Co-founder Dillan Whisenant gives his take on how Scenic Trend fared through 2020.
My friend Nathan and I founded Scenic Trend on January 1, 2020, so that we would be able to create a place that shows off the talents and skills of creatives in the Chattanooga area. We thought that Scenic Trend would be our chance to become driving members in the Chattanooga community. We were also certain that the supportiveness of the people of Chattanooga, would encourage us to be the best we can be. The idea started while we were co-owners with our good friend Phillip Warren at Leeker Magazine. At Leeker Magazine, we focused on only the hip-hop community in Chattanooga. After a few months of growth, we found that there was a need for every creative community in Chattanooga to be showcased. Our solution to this was Scenic Trend.
At the beginning of this pandemic, Nathan and I were hopeful for the content we might be able to put out. We theorized that, with creatives stuck at home, their creativity would prosper. We sat back and prepared ourselves for great music, art pieces, drawings, photo journals, and stories that the arts community would soon start releasing. We were not let down. Chattanoogans prosper in the situations handed to them, and this pandemic has proven that.
A lot of hardships have been present during this pandemic. Small businesses we once saw thriving began to struggle, downsize, and even shut down permanently. Starting a business during this time seems to be nearly impossible. The vaccine rolling out (slowly but surely) makes me very hopeful for businesses to start rebuilding their customer base and cater to their regulars once again. Personally, I found that I suffered a severe lack of motivation in my work, studies in school, and hobbies. Being stuck at home has been draining on my passion for networking and community building, but like Chattanoogans do best, Nathan and I adapted. We sat down and began to brainstorm with our amazing team on ways we could kill that period of being unmotivated and feeling unproductive.
We decided to reach out to the faculty and staff at UTC. While working with them, we developed an internship program at Scenic Trend. Our interns help us stay motivated and produce killer content, and in return, they get college credit hours and valuable experiences. I am happy to say that we are on our tenth intern as I write this, as we are working on interviewing several more who are interested in our internship program.
I have a great feeling about what 2021 holds for us. I am very hopeful that, with more people getting vaccinated, normality will begin to come back soon. I cannot wait until Scenic Trend can get back into Chattanooga, in person, to continue to do what we love: helping the Chattanooga creative community grow and thrive.
You can follow me on Instagram, @dillanwhisenant.