My Dream | My Reality
I was not born and raised in Gaston County. I am a Charlottean. My love of the city runs thick within my blood and thicker still within my family's blood. Tony Pressley, a man I am blessed to call family and look up to greatly, was imperative in the re-branding and revitalization of the area we now know today to be Historical Southend in Charlotte. Very early into the project he, and those he corroborated with, believed that if they did not work to change the way the area was perceived, there would be no positive change for the community.
"South End was blessed with a large number of historically-significant buildings that never got demolished. They were suitable for adaptive reuse but one of the first things we had to do was let people know the significance of those properties. When people came to the area, they began to say, 'Well, this is interesting. This area has a deeper history that we didn’t realize.' There’s the old saying, 'It takes a village.' Well, that’s what this whole initiative became. It became the work of a village, not just the work of a few."
I discovered Gaston's beauty while living there for some time, at the Carriage Company Lofts. I was consistently stumbling into the wonders around me while never having to look for them. It was while I lived there, and worked there, that I realized my love for Gaston too, ran deep. It was while I lived in Downtown Gastonia, rich within the history of the city, and continued to watch the daily growth and restructure that was taking place all around me, that I realized this was something special, something that must be shared. I also began noticing a disconnect in the innovation I was watching and the awareness my friends and clients had of Gaston. I started trying to figure out a way to help them see what I was seeing. Then, at Coldwell Banker Conference in Miami, FL last Fall, I came up with an idea of how to make that happen; a website/blog with the premise surrounding Gaston County. With absolutely no experience and no knowledge of photography, I picked up a camera a year ago and I began collecting photographs to one day be able to share. This, was the creation of Love Gaston.
Southend's resurrection was unfortunately before the time I really began getting into real estate. However, the more I continue to learn about the project and the marketing strategies surrounding it, the more I see how similar it was to my original aspirations for Love Gaston.
Like the Pressleys, and the many people working hard in the revitalization of Gaston, I believe there is magic within this county. I believe there has been an extensive amount of positive impact from wildly inspiring men and women working to make Gaston County embody its full potential. However, I also believe that in order for this positive change to continue, we must continue to promote the beautiful Gaston we see today and the even more Gaston we will see in future days. It has been, and continues to be, my sincere hope that the collection of photographs on this site demonstrates the magic I see every day that I sell real estate on this side of the Catawba River.