Happy Monday, friends! I’m so excited to start the week off with this post. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t even begin to describe how thrilled I am that it’s finally happening.
Two or three years ago, well before the launch of Beard + Bloom, I was tossing around various ideas about what I could do to help not only showcase how one-of-a-kind Fort Wayne, Indiana is, but also assist in bringing awareness and support to local establishments and causes.
See, I moved to this city to attend university back in 2008, and it’s progressed by leaps and bounds in the years since. While it used to be a place that many would complain about – “there’s nothing to do,” “it’s so boring,” “I can’t wait to get out of here” – there is absolutely no reason residents or visitors should be uttering those words today.
I’m a strong believer in that, if you’re feeling bored, uninspired, frustrated, or out of touch in Fort Wayne today, it’s on you.
With a little research and networking, and by taking a few steps out of your front door and away from your comfort zone, you’ll find that there is so much to do in and around this city, that it can actually be overwhelming to narrow it down on any given day. When you really take some time to think about it, there are countless benefits to living here.
Why we love Fort Wayne.
As Indiana’s second largest city, there are plenty of chain stores and restaurants to spend your time in. What makes Fort Wayne unique though, are the hundreds of local shops, restaurants, bars, venues, markets, studios, and other establishments – and the people behind them.
The number of non-profits in our area, and the sheer amount of passion that residents have for improving not only city, but our state, our country, and our world, is astounding.
The extent of green space – trails and rivers and forest – is unheard of, yet there is plenty of gorgeous architecture and history in our bustling downtown streets and, despite its size, Fort Wayne’s roads and highways are connected in a way that allow us to get anywhere we need to go – north, south, east, or west of where we start – in twenty minutes or less.
Living in Northeast Indiana, we’re centrally located enough to make it to the likes of Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Columbus, Ann Arbor, and more in less than four hours, and destinations like Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan’s upper peninsula, and even Canada, in a day’s drive.
Time and again, national studies have found Fort Wayne to have the lowest cost of living in America, determined that we have among the best real estate and job markets in the country, and named us as one of the best cities in the US for millennials to live and work.
All of this, and yet, though I know plenty of people who are advocates for Fort Wayne and believe in our potential and our future, I have come across just as many who need a little more convincing that this city is worthy of such praise and support.
And that, my friends, is what Local Love is all about. Singing Fort Wayne’s praises and documenting all of the good that is happening here. All of the creativity and action and momentum. Because there is so much of it to be had.
What is Local Love?
Local Love is a series that will be hosted here on Beard + Bloom, that will feature local businesses, organizations, events, and other happenings in our city.
These posts won’t simply be a basic overview – a restaurant’s menu or a festival’s schedule of events. We’ll be digging a deeper to find out the their history, their future plans, and the spark behind what keeps them going. What inspires their owners, and why they’ve chosen Fort Wayne as a home for whatever it is they do.
Once a month or so, we’ll be sharing interviews with local business owners, non-profit leaders, event organizers, and other creatives from in and around Fort Wayne. From time to time, these posts may even include discounts and giveaways for our readers!
We’re so excited to get to know the Fort Wayne we already love so much on a more intimate level, and we hope you are, too!
Interested in being featured?
We would love to hear from you! Our goal with Local Love is to help Fort Wayne residents and visitors get to know you and your business, cause, or event.
We are not charging for these features at this time.
We’re hoping to share one or two Local Love posts per month (at first!) Posts will be scheduled into our editorial calendar on a first come, first serve basis.
Here’s how the process works:
1. Interview. We will set up an initial meeting to chat – in-person, by phone, or by e-mail – to get a basic idea of what it is you do and what you’d like out of a Local Love feature. We’ll then send along some more in-depth questions for you to answer at your convenience. Note: While the format may look a bit different post to post, we’re starting out this venture by sharing each interview in a simple question and answer format (10-15 questions tailored to each interviewee and their business) and a series of photos to accompany the story.
2. Photos. Once we receive your responses, we’ll ask to set up a day and time to shoot photos to go along with your story. Any photos taken by us can be used for your own purposes, with attribution to Beard + Bloom.
3. Preview. We’ll then construct the post and send a preview your way to approve.
4. Promotion. From there, we’ll post the story to Beard + Bloom and promote it via our social media channels, making it easy for you to share with your networks! For added engagement and exposure, we invite you to offer a coupon or giveaway for a social media contest to run alongside the promotion of your story. We’ll manage the details!
5. Future support. Lastly, for continued exposure, for one month following the date we post your story, with your consent, we’ll place your logo with a link to the landing page of your choice in the primary sidebar of our website, under “Sponsors & Affiliates.” If you’d like to keep your logo there after one month, you’ll receive a discounted monthly fee to do so!
If you manage a business, an organization, or an event in or around Fort Wayne and would like to be featured in our Local Love series, get in touch with us!
We look forward to sharing our very first Local Love post with you this week! Stay tuned.