Whether it’s the strength of the community, the abundance of opportunities or the balance of life, people are finding more and more that Lubbock is where they want to build their future. With high earning potential, affordable housing, a vibrant downtown scene, world-class education and more, there are plenty of reasons to stay in Lubbock. Learn why these three Lubbockites love where they live, work and play.
In Lubbock, art is more than a matter of mediums, it’s a way of life, and this mini mecca of performing and visual arts is flourishing. In fact, the Lubbock art scene was one of the first Cultural Districts to be recognized by the state of Texas (and for good reason, too). For Kelly J. Reyna, Texas Tech and Lubbock Christian University Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts and owner of Grey Edges Studio & Art Gallery, there’s no place she’d rather be than the “Hub City.”
Born and raised in the 806, Reyna has seen her hometown grow substantially through the years. And while Reyna has lived in other states — California, Oregon and Michigan — she always found her path led her back to Lubbock. From familial ties to the cost of living and community support, nowhere else compared.
“I have actually moved away twice and come back,” said Reyna. “My children, the growing art community and strong family connections keep me here in Lubbock. You could say I’m here to stay!”
According to Reyna, the growth of Lubbock’s art scene shows no signs of slowing. With aspirations of eventually running her own non-profit business to support artists and Autism families in Lubbock, the “Hub City” is ideal for raising her two sons, a growing business and putting down permanent roots.
“The city is expanding,” said Reyna. “There is a vibrant arts community here, and seasonal cultural activities are now offered by the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) and the Texas Tech Art Museum. I believe there is a growing support system for the arts in Lubbock.”
With all the amenities of a large city, but none of the downfalls, fewer locals are choosing to move away. Reyna attributes this to the establishment and support of quintessential businesses like the Buddy Holly Center, Giorgio’s Restaurant, Orlando’s Italian Restaurant, Copper Caboose, United Supermarkets, LHUCA and more. As Reyna sees it, when one business flourishes, the rest only stand to benefit.
“In Lubbock, you often hear stories of how others are very willing to help people out,” said Reyna. “There is a sense of helpfulness here.”
And that support translates throughout all levels of the community. Through uplifting interest and community investments, anyone can make a name for themselves in Lubbock, according to Reyna.
“I think Lubbock lives up to its reputation,” said Reyna. “There is a lot of pride within the people that live here. They build their support systems and that keeps them here. I am proud to say I am from Lubbock, and most people I know from here would say the same thing.”
Ask any Lubbock local and they’ll tell you Texas Tech is a pillar of the city. According to Jessica Cravens, Associate Director for Operations at Texas Tech University Undergraduate Admissions, Lubbock is the ideal place to establish yourself as a young adult. As the overseer of on-campus programming for prospective students, Cravens is intimately familiar with what attracts and keeps people in the “Hub City.”
“There is no better community than Lubbock,” said Craven. “Everyone here is friendly and kind. People come here for the university, but they stay because they fall in love with the community.”
Cravens categorizes herself as one such case. After moving from Dallas to attend Texas Tech for an undergraduate degree, Cravens never left. She fell in love with how “small town” this big city felt.
“I like the way of life in Lubbock,” said Cravens. “It takes 15 minutes to get anywhere. I lived in Washington DC for a short stint, and I could not tell you how many doors I ran into and how many strange looks I got. But people in Lubbock hold doors open for the person behind them. It’s such a welcoming environment here.”
As a proud Lubbock local, Cravens feels the “Hub City” is rife with opportunities for younger generations just graduating from college. With a low cost of living, plentiful career opportunities and a bustling cultural scene, there’s a reason the 806 is ranked among the best cities for young folks to establish themselves.
“I see the relationship between the enrollment growth of Texas Tech and then the growth of Lubbock,” said Cravens. “I know of several friends who lived in the larger metropolitan areas for years but moved back to Lubbock because of a career. More and more companies are coming to Lubbock and I think Texas Tech University and the Health Sciences Center have helped with that. This town is growing.”
Beyond helping others plan for their time at Texas Tech, Cravens also sees a clear place for herself in Lubbock as well. And while she tries not to control the future too much, Cravens is content with a lifetime spent in “Hub City.”
“Lubbock has grown so much and also gotten many new restaurants and fun outdoor activities like The Range and 4ORE Golf,” said Cravens. “As Lubbock grows, I can see myself raising a family here. I love working for Texas Tech University, so hopefully, I will still be here in the future.”
While the art and education scenes continue to grow, so do the entrepreneurial sectors of Lubbock. According to local business owner Randall Jackson, the “Hub City” is the perfect fit for prospective startups.
“It’s a place that has a bright future,” said Jackson. “There’s a lot of stuff happening here, and it’s perfect for prospective small businesses — this town is very supportive of local startups. That’s why we decided to open Monomyth here.”
Though Jackson wasn’t born in Lubbock, he’s since adopted it as his hometown. After moving here in 2010 with his family, Jackson attended Lubbock Christian University and graduated in 2014. Following his graduation and the birth of his son, Jackson and his brother decided to open the local favorite, Monomyth Coffee.
“Coffee is a big thing to me,” said Jackson. “I think Lubbock has one of the best scenes in the U.S. for good coffee, both in terms of the quality of the product and the service the shops provide.”
With the successes of the Lubbock economy in the past decade, specialty businesses like Jackson’s have had room to flourish. Reflecting on his time in high school, Jackson remembers a version of Lubbock that didn’t include local coffee shops, breweries and artisan crafts.
“A shift has occurred and now Lubbock is home to lots of fun businesses,” said Jackson. “The people here are interested in supporting unique, local shops. We see a lot of potential here, and we want to continue to dig into that. Soon, I hope to expand Monomyth to include a roastery too.”
For young entrepreneurs like Jackson and his brother, Lubbock is the ideal community to start building a life and business for themselves.
“The cost of living here is great,” said Jackson. “It’s the perfect place to raise my family. The education systems here are awesome too. Realistically you can purchase your own land, put yourself through school and start your own business.”
And with all the economic attractions that come with the community, Randall also acknowledges the social and cultural allure of living here as well.
“This is a fun town, a town where you can comfortably live, work and play,” said Jackson. “I think a lot of people think this is a flat, boring city with lots of farming and cowboys, but that’s not the case at all. It’s a balanced town. Anyone who doubts me should visit Tom and Bingos BBQ, La Sirena or Flippers Tavern. That’ll definitely change their mind.”
And as Jackson looks to the future, he anticipates the continued growth of his adopted hometown with excitement.
“People want more than ‘good enough,’” said Jackson. “People want to live in a place where they can afford to travel, and visit good restaurants, and buy art, and pursue their interests. They want balance. I’m excited to be a part of that change.”