Putting down roots in a new town is massive. If you’ve done it before, you’ll know what I mean. It’s such a crazy scary thing.
And starting a small business in a small town is crazy scary too. There are just so many unknowns that you really feel like you’re taking a gamble.
Before I made the move here to Otorohanga I spent a fair few sleepless nights wondering what I would be getting myself into.
I wondered if the district was somewhere you could start a business, and make it a success.
I wondered if it’d be a nice place to raise a family.
I wondered if I’d make friends.
I wondered if there was passion. Energy. A sense of community.
I wondered if it was a town living or dying.
I didn’t know a lot about Otorohanga and had really only driven through en route to the snow when I lived in Auckland a lifetime ago, but in my weekend visits here once I got together with Scotty, I got a good vibe about the place, and it was enough to make me trust my instinct to start my new life here.
Fast forward five years and my business is ticking along nicely.
We’ve grown largely from referrals and word of mouth, testament to the business community I’m proud to be a part of. There’s a sense of looking after your own, and supporting someone who is “one of us”. It’s that level of support that confirms I did the right thing by coming here.
And in the last few weeks, some pretty incredible things have happened in this town that have proven what a win I’ve had in settling in Otorohanga.
One family recently donated $3M to a new dementia facility, after already committing $1M to the new medical hub. That generosity was quickly followed by a load of other locals who put their hand in their own pockets to ensure the new medical hub was debt free and 100% funded by our community. That’s more than $6M that has come from Otorohanga locals.
It is incredible. I bet there aren’t many other places around the country that can boast a story as great as that.
And that’s not all. The brand spanking new playground has also just opened, another result of amazing generosity from a local family. I spent the morning there today with my boys, and on the way home, I made sure they knew of the kindness that had enabled the playground to be built.
My generation, and theirs, is so fortunate that these incredible people are paving the way by investing in the community that is our future.
It may have been a gamble starting a small business in a small town, but thankfully I hit the absolute jackpot.
I hope that one day, I will be able to do the same, to show my appreciation for a community that has been so welcoming to me.
Tags: about us