“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead
It is eye-opening to have lived on the East Coast of the United States all of my life, and then to relocate to the West. Aside from the vast change in landscape, the difference in people’s attitudes has been most interesting to absorb. In my opinion, business to business dealings among Westerners is less antagonistic. Westerners seem to have a better understanding that working collaboratively and cooperatively will bring about forward movement. In deed, the “pioneering spirit” is still alive and well in the West.
During my tour of Frederick, Maryland I visited with a storeowner who may have explained much of the success this town has had in bringing fulfilling awards of distinction to their downtown. The storekeeper, having moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee two years ago, expressed his delight at having arrived in this town. A solid vision along with a strong Main Street Association of business owners, shopkeepers, restauranteurs, artists and other members of the community, working together rather competing against one another, along with the Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland Council on the Arts, has apparently been the secret to success. All should be commended for developing a town that has been awarded by American Style Magazine as a 2010 Top Arts Destination.
Salvaged, just one of the retail stores I visited, is a reflection of the entire downtown area of Frederick, Maryland. www.salvagedmaryland.com. In each of the shops that I browsed, the merchandise was trendy. Geared for doing business in the new millennium and artfully displayed. Even red brick warehouses filled with antiques that I had visited some twenty years prior are no longer jumbled messes. They have been attractively re-arranged. Shoppers who ordinarily are not fans of antiquated home furnishings may now see value in restoring, salvaging and reclaiming period furniture rather than letting it be dumped in landfills.
Despite challenges that have come to retail establishments in recent years, this community appears to have weathered the battles better than many. Frederick,Maryland seems well positioned to attract tourists and other businesses in the new century. The people’s visionary spirit is driving this town in the same manner as those who led the Western expansion.
Tomorrow, we will wrap up this blog series. Return again, so your mind can complete the picture I have drawn of a town that is thriving along the Mason-Dixon Line. The return to the values that are at the roots of our country has in part, driven success.
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