This Is My Hartford is a new series from the MetroHartford Alliance where we connect with local business owners, community drivers, residents, and employees to find out how the Hartford Region has shaped them throughout their career, and what they have done to shape our city and region.
By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance
Next in our series, Carrianne Polo, Founder New Park Creative.
WHY HARTFORD? WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
CARRIANNE POLO: I’ve been working in and around Hartford for more than 10 years. My first “big girl job” was producing graphics and animation for Fox61 WTIC, which at the time was located on Church Street downtown. That was my first experience being in the city and it gave me the chance to begin exploring what Hartford is all about.
Years later, I looked to Hartford as a potential location for my expanding business. I knew we needed a location that was central and easy to navigate for our clients who reside across the state and beyond. As a company that produces visual media, I wanted us to be in an area with a creative arts culture as well.
I ended up finding an office space on New Park Avenue and have been here for over five years. We get tons of inspiration and creative fuel from the people and businesses in this area.
HOW HAVE YOU BECOME A PART OF HARTFORD?
CARRIANNE: I’ve met so many wonderful clients, vendors, and friends in Hartford, whether through the arts community or through doing business with them. I feel very connected to Hartford because of that.
I’m proud of the fact that our office is in Hartford and we are part of this community. We’re doing our small part to be part of something bigger and make it even better. Part of our mission is to play a bigger role in the growth and development of our community here. Whether it’s networking, giving back, doing business or taking advantage of resources—every time we interact with Hartford’s ecosystem it’s always such a positive experience.
WHAT MAKES HARTFORD UNIQUE?
It’s cliché to say the people, but it really is the people of Hartford who make this city unique. There’s a wide range of cultures and influences blending together to produce a wonderful environment for culture and business to blossom in a very special way. People who live and work in this area have a love for the city and dedication to creating something better that is absolutely unmatched.
When I talk about having a love for the city of Hartford, I’m really talking about love for the people of Hartford. It’s this large community of passionate individuals that make the culture of Hartford so great.
WHERE DO YOU SEE HARTFORD IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
With dozens of development projects sparking new energy around the city of Hartford, it’s a super interesting time for business owners—especially young entrepreneurs—to be a part of the growth. I’ve already seen a little boom as more and more small businesses choose to set up shop in Hartford.
A lot of food, arts, and entertainment related businesses are choosing Hartford as a destination for their patrons and I think that’s really awesome. The more spaces that are renovated and equipped to house new businesses, the better. We see that people will come if you give them a reason to, so fostering arts and entertainment is a major component to the city’s future success.
I feel like I’m part of a generation of young business owners who see potential for something great and really want to be part of the momentum that gets us there. The passion for Hartford is already here, we just need to continue to develop the platforms that enable business and culture to thrive and encourage people to seek out and use the resources currently available to them.