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  1. TheMightyMcClaw is offline
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    MADE OF STEEL!

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    Ann Arbor, MI
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    3,442

    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 2:31am

    supporting member
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The Burden of Freedom (or, where should I live)

    So I have this really awesome problem:
    I run my own clothing business, which I can, more or less, run from anywhere in the country. Rural Wyoming would be tough, but pretty much anywhere that I care to live. Places like San Fransisco and NYC start putting me The Rent is Too Damn High type situations, but I could probably manage them in the next year or so as my empire expands.
    The problem with not being tied to a job in a certain place is I then have to decide where I want to live.
    Oh the burdens of being a successful independent artist. Boo hoo hoo.
    I moved out To Seattle nine months ago, because I realized I had spent my entire life in Michigan and I wanted to get the hell out, as fleeing Michiganders is our state's principal export. And now I'm considering moving back.
    I'm finding myself at a rather frustrating crossroads, as there are things which I sorta really like about Seattle and things I sorta really don't. I love Seattle's robust counterculture and intense geekiness - it had always been portrayed as a paradise of freaks and nerds where the streets are paved with twenty-sided die, and it's pretty much lived up to that. I really enjoy how the city isn't mega-hella-poor the way most of my homeland is. Being in the clothing business, this has been huge economic boon. I enjoy the options presented by living in a big city, and the way large populations support large subcultures and countercultures (I like hanging out with weird people, as you might've guessed).
    But then there are things I really don't like, such as how Seattle is super-fucking-faraway from everywhere else in America. Given that the principle means of selling my clothing has been traveling around to regional anime and scifi cons to sell in artist alleys and such, this is mega-inconvenient. I've been able to compensate for the reduced vending opportunities by selling things at local art markets and in consignment shops, and also by the fact that Seattle is full of wealthy nerds who will spend 300 bucks on an armored duster like it ain't no thang. So fewer cons to sell at, but I generally make way more bank than at a similarly sized one back home.
    So my convention-based business model still works out here, with a smaller number of higher grossing events. If you've never been to an anime convention, they're basically giant halloween parties full of nerds; and I make money by going to them. My job is to go party with people I like while wearing ridiculous clothing. This is like having a cheat-code for real life.
    And they happen all the goddamn time in the Great Lakes region. I'm pretty sure that between Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, I could do two of these a month no problem, as opposed to the few a year out here in Sea-land. Nonstop partying while making money. I'm not sure if I can even imagine a sweeter lifestyle. Life hacks, man. Life hacks to the max.
    And then comes this other, non business/nerd party related issue; which is I left a whole ass-load of really awesome friends and family back in the Midwest, and I sort of miss them. Because as I mentioned, Seattle is super fucking far away from everywhere.
    So yeah. Move back to Mi? Stick it out in Seattle? Give Chicago a shot?
    I could talk it out with friends and family and such, and have been doing so, but I wanted to get the opinion of a bunch of grumpy strangers who argue about karate on the internet as well.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.
  2. patfromlogan is offline
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    Heavyweight

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 3:15am

    supporting member
     Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hawaii has the most ma schools, good climate, beaches, mountains, good food, shitty public schools, good safety net. If mas are determinate, then it's the best place to train in the world.
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
  3. lordbd is offline

    Registered Member

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    Apr 2012
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    Shelton, CT
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    896

    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 6:27am


     Style: Hung Gar

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Richmond, VA has a thriving indepent art and fashion scene, lots of hipsters goths and things, a big University, and it's near mountains, beach, and DC.

    As an actual city its pretty small and shitty though. And no FMA gyms that I've been able to find.
  4. BKR is offline
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    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours.

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    Jun 2009
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    Bonners Ferry, Idaho
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 7:22am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Kodokan Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    So I have this really awesome problem:
    I run my own clothing business, which I can, more or less, run from anywhere in the country. Rural Wyoming would be tough, but pretty much anywhere that I care to live. Places like San Fransisco and NYC start putting me The Rent is Too Damn High type situations, but I could probably manage them in the next year or so as my empire expands.
    The problem with not being tied to a job in a certain place is I then have to decide where I want to live.
    Oh the burdens of being a successful independent artist. Boo hoo hoo.
    I moved out To Seattle nine months ago, because I realized I had spent my entire life in Michigan and I wanted to get the hell out, as fleeing Michiganders is our state's principal export. And now I'm considering moving back.
    I'm finding myself at a rather frustrating crossroads, as there are things which I sorta really like about Seattle and things I sorta really don't. I love Seattle's robust counterculture and intense geekiness - it had always been portrayed as a paradise of freaks and nerds where the streets are paved with twenty-sided die, and it's pretty much lived up to that. I really enjoy how the city isn't mega-hella-poor the way most of my homeland is. Being in the clothing business, this has been huge economic boon. I enjoy the options presented by living in a big city, and the way large populations support large subcultures and countercultures (I like hanging out with weird people, as you might've guessed).
    But then there are things I really don't like, such as how Seattle is super-fucking-faraway from everywhere else in America. Given that the principle means of selling my clothing has been traveling around to regional anime and scifi cons to sell in artist alleys and such, this is mega-inconvenient. I've been able to compensate for the reduced vending opportunities by selling things at local art markets and in consignment shops, and also by the fact that Seattle is full of wealthy nerds who will spend 300 bucks on an armored duster like it ain't no thang. So fewer cons to sell at, but I generally make way more bank than at a similarly sized one back home.
    So my convention-based business model still works out here, with a smaller number of higher grossing events. If you've never been to an anime convention, they're basically giant halloween parties full of nerds; and I make money by going to them. My job is to go party with people I like while wearing ridiculous clothing. This is like having a cheat-code for real life.
    And they happen all the goddamn time in the Great Lakes region. I'm pretty sure that between Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, I could do two of these a month no problem, as opposed to the few a year out here in Sea-land. Nonstop partying while making money. I'm not sure if I can even imagine a sweeter lifestyle. Life hacks, man. Life hacks to the max.
    And then comes this other, non business/nerd party related issue; which is I left a whole ass-load of really awesome friends and family back in the Midwest, and I sort of miss them. Because as I mentioned, Seattle is super fucking far away from everywhere.
    So yeah. Move back to Mi? Stick it out in Seattle? Give Chicago a shot?
    I could talk it out with friends and family and such, and have been doing so, but I wanted to get the opinion of a bunch of grumpy strangers who argue about karate on the internet as well.
    Have you considered expanding to Canada? Lower mainland is well populated, I have a couple of judo students that are kindof "counter culture",and they had a LOT of friends when they were going to school on Victoria Island.

