While it would make more sense to be based in eastern Tennessee or North Carolina. (The Smoky Mountain National Park is amazing!) However, when common sense is applied, it only makes sense to be based in Kansas City. It was a decision of logic, not desire.
I was raised in the Kansas City area. I went to high school in St. Joseph. I know many business owners in the city. It just makes building a company much easier. There are some challenges but we will get into that in a bit.
One of the things that is a “game changer” for an arts company is the presence of the Kansas City Art Institute that trained none other than Walt Disney. The Art Institute is known globally for their quality of graduates. As an overflow of that, the city has become a hub for fine arts.
Speaking of Walt Disney, he grew up in the city and got his start in the business working in Kansas City. He started a company known as Laugh-O-Grams that was the forerunner to the Walt Disney Company. He is one of many people in the Arts who have a connection to Kansas City over the last century.
Benefits of Business in Kansas City
The Kansas City International Airport has flights all over the country that are just an hour away. Common flights are Atlanta, Denver and Chicago. As a working photograher, I can get an early morning flight to Los Angeles and be ready to work by sunrise! This is important.
Another major benefit of doing business in Kansas City is the cheaper cost of real estate. While many local have issue with the rising cost of living, it is still much lower than places like California and New York.
Renting a space for a studio in Kansas City is hundreds, not thousands. This makes good business as a photographer much easier.