Coffee shop conversations: Why Bartlesville?

Coffee \ Midwesterners

Lately my mornings have been spent working from a local Bartlesville coffee shop called Outpost.

People that know me might be surprised at this, because I’m a homebody if there ever was one. It would be an understatement to say that I’m not easily bored at home between my numerous hobbies, home improvement projects, and client work.

However, the atmosphere at Outpost is great for focus and I find it easy to get into “the zone” while I’m there. It’s also interesting to observe the people who come to work, meet friends, or hurriedly grab a drink. Today was no exception, and I had the opportunity to talk with a group of businessmen who were meeting to review an upcoming sales pitch. After eavesdropping for a moment I introduced myself.

During our conversation, one of the businessmen asked, “Why start a creative agency in Bartlesville, Oklahoma of all places?” I was thrilled to tell him why I love it here.

Why here, of all places?

The people

Not only is the Midwest home for me, but people from all over the US have told me they felt welcome in our slice of the country. I attribute that reputation to the personable way we Midwesterners like to treat others.

Here, we greet total strangers with a handshake and a smile. We'll jump right into talking about home improvement, car repairs, or sports. We're inclined to do things like cook you a meal, help you move into a new house, and invite you to church. There's a sort of comradery that I've yet to hear of in other places.

Two midwesterners shaking hands in a field

The opportunity

Oklahoma has pockets where small businesses are concentrated, but others where they are hardly represented at all. With more small businesses being started in 2020 than in any other year in the last 2 decades, there is a great need for staying power among brands.

Oklahoma Self-Employment by County in 2018

I also consider the fact that more businesses than ever are starting up, while simultaneously, more businesses than ever are shutting down. This is the kind of transience we're trying to slow here at Oak Studio, so that these companies can stick around long enough to make a dent and tell their story.

Oklahoma Quarterly Startups and Exits

I see this as a prime place to help increase permanency. With better storytelling (AKA branding!) we can connect with loyal returning customers and put down even deeper roots.

I obviously didn't go into all of these details (I never want to be the 10-minute-monologue guy), but I summed it up and let the businessmen get back to their presentation review.

Here's what was encouraging: they were excited by these ideas!

Now it's on the blog because I wanted to write it down somewhere. Hope you enjoyed reading.


Tech we like: Deno


Truck envy and the End Zone