I’m a city girl.
I grew up in London, and spent my adolescence fantasizing about working in New York, Paris, or Tokyo, or maybe even Sydney. These fantasies made sense professionally as well, the aforementioned cities being hotbeds of art, design, and general grooviness. Perfect places for a young designer to live and work in. But it just wasn’t meant to be.
I settled down in the suburbs of DC and had two kids.
Let’s be brutally honest, when I first moved out here, I was disappointed with my surroundings. Where was the hustle and bustle I was used to, the melting pot of cultures? Why are all the museums and galleries so far away? How on earth am I supposed to function as a designer out here?
Of course there were good things, beautiful parks and open spaces and child-friendly happenings. But I still didn’t feel like I fit in very well.
Then along came Vienna.
It’s funny how things work out.
Last weekend I took part in a festival in my adopted home town of Vienna VA, and was given an opportunity to stop and think about how sweet it is to live here.
Vienna is a town full of small, independently owned businesses, and the local community pride themselves on this. Vienna people love to watch their town bloom and grow more interesting year by year. I have lost count of the amount of times, while working at my booth, that people asked me whether I live locally. Of course, once I mention that I’m a local designer, people are even more interested in my work, and extra willing to support me.
A day before I set up my booth at the market, a couple of friends, one of whom writes a blog called So Very Vienna, surprised me by putting the word out about me on a website called ‘Vienna-moms‘, and people dropped by my stall purely out of curiosity, and a wish to support someone local. I was truly touched by this.
It’s a close-knit community, people really know each other by name, and stop to say ‘hi’ when you are standing at your stall.
I still do miss the big cities, and will travel there at every possible opportunity, but I’m very grateful to have found Vienna and it’s people.