You might have noticed by now that we are big fans of small towns. Quiet neighborhoods, minimal traffic, unique shops--count us in! What'sUp 24/7 is all about connecting communities and showing off their value. So here's a highlight one of our newest Early Adopting Partners, Tipton County, Indiana.
Kegan Schmicker is the executive director of the Tipton County Chamber of Commerce. Kegan sees his community through a unique lens because he is both a newcomer and a very involved citizen. He talked me through some of the best that Tipton County has to offer.
Put Down Roots in Tipton CountyOne of the first things Kegan mentioned was how welcoming the community is. Small towns can hold the stigma of being unwelcoming to outsiders, but you won't find that to be true in Tipton. Not only did Kegan feel very welcomed after moving there, but he was able to join the Chamber of Commerce just 6 months after he arrived.
With young families looking for their first home, affordability of housing in smaller communities should not be overlooked. Tipton County has seen a lot of buyers coming from bigger surrounding areas. Just because you work in a more populated town, doesn't mean you need to live there. A lot of people will gladly take the longer commute if it means their money goes further.
|Sunflower Patch in Tipton County|
|Downtown City of Tipton, Indiana. Image Courtesy of Jason Graves|
Safety is another growing concern for first time homeowners trying to decide where to plant roots. The statistics from Home Facts show that Tipton's crime rate is 77% lower than the national average! Living in a less populated area also means that it is more obvious when something or someone is out of place. The residents of Tipton County keep an eye on their neighborhoods and take care of each other.
And for those with children, you will find Tipton Community School Corporation to be a strong competitor.
|2021, Tipton Blue Devils are the IHSAA Class 2A Girls Basketball State Runners Up|
For 150 years…[we have]... established a rich tradition of diverse school programming,” says Ryan Glaze, Superintendent of Tipton Community Public Schools. “...in AP/dual credit coursework, performing arts, agriculture education, STEM, and hands-on learning that prepares our students for both career and post secondary learning. Our students have a rich tradition of excellence both on and off the field with over 60 sectional, regional, and semi-state titles including 2 State Championships.” Ryan says they strive to do everything, “ ‘The Tipton Way’...always giving our best, pride in our school and community, respect for others and their beliefs, and taking care of our neighbors.
Grow Your Business in Tipton CountyMaybe by this point I've convinced you that you could live in Tipton County, but what about work? What about starting that business you’ve been dreaming of? Another stigma is that small businesses are dying, especially in our small towns. There are definitely unique challenges facing entrepreneurs and small business owners these days. But there's also been a huge push to get back to shopping small and buying locally whenever you can. Multiple businesses have recently opened in Tipton County with huge success.
Urban HomesteadAccording to their website, “Urban Homestead offers customizable Rowe furniture, home décor items from original art to candles, kitchen, bath, and bar. Unique gifts are available for baby & home.”
For owner Kindra Tragesser, Urban Homestead represents both the fulfillment of a dream and the desire to support the Tipton community. ‘I love my city, but I also live in the country,’ she says. ‘We have a great city and county. If our downtown is healthy, so is the city and thus the county too.’
You can read the rest of her interview about opening her business here.
CrossFit TiptonCrossfit Tipton has been open for five years now and has remained successful. Their monthly membership is $105. This may seem expensive to people unfamiliar with big city cross fit prices, but it's an amazing deal. The first CrossFit gym I googled in Chicago charges almost 3X the price at $269 a month.
CrossFit Tipton is here to encourage, support, and instruct you on your journey to your best self. CrossFit Tipton is a community of like minded people who are determined to improve their strength, resilience, and confidence one workout at a time. As a small business we are passionate about being an integral part of our community. Keep your eyes out for our family friendly yearly events that are free and fun for the whole family!
Legends Music AcademyA music store in a smaller community is a rare find! And this gem, Legends Music Academy, is another unique and successful business in Tipton County.
