(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!
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!