Community: Avon and Eagle
Describe your success story.
When I arrived in the Vail Valley, Allegory was a 2-person company with an office here and one in Upstate NY. Today, we have a team of 8 marketing professionals focused on building brands that build business. As we look to the future, Allegory is positioned at the intersection of culture and communications with tools and training programs that expand our reach beyond the U.S.
Why did you choose to do business in the Vail Valley?
Virtual business was just being coined as a model when Allegory was founded in 2001. At the time, I was living in the Washington, DC area and my business partner (and sister) was based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Each of us left full-time marketing careers to pursue freelance opportunities that provided the flexibility we needed to raise our young families.
I didn’t even have a cell phone when we started because I remember reviewing the landline bill and charging back long distance calls to clients. The Internet was just being introduced; people were thrilled when we brought their organizations onto the World Wide Web in Adobe Flash. Allegory grew our brand ad marketing business through friends, referrals and public speaking. Soon we were working with businesses across the U.S.
Relocating to the Vail Valley in 2004 was a family decision. From 9/11 to the DC sniper and my husband’s grinding Beltway commute (he started calculating how many years of his life would be spent in a car), we were ready to try something new. Moving my office to Eagle meant packing up a phone and desktop and reminding clients not to call too early because I was in now on the Mountain Standard Time. That was the start of “Allegory West.”
What are the advantages of doing business here?
For me, the biggest business advantage is personal: I have more life in my life.
- Longer, brighter days: Against an open skyline, it’s lighter longer in any season. The sun is energizing. Before or after work, there’s time to hike, ride, pursue a passion or create a fabulous feast for your family.
- Inspirational commutes: We traded in the stress of traffic for breath-taking views of the sun splashing across red rocks and mountain peaks.
- Family adventures: When you are skiing or camping with your kids against the backdrop of a big blue sky, it’s hard to imagine a better setting for bonding and memories.
- Health and fitness: You can make it a priority here.
- Small town sophistication: We work in a sophisticated small town environment; fewer people, yes, but many are professionals who have studied, lived and worked around the world.
What advice would you give to someone entering our mountain economy?
It took time to adapt to life and business in the mountains. While we had visited my in-laws here for years, it was strange to stay. The landscape was larger, but in the first year or two, it felt like my world got smaller.
Here are some of the things I learned:
- Make it a priority to stay relevant: Living in the resort community is not a permission slip to slack off. You will likely have to work harder at keeping up with cultural shifts in your industry and the world at large. Find ways to stay on the edge of your game through professional groups, blogs, conferences, partnerships and more.
- Get out of town: You will get mountain fever and you will miss the buzz of metropolitan life. Build travel breaks into your business schedule. Whether connecting with a client face-to-face or attending an educational workshop that inspires, you will return renewed and ready to work.
- Make friends: Personal connections are the make-it or break-it factor to your transition. Working remotely from a home office, it was too easy to become isolated. I had to make the first move – signing up for a committee at school, joining a kickboxing class, and volunteering for a non-profit. I have also rented office space in Eagle and Avon where it’s easier to connect with other professionals.
Give it time: My mother told me it takes three years to adjust to a major move. She was right. The first year, you do everything for the first time. The second year, you say, “This is what we did last year.” And the third year, it becomes a tradition. I love traditions.
Learn more at: Allegory Studios