Having worked at community and economic development for many, many years, I’m well aware of the countless individuals who’ve given so much time to their communities and to the entire region! And I’ve learned how so much more can be achieved through collaborations and partnerships than can ever be accomplished individually, making so many things possible that would not be otherwise. As our communities strengthen and our region prospers, you can see the work of committed individuals everywhere.
Our original goal of starting a business was to bring more people to our area, keep more money local and hope to share priceless time together as mother and daughter. What ended up happening was something unexpected and much more significant. We have met the most amazing people who live locally, are at the lake, or are traveling through — and have built relationships and friendships with those people that we would have otherwise never known. Meeting these people and learning their stories has made it all so worth it!
We’re on the farm outside of Atlantic, Iowa with Michelle Myers of Dirt Road Candle Company for this week’s podcast. Michelle started a side hustle making soy candles - and with scents like Iowa Back Roads, Small Town Gossip, and County Fair - her business has quickly taken off. She’s sharing how she’s built her brand and business, and about her Iowa Farm girl roots and life on the farm.
This week on the podcast we’re in Cimarron, New Mexico (pop. 1,021) with entrepreneurs Colin and Erin Tawney - and what happened to be a fortuitous stop on our road trip to California earlier this year. Colin and Erin are sharing what led them to bringing a bed and breakfast, brewery, and bike race to their historic town, plus all they’re doing to help bring economic development and positive change to the community. They are a great example of what it looks like to really seize the opportunities their small town has to offer.
This week on the podcast we’re in Versailles, Kentucky (pop. 9,292) with entrepreneur Emily Riddle. Emily and her husband have invested into their small town square by bringing in several new businesses, and in just a year and a half it has evolved into a vibrant, thriving destination that’s attracting young people — and most recently Hollywood — as the site for a Drew Barrymore movie set.
We recently met up with Brooke Clay of Rural Gone Urban as our travel paths were crossing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We had a great conversation about the power of story, her Rural Influencer Project and what makes someone an influencer, and why the narrative is changing for rural America. Plus we let you in on the story behind The Ruralist and how that came to be.
If you’re looking for rural development strategies, then this week’s podcast is for you! We’re sitting down with Chris Deal from Jefferson, Iowa (pop. 4,345) to talk about the amazing revitalization happening here. Chris moved back to his hometown to help with the family business, Deal’s Orchard, but his role in the community has since expanded way beyond that. He has had a key role in the revitalization of Jefferson and some exciting projects happening here.
We’re so excited to bring you this week’s interview with Joni Nash, the Executive Director of the Pawhuska, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce. Pawhuska just happens to be the home of Ree Drummond — The Pioneer Woman, and Joni has been right in the action as this small town has been revived literally overnight.
This week on the podcast we’re sitting down with Jeremy Mahler of The Nineteen14 in Minburn, Iowa. The Nineteen14 is an old railroad depot that Jeremy turned into a restaurant that draws thousands of people each year — mostly through the local bike trail. As a creative and an entrepreneur, Jeremy is always involved in lots of fun projects. He’s also sharing why, after living and traveling all over the world, he decided to return to his roots in small town Iowa.
Norm and Teresa Gielda are the new owners of The Davis General - a modern day general store in the rural community of Boston, just on the outskirts of Franklin, Tennessee. This week on the podcast they’re sharing their story about how they chose to relocate from California to Tennessee and return to Teresa’s southern roots, and how becoming small business owners has helped them build community in a new place.
It's no secret I love to stay busy. I finished my master's degree in nursing education, and still work as a nurse three days a week. However, I needed something to fill a creative void in my life. I needed a side hustle. So here I am, working three days in the clinic, making custom leather, and running a photography business.
Why New Providence? I get asked this regularly. It’s home for me and goodness, I am so thankful every day that I have grown a business in an area full of such supporting people. Everyone in this community treats you like family and they are so positive, always encouraging others, looking for a way to give a helping hand, and celebrating everything and everyone’s accomplishments. Why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with that everyday?!
One definition of community is, “a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” In my opinion, New Providence has just that, and other small communities should strive to have the same. Our small size keeps us together, focused, and driven to be successful as a whole. I’m proud to be part of a community that is dedicated to making the place we call home a little better each day.
It was always a dream of ours to open a flower, plant, and gift shop, so I opened The Rustic Rose and am living out our dream! This experience has been amazing. The town of New Providence is an absolutely awesome place to have my business. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice.
This week on the podcast we’re taking you to New Providence, Iowa, where we’re sitting down with Blake Richie, owner of BR Designs. Blake is one of several millennials who has decided to call New Providence home. He’s talking about why he chose this town of 250 people as the place to start his business, why no town is too small for revival, and how he started a county-wide young professionals group to help people learn and connect.
Thanksgiving is all about gathering around the table to share a meal and celebrate the blessings and many reasons we have to be thankful in our lives. So for this special Thanksgiving edition of the podcast, we’re sitting down with someone who actually makes the tables we gather around - Walt Henson, Owner of Red Tower Design in Canyon, Texas.
Rural Revival presents this season’s best gifts - from sporting to jewelry, home goods to apparel - all made in America by rural makers and creators. As part of this holiday season, let's #shopsmall and #shoprural and support business owners who are working hard to create amazing products all across rural America. And be sure to check out the other products available from these makers and creators, too, and find something special for everyone on your list!
This week on the podcast we’re sitting down with Randa Starnes of Tennessee River Music Company, a registered Hereford and Angus operation in Fort Payne, Alabama. Randa’s talking about life on their family’s cattle production farm, what it’s like to grow up with a famous dad, and how they unexpectedly grew their operation with a new business venture.
This week on the podcast we’re with Justin Christman of Roadside Que in Fort Payne, Alabama. Justin made the move to Fort Payne from Denver, Colorado, got creative with his passion for BBQ and cooking, and introduced the first food truck to this rural area. The power of word of mouth in a small community helped boost his business, which has now grown into a new brick and mortar restaurant.