I’ll Make It…Anywhere3

Posted by Deirdre // 03-15-2013


A lot of us feel that we’re tied to the city or its immediate surroundings because of our work. This company shows that even if you’re in advertising or digital marketing or technology (really, they’re all kind of the same now), you can do it from a place like Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Business Week called Blacksburg the Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids in 2011 and if you read the piece it sounds amazingly compelling, with great schools and lots of green space and outdoorsy activities, as it sits right between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. It’s home to Virginia Tech and thus has become a hotbed of start-ups because graduates are reluctant “to leave the natural beauty of the New River Valley,” as CNN points out in its Top 100 Places to Live and Launch. Granted, this piece was done in ’08, but the guys from Modea are graduates of VT and are still there doing pretty well in ’13. And the video above is compelling from a work environment standpoint, no?

This post wasn’t supposed to be all about Blacksburg, VA as I don’t expect many people to move there, though it does sound pretty great (but very white). It’s a suggestion to look beyond the usual when you’re doing that LinkedIn search for jobs around the country. When I lived in San Francisco I had the lamest job EVER and couldn’t stand many of the people I worked with. They were very nice and in fact too nice for this caustic city kid (I found this to be true of SF in general, btw but this was before kids so who knows how I would feel now), and I wonder if I would’ve stayed if I’d worked in a place I felt was more exciting and interesting.

Restaurant 6th & Vine in Winston Salem

Restaurant 6th & Vine in Winston Salem

On that note, I once visited Winston-Salem, NC  for business and was wowed by both the style and energy I felt walking around. Granted, the sense that something is different than what you might expect from a run-of-the-mill southern town comes from the fact that a big global tobacco company is there (yeah, Winston and Salem, get it?) and people from around the world work there because of it. But with that influx of cultures – similar to what you find in a college town, in a way – you get more interesting people and businesses to serve them. In addition, you get municipal elements like parks and schools and business improvement districts, which Winston-Salem was benefitting from, having just revived a bad part of town into a walkable arts-focused neighborhood.

It is something to think about. Here’s Business Week’s list for 2013, topped by a suburb of Cleveland called Solon, and CNN’s latest list topped by Carmel, Indiana. You’re saying, “you’re kidding, right?” aren’t you? Well, I had one of the best meals at one of the coolest restaurants (and this is when I was like 27 and even more obnoxious!) in Birmingham, Alabama. And yes, I might move to a town just because it has a good restaurant, or at least talk about doing it.

I’m always completely impressed by people who just research cities around the country – and actually move! Tell me, are these kinds of things enough to lure you, or at least make you wonder?



One Response

  1. November 25th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

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