In this episode, we talk to Joey Furlan from Seattle.
Joey Furlan owns a hair salon, Hair By Joey, that does high end hair styling and cutting in Prescott, AZ.
He moved here from Seattle.
You can contact him at www.hairbyjoey.com
We thought that Happy Oasis and Johnny Light had sort of a nudist colony or something and maybe that’s why it seems like such a great deal.
I’m Conrad Walton, and this is Finding Prescott. Moving stories from people who decided to make Prescott, Arizona, their hometown.
Welcome to Episode Three. This one’s going to be with Joey Furlan, who owns Hair By Joey and he does a good job cutting my hair, so I recommend him.
He and his stylists come from LA, New Jersey and Seattle. They bring all of their big city talents to our small town here, Prescott. I appreciate him volunteering to tell his story.
This is another interview that’s been done over the internet. So we’re using Zoom, and there’s some internet connection issues along the way. It gets a little blurry every once in a while so bear with me.
And with that, here’s Joey
So hey, yeah, Joey. Hair By Joey. You can find us online at HairByJoey.com.
Started our salon here back in 2019. Moved to Prescott 2016 and we are here doing high end hair for the whole Prescott area. Find out more about us again at HairByJoey.com.
Cool. Well thank you. So tell me the first time that you ever became aware of Prescott. How did you hear about it?
So I had a hair salon up in Seattle and a wonderful guy named Grant Casada. He and I met through church because we were just a couple of straight male Christian hairstylist. There’s not a whole lot of us out there in the world.
And so we we met up there in Seattle and he came and checked my studio out. For a time he was considering coming on board. But then he decided to re-up his military career. He’s, He’s a ranger and a sniper and he did that for years and then he came back to his hometown, Prescott, Arizona.
And so we were just very lightly in touch through Facebook and that sort of thing. I saw that he started started a barber shop down here.
And so just getting a little bit into our story, my wife and I were ready to transition out to Seattle around 2016. The Southwest seemed like a good place to go. And we didn’t know anybody except this one guy, Grant.
And so I reached out to him on Facebook. And that’s, that’s when he really pitched me on Prescott. He was driving down to the valley that day, and he was so excited. We talked for about two hours straight. And he texted me pictures and told me about the Courthouse Square and the lighting and just all the cool things, and the weather.
And I got off that phone call and and called my wife and said, Hey, I think we’re going to move to this little town called Prescott.
And the rest is history.
Can I ask what your motivation for moving out of Seattle was?
So I, as so many of us, people coming from the coasts, the, the traffic in these big coastal cities is just getting out of hand. And then Seattle, you have the additional factor of the weather, being overcast, nine months out of the year.
My wife and I had been married for some time and wanted to start a family and we just decided man, we do not want to do this with the horrible dark gray, rainy skies and horrible traffic. We want to get someplace, to where we can stretch a little, and spend less time driving and more time living. So that’s that’s what made us decide to move out for better climes.
How many times were you here before you moved here? Did you visit at all?
We did not visit at all, my friend! We, we, we loaded up the ForeRunner and just drove straight here February 1. I started working February 3. We got an Airbnb. Lovely couple out in the Granite Dells that we stayed with for a month. I don’t think it hurt their feelings to call them a little bit of a hippie couple.
And they go by Happy Oasis and Johnny Sunshine. That’s… or Johnny Light. That’s their actual names. And they’re just a terrific couple.
But we were a little hesitant Initially when we were getting on Airbnb and asked about their place, because we weren’t sure is this like a nudist hippie place because this is a really interesting community vibe.
And they just laughed and laughed when we finally just said, this is the one thing we’re a little concerned about. They’re like, No, no, no, we’re actually very modest people. But we just have this sort of aesthetic.
So that was our introduction. It was a very Sedona kind of vibe for Prescott, you know, because they were just right out there in the Dells. And it’s a bit of a community, sort of “shared space” thing, but they have the coolest place out there.
And they’ve remained good friends until today.
But then then we moved in with one of my fellow barbers here. And then we were here for three months and we found our dream home and that was that.
So what part of town Did you finally decide to move into?
Well, it wasn’t a tough decision. I knew we wanted to be within five minutes of downtown so that that kind of got rid of a lot of places and then we love the woods and a little bit of that Northwestern feel.
And as you go out west towards Thumb Butte, you do get more trees and more woods. You get that South as well. Not so much north and east. So I just loved West Prescott right off the bat.
And when we found this super cool home out here… I want to just a little peekaboo view of the Butte. It’s something that I would know, I was here in this other place and near the Butte. And we ended up just going whole hog and getting a beautiful place that just looks right out at the Butte.
You know, every day I wake up and the Butte is all orange and the backdrop is blue and the trees are green and there’s not a cloud in the sky. I’m just very happy.
Pros and cons about where you live, your neighborhood?
