Profile: Garrett Hubbard
Bentonville wasn’t part of the plan for Garrett Hubbard and his family—not at first, anyway. He was in search of somewhere, and it was a search proving less than lucrative.
“We lived in a place where, when you met someone, the first question they would ask was ‘who do you work for?’ And at the heart of that question is ‘what can I get from you?’” Hubbard told me over an egg sandwich at Pressroom. “We knew it was time to make a change.”
Hubbard was in an enviable position among aspiring change makers. His business, a successful video studio called GH Studios, allowed for mobility. He wanted to be closer to family, but he wanted other things as well: Access to nature, a place to pursue his passion for bikes, a community that valued genuine interaction, and the opportunity for his business and family to thrive in equal measure.
The Hubbards visited Austin. They visited Nashville. They visited Sacramento. But none of those cities did it.
“They just didn’t feel quite genuine enough,” Hubbard said. “They were growing too fast, or they were too expensive, or they had a feeling as though they were just a stop along the way for people.”
But then, by a combination of luck and well-placed advertising dollars, Hubbard found Bentonville. He was on Pinkbike, when he saw the Oz Trails video ‘Suit to Shred.’ He knew almost immediately that he owed the town a visit.
He spent an afternoon riding in Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, where he was blown away by the quality of the trails. He did his research, reading about the investments in cycling, infrastructure and the plan behind what Bentonville would become.
“I feel like we overlook the ‘why’ questions so much in life, and when I read about what the Waltons were building here, and the mission the whole town had seemed to undertake to improve quality of life, I thought to myself, ‘well there’s something going on here,’” Hubbard said. “And after only 12 hours of being here, my wife and I said ‘I think this is where we’re supposed to be.’”
Fast forward a few years, and the Hubbards have found a home in Bentonville.
Building a business here, Hubbard said, has been meaningful in more ways than one. Through organizations like One Millions Cups, the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Bentonville, Inc., opportunities for networking and community relations are easy and frequent—something that’s key when one’s job is tied closely to a community.
Beyond running a successful film studio, Hubbard has found success in other uniquely Bentonville ways. As CEO of a local cycling team called Gravitas Racing, he says making friends, business associates, and memories is as easy as going outside.
“Starting the Gravitas team has made me realize bikes are the new golf,” Hubbard said, smiling. “There’s a value in networking on the trails insofar as introducing you to others in business, but it really feels like home out there—not only because of the friends you make, but because the community that exists here is big, unique and independent.”
In his final assessment, Hubbard said it was exciting to consider where his search for a home had led him. From the pages of Pinkbike, to a community he calls his own.