    If your business takes off, you could plan a travel schedule to Michigan to take advantage of opportunities there, when it's slow in Seattle, and vice versa. Also, how about Portland?
    That's not so far away, and really, neither is San Francisco/San Jose, either. Driving distance for sure. How about getting a small RV and/or trailer for your wares and travelling a bit?

    Maybe it's not such an either/or situation as it seems?
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  5. Devil is offline
    Devil's Avatar

    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten.

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 8:03am

    supporting member
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Do you sell your stuff on the internet? If I could choose one place to live it would be Hawaii without a doubt. I've thought about moving there myself. I could find a job there without a problem. The only thing that's keeping me here is the desire for stability for the kids. They're in school, have friends, are close to their grandparents, etc, etc.

    But obviously Hawaii would put the brakes on your road trips.

    **** Seattle. Seattle wouldn't be in my top 50 choices. Burn the road up, man. If you're missing your peeps too much, head on back home. Unless you're from Detroilet. If that's the case, cut your losses and keep far, far away. If you can get over the homesickness, move somewhere sunny. It'll make you feel better.
  6. daishi is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    738

    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 8:07am


     Style: Aikido/JJJ/Judo/GoJu Ryu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Not sure what exactly the type of clothes you are describing but,

    I love Colorado. If I could live anywhere it would be Denver/Boulder/Colo Springs area. Of course, if you live there, you'll have to buy a Subaru and pretty much your primary clothing competition will be REI and similar outdoor activity dealers. Lots of hippies in Boulder.

    NW Ohio area you have decent access (2-3 hours) to Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit...all college towns with a diverse market. A little further out is Indianapolis, Pitt, and Chicago/South Bend. Its cheap to live in NW Ohio...my house is around $600/month for mortgage for a three bedroom, one bathroom two story with a basement, backyard and small garage.

    I've spent a lot of time int he beltway area. When there I've spent a lot of time with beltway bandit types...so highly educated and attractive 20-30 year olds that eat at Whole Foods and run/bike everywhere. Surprisingly some of the most attractive women, per capita, in the DC area. You have DC, Phili, Richmond, Baltimore, and I think you can get to coastal Carolina in three hours or so. Metro is pretty easy to use.

    Chicago is a great town, but driving is stupid. Its also really expensive. Buts its close to South Bend, and Wisconsin towns that may be attracted to your clothing line (Maddison, etc).

    Best of luck with your potential move and business!
  7. slamdunc is online now
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    Extraordinarily Ordinary

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,173

    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 8:26am

    supporting member
     Style: TKD, CMA & American Kenpo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    So I have this really awesome problem:
    I run my own clothing business, which I can, more or less, run from anywhere in the country.
    That really is an awesome problem; I wish that I had problems like that.
  8. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Nov 2012
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    San Diego
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 11:40am

    supporting member
     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So you like Seattle because of the hipstery scene but wish it was closer to the rest of the US? Sounds like you should look into Portland.
  9. BoonDog is offline
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    Welterweight

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    Lynnwood, WA
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 1:41pm

    supporting member
     Style: running scared

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    Seattle is [I]super-fucking-faraway from everywhere else in America.
    Get yourself a credit card that racks up Alaska Airlines miles. Then you can fly to most destinations.

    Also a major plus for living in Seattle: Aaron Fields.

    You going to find that anywhere else in America?
  10. TheMightyMcClaw is offline
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    MADE OF STEEL!

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    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2012 3:09pm

    supporting member
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by BoonDog View Post
    Get yourself a credit card that racks up Alaska Airlines miles. Then you can fly to most destinations.

    Also a major plus for living in Seattle: Aaron Fields.

    You going to find that anywhere else in America?
    Sea-town Sambo is legit one of my very favorite things about Seattle.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.
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