I grew up in a little town called Springport, Michigan. It had one blinking red stoplight, one tiny library, one tiny gas station, a bank, a pizza place and a small public school. After I and 54 classmates graduated from Springport High, I went to college at Cedarville University. If you've never heard of Cedarville, you're not alone. It's a speck-sized Ohio village surrounded by breezy wheat fields and rabid Ohio State fans for many square miles in all directions. After I graduated from Cedarville, I moved up to Millersburg, Ohio. With a population of just over 3,000 and its very own Walmart, Millersburg felt like the big city.
Well, maybe not the big city, but it was certainly larger than any village I had yet lived in. You definitely couldn't see as many stars at night, and around five o'clock each day, the cars and buggies get backed up at three blocks away from town.
All joking aside, I really enjoy living in small towns. And I really LOVE doing web design and development in a small Amish country town. Here's why:
- Holmes County contains one of the largest Amish populations in the world. Nearly every day from my office, I can hear the clip-clopping of buggies rolling by. I've had the privilege of serving several Amish clients, and there's nothing quite like it. Amish business owners are one part humble, one part ambitious, and their attitude to do things right the first time is infectious!
- Because there is such a large Amish population in this region, we also have a huge tourism base. I can drive in just about any direction and see a bed and breakfast, an Amish restaurant, a dry goods store and much more. This area is constantly growing economically. It didn't even stop during the 2008 recession. Tourism and the Amish hardworking mentality just kept the local economy plugging along.
- When every business has its own hitching post, complete with recent horse "leavings", there's not much for pretentiousness on the part of business owners. Every business I have had the privilege of serving here brings its own brand of humility to the table, making the client-designer relationship so much sweeter.
- Family is a big thing here. Parents and relatives show up to support their kids in football, soccer, volleyball and basketball. Businesses generously support scholarships at the local fair. On any nice day you can hop on the Holmes County Trail and see families spending time together. Small towns like this one seem to have an easier time keeping their priorities straight.
- There are churches and non-profit ministries everywhere. There are always great events going on to support people in need both near and far. I have the distinct honor of working with many of those ministries. It's refreshing to do what you love for a cause that really, truly matters.
I can't imagine doing web design anywhere else.