According to their website,
Legends Music Academy offers music instruction in acoustic, electric and bass guitar, piano / keyboard, drums, ukulele, vocals, banjo and mandolin, and songwriting, with a focus on performance in a positive, encouraging environment. We offer a retail store with instruments and accessories for all player levels, plus recording services and a performance stage.
Other major employers in the county include the manufacturing industry, healthcare industry, and jobs within the school system. The central location of Tipton and accessibility to the airport and major cities makes it a great place to grow a business. The low cost of living also means that customers have more disposable income to support businesses.
Play in Tipton CountyVisitors and residents are always looking for something fun to do. I love finding unique activities in smaller communities so this part of the conversation was right up my alley. One of the first things Kegan mentioned to me was their golf course. Visitors are always impressed with how well maintained and affordable it is (check out this Groupon for some extra discounts). Tipton County also has a great park system with new pickleball courts, expanding trail system, a renovated public pool and a brand new splash pad for plenty of outdoor fun.
|Tipton City Pool & Splash Pad (Photo Courtesy of Layne Cameron, RLTurner Corporation)|
|Tipton City Splash Pad|
|Tipton Municipal Golf Course|
The Tipton County Pork Festival has been running for over 50 years! It was cancelled in 2020, but it typically attracts more than 80,000 people from all over the country. (I'm personally bummed that I never attended when I lived in Indiana.) Don’t miss their comeback in 2021 - September 9th, 10th, and 11th.
Tipton County Pork Festival
This annual free event has something for everyone – parades, pageants, live music, crafts, car shows, carnival rides, and of course great food.
Arts & EntertainmentThe Tipton County Community Theatre and The Diana Theater are both great options for an affordable and entertaining activity. The community theater offers student discounts and season bundles on their tickets to plays and musicals.
The Diana movie Theatre has been family owned for almost 100 years! Most movie tickets can range from $10-$15 in bigger cities. The Diana is shockingly affordable at $3 for children and $5 for adults making it the perfect option for a date or family night.
The single-screen Diana is a throwback to gentler and warmer times. Movies are selected with families and Tipton area values in mind. The theatre includes a crying room, thought to be the only one in the state, possibly the nation, for parents of crying children to still watch the movie without bothering their seat mates.
Keagan and other leaders have big plans to continue to add value to their county.These are just a few examples:
Expanding Trail NetworkLast year their trail committee, Tipton Trails, won grant funding to expand the trail network. And they are at it again this year as they pursue funding through the Next Level Trails Grant Program. (You can give to their efforts by using the donate button on the Tipton County Foundation Website)
An Active and Visionary Community FoundationThe Tipton County Foundation is very active in Tipton communities. This spring, they have been engaging groups across the county in Strategic Vision & Action Plan Listening Sessions. In other news, they are working with Ball State’s Indiana Communities Institute to conduct the Community-Based Action Planning (CBAP) program in Tipton County. (The Tipton County Foundation is also the county-wide sponsor of What’sUp 24/7, offering premium subscriptions of the platform to every business and organization in the county.)
Grant for Leadership PipelineThis grant (made possible by the Tipton County Foundation) is the start of a partnership between Tipton County Chamber of Commerce and the Shafer Leadership Academy. Their mission is “to provide inclusive leadership development so that people, organizations, and communities reach their full potential”.
This partnership allows Tipton County Chamber members free access to monthly virtual events to help build leadership skills.
“Tipton County Chamber of Commerce will also host an ‘All Aboard: Board Leadership in Motion’ learning session. This will be a three-hour workshop ideal for individuals who have a desire to serve on a not-for-profit board but want to learn more about what serving as a board member entails, and how to find the potential board opportunity that suits their interests and skill sets.”
Read more here.
The future is bright for Tipton County!It’s already a wonderful place to live, work, and play, but we know there is even more in store. And we are proud to be a part of further uniting and promoting this wonderful community.
|Photo Courtesy of Layne Cameron, RLTurner Corporation|