Why Provo Is the Best Ever (as an entrepreneur and blogger)

Why Provo Is the Best Ever (as an entrepreneur and blogger)
November 20, 2014 Alison Faulkner

flamingo-fest
(Some babes rocking on the roof of the Utah Valley convention center for my Flamingo Fest)

Recently I was interviewed for a fun local news piece. They ended up calling it, “Marketing Magic, How to Make a Hashtag go Viral? Provo Gets It.”

I’m only in the video for a little bit at the end, but it’s very complimentary and I love the light it shines on Provo. I grew up in San Diego, and my family is still there, but I went to BYU and I would have never, even in a million years, thought I’d be living in Provo with my husband and children. But it’s more than that, not only am I living in Provo, I run my business in Provo and my husband does too.

So here’s the news pieces if you’d like to watch it!

You might remember that I love Provo as I danced with pride to promote it as a #1 city in America HERE and HERE.

Emily, the reporter who did the piece, said that Provo had a bad rep. And I guess that’s true. I was certainly a hater. But why was I so against Provo at first? Why does Provo get such a bad name? I think it mostly has to do with BYU. People call Provo, “Happy Valley.” Meaning it’s not reality. And for the most part that has been super true! But when you’re in college, immersed in that culture, that’s not a ton of reality anyway.

Personally I don’t love how homogenous Provo is. Provo mostly = young white mormons. But as the years have passed, it’s getting more diverse. Let’s not pretend that we’re in New York, no, but there are lots of nice, upstanding citizens who aren’t LDS and who are contributing to the community. I think in the past almost all the community leaders were, you know, young white mormons or old white mormons. Haha. There’s a bit more of an in-between now. Again! Not a HUGE one but it’s getting better. The religion is still super present, but there’s more gray where there was once only black and white.

Also living here as a college student and living here as a family are very different. People who lived here in college can’t imagine how I still live here. But honestly, it’s a different town! I don’t have too many major run-ins with the college kids unless it’s game day (which means shoot-me-in-the-face traffic) or unless I intend to see the college folk. I think we’re out and about at different times and there are for sure different haunts for the college kids. Just the other day my brother (a senior at BYU) was talking about a restaurant he frequents that I’ve all but never heard of. I asked if there are mostly college kids in there and after thinking about it he said, “yeah it’s like all people my age.” I thought that was super interesting.

And speaking of those college kids, it’s one of the reasons Provo is really great for me and for all small businesses. As a person who is running a business here, both The Alison Show and Club Alison, I have access to a fantastic and inexpensive labor force. Did you see all the boys working at Alison’s Feelings Fest? All college students. The DJ’s too. And the photographer? A fairly young professional as well.

And if you haven’t noticed, lots of bloggers you know live here. I said in the interview that I think a big part of that is because when you see someone firsthand build something, it’s easier to jump in and think you can build it yourself. So blogging and handmade businesses are running rampant here! Also because the blogging and social media industry is so big in Provo, there are lots of people to collaborate with. And any social media guru will tell you that well-chosen collaborations are one of the fastest ways to grow any social media platform. So it really is a mafia of sorts. Haha. And Susan Petersen is the Godfather.

Who does that make me? Like a henchmen? When I do campaigns I recommend other people I know to those brands. And if feel like I’m not a right fit for a campaign I suggest other people I’ve know (and see in person quite often in work-related functions) to them. It’s not that I never suggest people in other cities, it’s just that I live here so I know a lot of people here!

My husband, Eric, has a studio outside of our home, and runs his music production company there. We are only able to do this because Provo is so affordable, but still safe and a nice place to live. If we were in LA, which would be an awesome place for his music and my party-making, there’s no way we’d be able to have his office, Club Alison, and own our house.

I didn’t really think about it at the time, but we’ve taken huge risks working for ourselves. It’s been almost 2 years now, since my husband lost his job, and we decided to both work for ourselves. And this week we are finally getting private insurance. I know, we’re nuts, but we haven’t been able to afford it and now we can. I start crying with gratitude every time I think of it. I’m super proud of this, and I love how Eric and I both really feel like we are helping to build something. We are part of an up-and-coming city booming with creative talent.

So, that’s why for us, Provo is the best. Mayor John Curtis is FANTASTIC, you need to see him dancing at the Flamingo Fest, and remember when he had me come in his office just to chat about social media? And Courtney Kendrick or CJane, and others did a TON to bring the Rooftop Concerts to Provo.

Another person I think deserves a lot of praise and credit is Keneischa Johnson – who as her IG profile says is, “Promoting Urban Living and Live Music in Utah Valley.” I love her and love all she does.

Notice how I haven’t even mentioned the mountains, the ease of living, the good food or recreational stuff. Yes all that’s great too but let’s be real, I dance and work and dance and work. Hahaha. But there’s such a good music, art, and entrepreneurial scene, and those are the ones I’m most excited about and have the most experience with.

Anyway I just thought I’d share all that because I get asked about Provo a lot! Why so many bloggers live here, why I love it here and WHY I stay here. Let me know if you have any more Provo questions and I’ll do my best! I love you all and I hope your week is rocking!

xo
Alison

6 Comments

  1. Krystyna 2 years ago

    Girl, you looked fab! Way to represent Provo! I never thought we would live here and resisted it every step of the way, but buying our house in Provo this last summer has been the best decision my family has ever made. I agree that we could use more diversity (on all levels) but the more people keep promoting it, hopefully the more interesting people will come find their homes here!

  2. EHayes 2 years ago

    I noticed few years that a lot of my favorite blogs were based in Utah and then when IG blew up and I started my own handmade biz in Summer 2013, it was like EVERYONE was in UT and I felt like such a sore thumb ha. My dad is a Utah State alum, obviously if he didn’t move to Tahoe after he wouldn’t have met my mom and I wouldn’t exist, but sometimes I wonder if I could have been part of this whole blogging collective if I went to USU like he wished, ha. I definitely wish there was some sort of creative group out here in the Philly area!

  3. josie 2 years ago

    soooo true. as a byu student, i totally hated Provo and wanted to get out of here. but living here is not so bad, i might even have to say that i almost love it. 😉

  4. Katie H. 2 years ago

    So I pretty much picture this group of Mormon bloggers/entrepreneurs all in the same ward and when your visiting teacher says “let us know if there is anything we can do for you” you all say “actually, it would be great to collaborate on a big project/giveaway”. Ha ha ha. Provo sure has a LOT of talented people!!! I wish you would all move to Salt Lake!!! xoxo

  5. Daisy 2 years ago

    If you are gold, you will glitter sooner or later, no matter where you start with. Good personality and sharp mind do help you achieve your goals sooner. San Francisco Bay Area is really not affordable. $1800-2200/month rent for one bedroom apt. $10 lunch makes feel hungry at 3pm. $25/day parking for only early birds. I see pages of – – – on my bank statement with only a few +. Man, that is the real life.

  6. Gina Barfuss 3 months ago

    Actually, I think all of Utah county is simply a great place to do business.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*