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Q and A with Kim Schuller
For those of us in the business of selling Fresno, life can feel like a lot of choir preaching. So, when someone new comes out singing hallelujahs, we take note.
These days, Kim Schuller is singing loud.
As a new year's resolution, the stay at home mom/NoTown roller derby girl/Twee crafter/Internet stalker started 31 Days of Fresno, an on-line ode to her hometown — and a pretty darn good marketing campaign at a time when the city needs one, bad.
Here's what she has to say about the project.
Explain 31 Days of Fresno and how it came about.
31 Days of Fresno is a challenge to all Fresnans to share one thing they love about living in Fresno for the entire month of January. When everyone was talking about our image as a city after the USA Today article I posted on my Facebook that I was going to make a resolution to share a different thing that I love about Fresno every day in January. Shortly after, my good friend Ryne Santos copied and pasted it into his Facebook. I figured that if Ryne thought it was a good idea, it was probably a good idea. So, the Facebook page was born. Ryne and I both post our blogs every morning and encourage everyone else to share their daily reasons as well.
We're (almost) two weeks into the month. Do you have any fear that you might run out of stuff to love about Fresno?
No way, man! I have all of my ideas written out and I'm actually fretting over the fact that there just aren't enough days in the month.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the project?
Its threefold. For people who live here and love it, I want them to be able to share the things they love with the skeptics. For people who live here and are having a hard time tolerating it, I think the project would be beneficial. They might realize after 31 days that Fresno is better than they previously thought after laying out the reasons all month. Finally, I was hoping that by everyone putting their reasons on their own Facebook pages and blogs, it will send a message to all of our friends who live out of town in “cool” places like the Bay Area and LA that Fresno has some pretty amazing things happening, too.
What happens on day 32? Where do you (we) go from here?
Good Question, I'm trying to figure that out still. I'm thinking that it might be fun to sum it all up with an art show bringing together local artists and photographers and pairing them with different people's responses throughout the project and Art Hop it up. Or maybe a Pecha Kucha presentation would be cool too. Joe Osejo has taken a TON of incredible pictures to correspond with my blogs that would work really well for something like that. I'm definitely open to suggestions on how to wrap it all up.
Everyone has a “Fresno” story. That is “why they're in Fresno” (as opposed to wherever it is they are supposed to be). What is your Fresno story?
I was born here and had never spent any time living anywhere else until I went away to college in Orange, CA. It was fun to go out and try a new city, but it also just showed me how much I appreciated where I was from, so after two years I decided I wanted to move back home. It was probably the best decision I have ever made.
What's the takeaway here? What have you learned from this?
There are a lot more people who are willing to stand up and say they love, or even mostly like Fresno, than I thought there would be. I shouldn't be surprised. We have great people here. It's one of the best things about Fresno. It has also been interesting to see what other people think makes Fresno special. I have a long list of restaurants to try and places to check out now. I'm also starting to spell-check more, I'm totally paranoid that I'll have some terrible Freudian slip in one of my blogs and everyone in Fresno will know.
Any advice for others who want to get more involved, on whatever level, in making Fresno, or at least their lives in Fresno, better?
Get involved in something. And if you can't find anything to fit your passions, make it happen and start something new. Where you live is only going to be as great as you make it.