vitamin-infused IV therapy treatments with three locations in the Denver Metro Area. Read on to learn how Katie has achieved success, with Hydrate IV Bar recently being nominated as 2017 Cherry Creek Chamber Business of the Year! She now has plans to expand to additional locations in 2019.
Q: What inspired you to do the work you do today? Was there a particular moment or experience that led you to this career?
A: I took a huge leap to follow a lifestyle I was passionate about - both personally and professionally. I was never afraid of failing because I knew I could pick myself back up. When I was stuck in a profession I didn't love, was working for someone else that didn't share my vision, and I lacked flexibility in my personal life, it was scarier than failing in my own start-up. I knew I could create an environment and an experience that both clients and employees would enjoy, while promoting health, wellness, and caring for others, which is important to me every day. There was never a particular moment that led me directly to starting my own business. I've always known I would create "something" and I trusted the timing when it began to fall into place.
Q: What are some of the things you do to support other women?
A: I have always been a member and leader of female groups, and still donate time to mentoring others. I was president of my sorority and continue to work with college chapters, as well as serving as a captain of female teams throughout my life, and I am still involved with alumni groups. I have two younger sisters and seven younger female cousins who I am extremely close with. My business has 28 females on our team who are powerful, like-minded, kind humans. Surrounding myself with women of all ages and backgrounds is uplifting.
Q: There's a young woman reading this who is on a path to discover where she belongs and how she can make an impact in the world. What advice would you give her to guide her next steps?
A: Embrace being a woman! Be confident in your own skin and don't apologize for any predisposed female personality traits that you may have. I have been called emotional by male colleagues, and I am not ashamed. I am emotional, passionate, and care deeply, and all of these traits have made me successful. Don't limit yourself by blaming others or feeling sorry for yourself. Put on blinders and be a doer. Focus on the good and work your ass off.
Q: Tell us about the worst leader you ever worked for and how that experience helped you become a stronger leader for the people in your life.
A: Oddly enough, the worst leader I had was a female manager. Rather than lifting up and supporting fellow females in a male dominated profession, she would threaten and belittle others. Women need to lift each other up!
Q: What's the #1 key to earning our worth as women in business?
A: Make it happen! Be a doer.
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