My six words story was, “Red state woes, blue city grows.” Let me give you a little bit about my background. I grew up in Lancaster, Ohio, which is a Republican stronghold. My parents were incredibly religious and incredibly conservative. I grew up in the homeschool movement. I was homeschooled for pretty much my entire school experience. I was also segregated and separated from the rest of my peers at that time, because my parents were afraid of the corrupting influence of the world around them. All I ever knew about Ohio was people that sucked the dick of George Bush and anybody else who was walking in his shadow. I kind of lost hope on this state and I wanted to move away from here.
I had a lot of friends who lived up in Columbus, and I ended up going to Columbus a couple times. I just ended up finding that it was a completely different experience than everything else I’ve known. It’s very progressive, very openly gay, which is great. I’m not gay myself, but a lot of my friends are. I’m very inclusive of them in my lifestyle. There was none of that where I grew up, just 45 minutes away. My opinion of Ohio changed when I moved to Columbus.
I think the city had definitely changed a lot since I moved here in 2013. I spend the majority of my time here, even though we moved outside of town. Especially the maker scene and the beer scene. I feel like there’s a lot of groundswell movement coming in here, and a lot of new creativity. Creative people tend to be more progressive. I feel like a lot of progressives that moved to other places like Austin and Portland, cities like that, are coming back to Ohio and starting their own thing. Fox in the Snow was started by people from New York City. I feel like there’s a big undercurrent of creativity going through here, and that breeds progressivism, which is really good. I feel like Columbus is still a balance between that and a lot of old money Republicanism. Although it’s more progressive than in the rest of the state.
Columbus was founded right here in this very spot, 1797, the village of Franklinton. Columbus was called Wolf’s Ridge, and from the very beginning, Columbus was a planned capital. One of the only planned capitals in the entire country. It was going to be called Ohio City, but after a night of drinking in a bar that was probably really close to here, one of the guys decided that they wanted to name it Columbus after Christopher Columbus, which was a bad decision, because Columbus was an asshole, but they didn’t know that back then. I’m sure they had the best intentions in mind.
Ohioans are resourceful and scrappy, we don’t have all the money that comes from the West Coast and the East Coast and all the industry, but we do have industry. We work with our hands. A lot of us were famers, a lot of use were trappers and pioneers a long time ago. That blood has been with us for generations.
The economy has been really shitty for people like me. Millennials. We realized that we can be disruptive to that. People like us want to buy from people like us. They don’t want to keep buying from the same people. I feel like Ohio is really poised to be able to do that. Columbus is a progressive place with progressive ideas, and people are able to inspire each other to do awesome things. Property taxes are low compared to other cities, prices for rent are low. It’s still an emerging market, so it’s easy to start something. My wife has a soap company. There aren’t that many soap companies here, so she’s able to build up a pretty big following. Go to Moxiemadeco.com. Best damn soap you’ll ever have. I use it every day. I’ll never use anything else.