I wish there were more young people here, more kids for my kids to play with, because it’s a wonderful cul-de-sac. You know, if there’s, if there’s a challenge, it’s just having a neighborhood with kids. So that that’s the challenge.
The pros. You just feel like you’re out the middle of nowhere, because we have some real elevation where I’m at at the top, top of a big hill here in town near Hassyampa.
And when you come up to our area, our little cul-de-sac, it’s just quiet. And you feel like you’re camping a lot of nights under the stars when you’re just five minutes from town. Yeah.
Tell me about the house buying process. How did that go? Did you look at a lot of houses? Do you have a good agent?
Okay, so I’ve made friends with a guy here in town is one of my first friends Ty Friedman.
We ended up going to church together, and very friendly realtor who helped me with some good advice for selling a piece of property up in Seattle. So when the time came, and my wife and I said let’s do this, we call them we met him that afternoon. He had a tour put together for us the next day. We went out and checked out three houses, then a couple of them seemed like a pretty good possibility.
But later that night, I was hanging out, we were hanging out with my friend Grant. And he said, Dude, there’s this one house. You got to see it. If I could get any house here in town, it’d be this super cool Dwell magazine modern house. I looked at it and I thought, well, we’ll never be able to afford that, because they had a great view. And it was just a super cool design.
But I thought, let’s just go look at it for kicks. And so the next day tide took us out here and I thought, if there’s a way I can make this work, we’re gonna do this, and my wife was in, she liked it too.
Then, Then I got into talking to my mortgage broker, and I realized how much lower property taxes are here. And suddenly the dream seemed achievable.
What was the process of moving here? Like, did you just call somebody and move a truckload? Or was that a long drawn out? Was it emotional at all?
You know, that’s a great question.
A process over time, began with that first ForeRunner trip. And then we did a second ForeRunner trip where we rented a little U-Haul trailer in the back, and then a third trip just in my Mazda and that pretty much got us all the basics that we needed. And then a lot of stuff we left at our Seattle home, which we turned into a business. And so I was able to store the rest of my life up there until this very last year, about a year ago.
And this is speaking in the spring of 2020. So the spring of 2019, we decided to sell out to Seattle. And at that point, I had to go up and get a U-Haul and bring everything, everything else back down here.
So it was really tough emotionally, man, it was… saying goodbye to Seattle was a real emotional journey for me. And it was made easier because we were able to spread it out over the last four years. But that last goodbye was tough. It was tough.
It’s a feeling when you just got everything there and you’re moving to such a different area and you’re really rolling the dice on this whole new life.
But the best decision I ever made. Well, let me let me let me back that up. Meeting Jesus, that was the best and then my wife second best, and then this may be third best. So, there it is.
All right, I’ll take third best for Prescott. That’s pretty good.
So what do you like most about actually living here in Prescott?
The number one thing, weather. Weather, weather weather. You know when you come from nine months of overcast it just it’s such a brain changer when you realize that you don’t have to rush out to catch this half hour sunshine because you may not see another half hour sunshine.
Like today it’s gonna be sunny and guess what? Tomorrow it’s gonna be sunny too. And the day after that still probably gonna be sunny. So weather is number one.
A close second is, I call it the 10 minute town. Everything’s 10 minutes away. Seattle, just going down to your closest Safeway could be 15, 20 minute round trip, traffic, lights, ugh. Just the hassle factor of constant traffic.
So, So weather and then yeah, the number two is definitely that everything’s so convenient. I just make all my friends live in this Prescott zone. You know, up as far as like Willow Creek and then down in this neighborhood and then just a little bit east of maybe Sheldon and that’s my whole world. Everything’s so convenient.
So do the monsoons make you feel it like you’re back in Seattle?
Not at all, because the Seattle weather is much more akin to the type of weather that we get in Prescott in January and February.
You know, one of the questions we talked about and I’ll just touch on it here. What do you not like about Prescott? The only thing I don’t like about Prescott is maybe part of January and February. You get just a little bit of weather that reminds me too much of Seattle. But that’s being pretty picky.
Well, since you brought it up, what do you dislike the most about Prescott?
I you know, I had to think long and hard about this one. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about Prescott. I know that sounds corny. But I love the people. Oh, wait, I take that back. I thought of something. It could have more cool restaurants.
Shout outs to Biga, and the Barley Hound. Those are my my two favorite go to places and El Gato Azul is great for a Sunday brunch, love all those places. And I just think if we could have more variety of cool restaurants, but they’re beginning to pop up here and there and I’m sure in the in the years to come that more entrepreneurs will launch cool things.
When you came here you probably had expectations of what it would be like. What surprised you the most about after you got here and started living here, what was the surprise for you?
What surprised me, Conrad, was how easy it was to make friends and build community. You know, I lived in Seattle my whole life. And it took me, it took us, about a year here to build friendships and community that were very akin to what we experienced in Seattle.
And you can’t overstate how much proximity makes a difference in building relationships. In Seattle, if you’re friends are the next town over, it may be a 45 minute trip one way to get together and as a result, you just don’t get together.
