I work in an industry that thrives within cities - digital media never sleeps, always looking for the next big thing in marketing, needing a stack of Instagram worthy photos from the hippest bars/shops/art displays. The best fashion and street style is displayed on the streets of London, there's no doubt.
I have tried living in a city for years, but it just wasn't for me. I ended up feeling really anxious, overworked, partied out and believe it or not even though I was constantly around people I felt really lonely. So I left all that behind and moved back to a quiet town, with a house just on the edge of the countryside, friendly neighbours and childhood friends just 5 minutes down the road from me. But is the decision to carry on with a career in a) digital marketing, b) fashion realistic when you're happier spending time in fields walking dogs and socialising with farm animals?
sweater* SheIn // trousers H&M // shoes JustFab // bag* George at ASDA
I live in a small town in Hampshire. I'm lucky to be surrounded by wonderful views, plenty of fresh air and a community. I have also recently started two business ventures which focus on my passions: social media and digital content marketing for small businesses; and a personal styling business which helps real women look stylish and make the most of their wardrobes.
I couldn't be happier - both of my businesses are doing great, considering it has been 5 months since I set up these brands. And I put the success of my businesses down to a community - something that I have found to be a strong presence in small towns and countryside villages. Years ago it was all about the hustle and bustle of the big cities - everyone thought that by going to London you'll 'make it' with whatever venture you have. But I think the power of a small community is a lot stronger for small businesses - the same as in social media: I would rather have 200 followers who engage with every piece of contend I post, than 2,000 who don't really care about what I have to say.
The first thing I did was join local networking groups and attended events to meet the kinds of people I was hoping to work for - not only did I enjoy myself, but I also met some incredible individuals. Networking is one of my top referrers for new clients, and I cannot encourage small business owners enough - GO TO THESE EVENTS. Go to your local networking dinners, breakfasts, meet ups - you never know who you will meet through these events. My businesses are growing through word of mouth - both digital and traditional - and when you live in a small town, the news of a new business spreads fast. Along with self promotion, hard work, and partnerships my clients are happy and they're telling their friends about the services they received. Then their friends contact me to see how we can work together - and the cycle repeats.
I also found that the majority of other business owners are happy to help one another - it's not about competition. I don't see other creatives as competitors but rather really useful contacts to have to bounce ideas off, catch up and find out what they're doing, and talk about collaborations. This friendliness is something I missed when I lived in the city - I felt like most of the time there was a hidden agenda. Arguably, I did work in fashion which isn't the friendliest of industries.
Don't get me wrong, I love visiting big cities for work or for a weekend away - but what I always long for is the moment I walk through my front door, with no other noise than the dog barking in joy, and start planning my easy going weekend visiting boutiques in local villages.
What do you dream of? Is it a life surrounded by city lights, or the quiet of the countryside?
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