participants candidly reveal how proximity intersects with their freelance work.
Steven Tatar (Entrepreneur and Freelancer): Freelance Relies On Regional
Strength; Work Outside The Region Is Contingent On Previous Relationship
For many of the freelancers, location is critical. Steven has started a new vintage knitwear
company. His home base is Cleveland but is poised to move if the right situation presents
itself. He comments about the importance of location, “I think it’s huge. So huge.
Freelance is locative. It’s a regional strength. Minnesota is not good at shrimping and New
York is not good for steel production. Cleveland is not good for brand building and
services. Now. It has been better in the past and it was a big advertising center.” Steven
Tatar suggests that he would consider moving:
I do believe that in certain parts of the country – because of the culture there and the
industries that they’re used to using freelance and get what I do. I know that in New
York – I don’t have to explain what is a creative director – or what I do. Portland,
Oregon, San Francisco, L.A., --, they get us. . . I’m looking nationally. I’d like to leave
Cleveland. At the same time, I value what Cleveland has to offer and what it has
Steven is doing a serious trade show in New York and acknowledges that work outside the
region is contingent on relationships developed beforehand and mentions:
Yes, I do work for clients outside of the region. Location matters. I’m of the opinion
that every freelancer who is successful outside of their region is able to do that
because they had a strong foundation to start with which was relationship based.
They didn’t just randomly get discovered by a west coast company to develop a new
brand for a shoe line in New York. That’s why community is important – you need
community not just for your sanity and to keep your soul intact. You need your
community to build your business and keep your pipeline robust. We need to have
ten possibilities cooking in the pipeline cooking at any one time. For every project I’m
doing, I feel like I need four or five different things on the preload because maybe only
one of them will turn into a real thing and I need to be able to move to that.
Marc Jaffe (Comedy Writer): Geographically Challenged; The Tradeoff is
The irony is that Cleveland inspires lots of comedy but it is not an easy location if you are