It is Launch Week here at Think Creative and that means exciting new content and 7 days of Giveaways. Welcome to Day 2. Make sure to come back to see what each new day has in store. I love that I live and work in Kansas City, so it only seemed appropriate I spend a whole day explaining why.
1. It’s My Hometown
I grew up in a small suburb of Kansas City, Edwardsville. I loved it then and I love it now. It has been fascinating to watch things expand and change over the years. Where crops once grew and little old houses stood is now a race track, a professional soccer stadium and shopping. Edwardsville is a small little town tucked between the Kaw River and KCK. Even though there is only one stoplight, it doesn’t feel like the middle of nowhere. Now I live on the opposite side of state line and it has been an adjustment seeing street lights at night, but it is still home and ultimately it is still Kansas City.
2. Small Town Feel with Big City Amenities
There aren’t many places that are populated by several million people (source) that you can still manage to get from one end of town to the other in 30 minutes or less. I personally love driving, but I hate traffic. Having the music up with my windows rolled down on a hot day cruising is my favorite.
3. Everyone Knows Everyone
If you know 10 people, they could likely connect you to thousands of others and many of their connections are already connected as well. No one is a stranger here and what a comforting place to be. Probably one more reason I am done networking and focusing more on creating meaningful relationships.
4. Lower Start Up Costs (And Living Expenses)
Let’s be real. How lucky are we that living and owning a business is affordable here. We are so fortunate to have access to so much for a fraction of what it would cost on a coast.
5. Midwestern Values
This immediately came to mind, however, when I started to write why it effects the way I live and work it made me reflect on what Midwestern Values are anyway. After a bit of research I came up with a million different answers to the same question. Let me be clear, when I say I love living here because of Midwestern Values I mean because of the people. In no other place on earth have I found the same amount of care, transparency, honesty, hard working, and down to earth people. Ok sure, you are probably thinking, say that you middle of nowhere Kansas girl… but I have been around the block, traveled to dozens of countries and every corner of the U.S. Though I love traveling and meeting new kinds of people no other place on earth is the same.
6. Filled with Arts & Culture
New York has Broadway. L.A. has Hollywood. Kansas City has Art. There are countless museums, outdoor plazas and of course a city of fountains. You can get your thrift or fine art on a First Friday. See a Ballet, Symphony or Opera. Get a good bite from some of the most amazing chefs. Pig out on BBQ. See the “stars” at Starlight. Enjoy a concert, cattle show or monster truck race. Become a fan of Major League Baseball (Go Royals), NFL (Chiefs), Professional Soccer (Sporting), Racing (KC Speedway), or cheer on one of the amazing college teams (even if they are a little farther than KC, I still bleed purple and love K-State).
It is so ingrained in the culture that the mayor recently announced the Kansas City Creates initiative.
7. Bubbling Creative & Tech Start Up Community
There is so much talent right here in Kansas City. Artists line the halls of many amazing ad agencies and creative companies. There are leaders in the architecture industry – I may be biased, my husband is a Landscape Architect at Populous and my sister just finished her masters in Interior Architecture and Product Design. The tech startup scene is bubbling with new companies popping up left and right. We are now even referenced as part of the Silicon Prairie – which also happens to be a news blog to which I occasionally contribute.
8. The History
Kansas City was officially incorporated in 1853 and has had a rich history in every sense (source). Amelia Earnhart spent her childhood here before learning to fly (source). Ernest Hemingway once worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star (source). Walt Disney learned to draw at the Kansas City Art Institute (source). Eminem started rapping in his KC high school (source). Eric Stonestreet raised pigs and attended Kansas State University before making his big break into Modern Family (source). Kate Spade grew up here long before her fashion icon brand hit full stride (source). Sure for many of these people (and thousands more) Kansas City was just part of the picture, but these are examples of how big you can dream and how far it can go. Sure I am no rapper, but I know an opportunity when I see one.
9. Central to Doing Business
Kansas City is located in the heart of the Midwest. It is a 3-hour flight to one coast or the other. It makes communicating across time zones that much easier. Sure we don’t have an ocean or mountains, but we have beautiful rolling plains.
10. Educational Opportunities
I have always been an advocate on continuing education. There are absolutely opportunities to go back to school, but there are also great conferences, lectures and events to re-spark your inspiration. In fact I am attending and covering an event for the American Marketing Association of Kansas City. Join me June 18th for a Brand New Loyalty Paradigm.
11. Focused on Giving Back
I have met so many people who are more than willing to give their shirt off their back to help others. I am a huge advocate for the Junior League of Kansas City, MO (JLKCMO) and all that they do. In fact, they have contributed more than $16.2 million dollars and 2.3 million volunteer hours back to Kansas City. I am so proud to be a part of this community of women and super excited for this year’s largest fundraiser, Holiday Mart.
12. Family & Friends
No matter what I get out of Kansas City it always comes back to one central thing. The friends I have developed here mean the absolute world to me. My family has been my biggest supporters and backs me no matter what. Home is where your heart is, and mine is under lock and key right here in KC.