i heart johnson city: spark plaza

My first experience of small town life started in Johnson City, when we relocated for my husband's job in 2012. It was an exciting and terrifying time (as all life transitions are), but I was especially nervous about moving somewhere that would feel so rural compared to the greater metropolitan areas I had lived in before (Boston and Baltimore, respectively). The change was a shock, and I'll admit it--this urban girl had a hard time adjusting. But in the very beginning I found a few bright spots and generous individuals who welcomed this big city stranger into their beautiful Appalachian home.

First up, Spark Plaza. I knew I was going to want a network of creative people, as well as a space in which I could work occasionally (since I had no idea what kind of a home office I was likely to have). My internet research brought me to José Castillo's brainchild.

i heart johnson city | Spark Plaza

I bought a 5-day pass, struck up conversations with other engineers and creative types, and enjoyed having a haven away from the new home I was building that made Johnson City feel like a bustle of activity.

It was here that my network got started, and it was this hub that led to a whole slew of other fabulous places that have grown close to my heart.

Next up: Bang Salon!