February is the month of love, and one local business is committed to the idea of love year-round. Why I Love Where I Live is a local spot focused on cultivating a love for all things local. According to Kristin Tovar, Co-Founder, and owner of Why I Love Where I Live, her love for Arizona is what sparked the idea for the retail boutique. “The brand was born out of an Arizona native seeking to make the most of staying close to home rather than endlessly seeking all the other great places one could live. We have the heart for everyone to find the good and celebrate all that home has to offer, wherever that may be.”
Kristin was born and raised in the Phoenix area and her husband, Alex, is a native Tucsonan. They definitely have Arizona at heart when it comes to showing the locals how to love. The message of loving where you live is the focus of the business, bringing other like-minded people together. “We sell clothing, books, toys, home décor, and accessories that encourage people to love where they live, not just to consume it but to contribute to it with their whole life,” shares Kristen.
Through resources, online community, and a local shop, Why I Love Where I Live, simply wants to bring people together where they live, and help them find goods they can use. “There’s an important relationship we have with our place in that the more we love a place, the more we invest in it, and therefore, the greater our affection becomes, creating a life-giving cycle of benefit to ourselves and the world around us.”
The whole thing began after Kristin started an Instagram account as an experiment in practicing gratitude. She began taking pictures of things she loved or found enjoyable, and that helped her grow her curiosity and her love for Tucson, where they were living at the time. “It changed my mindset and transformed other areas of my life and my family's life as well,” says Kristin. “The social media account grew into a business through in-person events and community interaction. Today, Why I Love Where I Live exists to encourage others to love where they live and engage in the local community with a sense of pride and ownership. This is done through sharing our story, selling merchandise to inspire and encourage others, sharing photos, celebrating good things, and hosting community events.”
Not only does the couple work hard to bring the best goods, but they are also working to build a sense of community. “We try to engage people in fun and creative ways no matter where they’re at on the scale of loving where they live.”
Though the concept began in Tucson, it has grown beyond Southern Arizona and now has a location in Gilbert as well. But why Gilbert of all places? Kristin says the growth in the area was one of the main reasons why. “It came down to the people and the international development of Agritopia & Epicenter.” Eight years after they toured the area with Joe Johnston, they were personally drawn to the area, spot for growth, and most importantly, the people. “We were also drawn to the other local businesses that are a part of the Epicenter family. We love being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs who together create a unique gathering space for the Gilbert community.”
It was basically love at first sight when they saw Agritopia, they knew they wanted to be a part of the community. “The intentionality, people, and sense of place drew us in. As we considered our next steps as a business, both Gilbert and Epicenter became the perfect home for us. We knew we wanted to plant seeds here, and we can’t wait to watch them grow.”
They sell products designed and created by many local artists, makers, and creatives. The hope is to see customers come to love the locally produced products and also see their own businesses grow. “It’s great to know that as our business thrives, so do many other local small businesses. While we have our own branded products, we wouldn’t be able to exist without an ecosystem of creatives that share their perspectives of a particular place and the world.”
Why I Love Where I Live is located at Epicenter at Agritopia at 3150 E. Ray Road, Suite 146, Gilbert. Hours of operation vary by day, it is best to check out the website at www.whyilovewhereilive.com or on Instagram and Facebook, @whyilovewhereilive. If you are looking for a copy of Gilbert City Lifestyle just drop in as you will find it there.
We love being surrounded by entrepreneurs who create a gathering space for the Gilbert community.