Prescott, everybody’s 10-15 minutes away. It’s so easy to build relationship. And that that was a surprise and that was our biggest sort of misgiving or trepidation about coming here, was the idea of, gosh, how are we going to build a friendship network here, and it came together quickly. And we’ve built multiple multiple friendship networks into different venues and that’s been absolutely fantastic.
How would you describe the people that live in Prescott?
You know, it’s definitely more conservative than Seattle, but it doesn’t feel out of step with what’s happening around the world and doesn’t feel like you’d be run out of town, if you were more progressive minded person.
It’s just more con servative, but I would say very friendly conservative. You know, people here seem to enjoy spirited debate. There’s you know, Tuesdays down around the square. There’s one corner that has the Donald Trump people and the other corner that has the “Trump is Satan” people and that’s okay. Here in Prescott, it’s, it’s cool. Everybody can do do their own thing. And, and I really liked that.
So being a bit more conservative where you can be out and be conservative and not be looked down on. But then, that also progressive people are welcome here many of my clients are, are wonderful progressives as well as conservative folks, and it really mixes and matches just fine here in Prescott.
Okay. What do you miss most about Seattle?
Proximity to the ocean, and a wider variety of interesting restaurants and then of course, family. We miss our family Most of all.
So if somebody else was considering moving to Prescott, what kind of advice would you give them?
I definitely say come and visit. You know, come hang out for a three day weekend. You can pretty much see what what you need to see in a three day weekend here, I think, and then find a great realtor who knows the space and go out for a tour. There’s so many friendly folks here that are all ready to hop in their car and drive around.
What advice would you give people about the home buying process and the moving process?
I would say the number one thing is work with somebody you trust, and then take take their advice, follow your heart about what house you’re passionate about.
But I’ve always found it’s in my interest to let my realtor guide me through the process rather than trying to micromanage and if you meet somebody you can trust, then you don’t have to worry about it. Let them help you come up with what a good initial offer is, what a good counteroffer is, and be a good client. And I think you’re gonna have a better experience.
Okay. And so do you have any final thoughts?
I would just say look, if you’re if you’re looking to move to Prescott, Arizona, the taxes are very reasonable. The people are very friendly. The town has everything you need, it’s very navigable to get around.
While it is it’s skewed a bit towards that towards that older retirement community. This is a place for healthy seniors. The seniors I meet often times are super fit. They’re still out there biking, mountain biking, hiking, I’ve had seniors that can loop me on some of these big trails that I’m like, didn’t I just see you?
So and then there there is also a great youthful subculture here. There’s great bars and hangout joints. And you can get whatever you need here. There’s a wonderful movie theater. There’s a Costco. There’s a Trader Joe’s. You have all the amenities that you’d expect in a big city, and none of the hassle and all the great weather you can imagine.
The people I met here, whether it’s it’s pastors or priests from various churches, The Mayor, he’s a very relatable guy who I trust. The city council members I know are super cool. It’s just you feel that sense of community.
It’s got all the cool small town stuff with all the big city amenities, the wonderful weather. Get in while you can. That’s all I can say. Because I think that Prescott is going to continue to grow. People have mixed feelings about that. I’m more positive than negative on that. I think there’s a way to grow this town responsibly.
And I love the variety of people that brings to to a space without getting it too crazy, I think because we’re not right on the 17. It’ll never get too too big. But I’d say definitely, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a place to live.
Wow. You should work for the Chamber of Commerce.
Man speaking of the Chamber of Commerce, if you need your hair done when you’re here in Prescott, Arizona, Hair by Joey dot com, really upscale feel, individual rooms for the stylist. So you just have your one on one attention from your stylist. We have amenities like cold beer in the fridge, a massage chair, gourmet coffee. It’s a pampering experience.
And it’s really cool to be able to bring that total big city thing that I created in Seattle, bring it to this small town and offer that to people that are moving here from California. from Seattle from San Francisco, from LA, we do hombre, we do the best Balayage in town. This is this is the place to come if you want a pampering experience and a big city experience here in the small town.
Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate you spending time with me and answering all these questions and hopefully you’ll get a little bit of business out of it. So thank you very much, Joey.
Thank you, Conrad. Thanks for having me on. Best of luck to you and best of luck to Prescott.
And I want to thank you my listeners. for choosing this podcast to spend your time and attention on.
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If you want help, or if you have questions about moving to prescote, give me a call or text me at 928-925-4428.
You can send me an email at Conrad at FindingPrescott.com. That’s C O N R A D at FindingPrescott.com.
You can also contact me through the website. There’s a Contact Us form there at FindingPrescott.com. All the show notes are going to be there on that website and you’ll find all the information that we talked about in this episode.
If you do contact us, one of my team members or I will reach out and we’ll try to answer all your questions and give you any help that you might need.
And remember the key to life is gratitude. So stay thankful