To share more of perspectives and stories from individuals across the Mid-Ohio Valley, we launched this series: Becoming Local. In each installment, we interview a local resident on what becoming local means to them. This week, we spoke with the one and only Marjorie Clayman!

Tell us a little about yourself! How do you define yourself, what is your profession, what kinds of things bring you joy.

I am a marketer. I specialize in content marketing, copywriting, and social media marketing, but I have worked on just about everything you can think of where marketing is concerned. I am a complete history buff and watch history college lectures in my free time (really). I also love crafting, especially for charitable causes.

What do you enjoy the most about marketing?

I love learning the intricacies of businesses well enough to be able to talk about what makes them special and unique. Every business has a magical nugget to it, and I think a big part of marketing is finding those special golden nuggets.

Were you born and raised in the MOV? If not, how did you end up in the Mid-Ohio Valley?

I was born and raised in Akron, two hours up I-77. Our company was purchased in 2013 and part of that deal was that I move down here, so I did!

What do you love most about living in the Mid-Ohio Valley, on the northern edge of Appalachia?

There is an awful lot I love about this place. It is completely gorgeous, even when there is snow on top of the hills (although I’m glad we’re done with that for awhile). I love the unique shops downtown, all of the history (see above), and the general feeling of community you get here.

What makes it difficult to stay?

I always tell people I was shocked to find out there was no Target down here. I used to go to Target probably 3-4 times a week just to pick up little things. Sometimes I miss those conveniences, but I enjoy the challenge of finding alternatives. I’ve learned a lot about shopping locally!

Marjorie volunteering during Clean Sweep in Marietta

In your opinion, what do people often get wrong about Appalachia and/or this region?

I think people may believe that folks who live in Appalachia have a tough time because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think there’s a sense that people here don’t really work to make things better. That couldn’t be farther from the truth in my experience. Appalachia often gets handed the short end of the stick, and that has been the case for at least a century now.

What makes the Mid-Ohio Valley unique?

The different kinds of natural scenery certainly stand out. If you like water, we’ve got rivers. If you like hiking, we have woods and hills. The people are hard-working, open-hearted, and kind. The close-knit nature of the area is also new for an outsider like me. If you aren’t related to someone, you know them 😉

What kinds of opportunities have you found to get involved locally? Was it easy to get involved?

I have been most active locally with Marietta Main Street and Clutch MOV. As a marketer for several local companies I also kind of naturally just fell in to learning about the community and throwing myself in there. It was definitely easy.

What does it mean to you, to “live locally?”

Living locally means going to farmer’s markets instead of grocery stores, going to downtown boutique stores instead of Wal-Mart, and going to local chains like We Love Pets instead of ordering online from Petsmart.

Why do you choose to stay?

Well, I like my job, and it’s located here, so that’s a pretty compelling reason to stay. I also have a lot of close connections down here now, and I’ve gained a great appreciation for the area.

What do you hope others take away when they visit the Mid-Ohio Valley?

When I first moved down here my friends up north told me there was nothing going on here and they couldn’t imagine doing more than popping by a gas station in Marietta on their way somewhere else. I think a lot of people feel that way about the small towns around here. The fact is there is an unbelievable wealth of local activity, especially in the summer. There is something for everybody – entertainment of different kinds, farmers markets, history, hiking…the list goes on.