Why I Moved to Duluth


Why I Moved to Duluth | Duluth Moms Blog

Exactly ten years ago, after graduating from Aveda institute, I moved from Minneapolis to Duluth. Originally from Bemidji, Duluth was always a destination for me and my family. So many people asked me why. Why are you moving to Duluth? Why are you leaving your best friends, hundreds of salons, Nordstrom!!! What’s in Duluth anyway?” they would ask with puzzled looks on their faces. For at least a year I would answer these questions, trying to explain myself by saying “Duluth is in the middle of my hometown and the cities”, or, “I wanted to afford rent without having a roommate.” They just didn’t get it. The lake was calling me and I landed a stylist job right on it. 

As a child we took many trips to Duluth. I was happy to just walk the Lakewalk and maybe get some candy from one of the shops in Canal Park and then hunt for sea glass and skip rocks. As I got older, we would visit Duluth for school clothes shopping and have mother daughter weekends. My mom even gave me my purity ring on a Duluth trip. I’d come up for birthday weekends, and on my 16th birthday, I got my hair and makeup done at an Aveda salon in Fitgers; and after that my idea to be a cosmetologist was confirmed. I was in love with the whole experience. I was in love with Duluth. After that, I would bring my friends to Duluth for girls weekends, going to the lighthouse, showing them my favorite coffee shops and restaurants, shopping my favorite stores downtown and in Canal Park. Still, I never thought about living in Duluth. 

Finally, towards the end of my education at Aveda, I was pretty set on moving to Duluth and working in the very salon I used to go to for my weekends away. So I did. My first few months I experienced Lake effect snow and getting stuck on the hills (which hasn’t happened since). I once came out of work to find my whole car buried in snow on the drivers side only. My apartment was at the top of a hill so that night I parked at the bottom of the street and hiked up… in heels. Lesson learned.

Shortly after I started work, I met my (now) husband and his (then, little) boy by cutting his hair. It was a meant-to-be moment and I still get goosebumps when I think about it. I celebrated my ten years in Duluth in March and ten years since meeting my husband and stepson in April. Coming up on my 30th birthday this summer, I can’t help but look back at my life so far and thank Duluth for so many of my happiest memories.

Duluth will always be special and magical to me. Duluth gave me a husband, we have wedding pictures with the best view of Lake Superior as the backdrop. I became an insta-mom, I had both of my babies with a view of our beautiful city. I’ve cheered for local sports teams, gone on countless walks on the Lakewalk, stood outside in negative weather watching my stepson ski race down Spirit Mountain, found jars of sea glass on the shores with my daughters, built a home, hosted friends and family and showed off our city. Now my friends are the ones saying they wish they could live here. “It’s so beautiful”, “You’re so lucky to live there.” They couldn’t be more right. 

As a self proclaimed indoorsy mama, (mostly in the winter) I sometimes curse Duluth and its wild and long winters. I may never enjoy the snow and cold like other Duluthians seem to, but it’s ok. I enjoy the rest so much and truly know this is where I was meant to be. Many people come here from other cities, but not all of them stay. If you are a transplant and you’re reading this, I hope you find your home here. Our community is as strong as our gale winds and we welcome you!

Why I Moved to Duluth | Duluth Moms Blog

Why I Moved to Duluth | Duluth Moms Blog

{ Photo Credit: Amanda Jean Photography}


Sometimes I don’t like you, you’re cold and you’re foggy

 winters are long and they leave my lawn soggy

Your wind knocks me over, I curse all the snow

But when it starts melting how I love you so

Your summers bring sunshine and tourists to the Lake

They watch the big boats and the big waves break

They find pretty sea glass and skip rocks on your shore

And teach new generations to do as they did before

They buy ice cream and trinkets down in Canal Park 

They take pictures of the lift bridge lit up in the dark

When the leaves start to change colors you know Duluths the spot

And they’ll find the best coffee served nice and hot

To go on hikes on your beautiful  trails that don’t end

To take pictures for instagram to show all their friends… How cool Duluth is.

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I'm Kati Annis and I moved to Duluth ten years ago, after graduating from the Aveda Institute of Cosmetology in Minneapolis. Originally from Bemidji, I always loved visiting Duluth and I knew I wanted to end up here. I met my husband Brian at the first salon I worked at while I was cutting his son Caleb's hair. Brian and I have been married for nine years, and we now have a family of five, going on six! Caleb is a freshman at the University of Sioux Falls where he is playing football and learning a lot.I have two daughters, Grace and Elin who both attend Many Rivers Montessori and both love dancing with the Minnesota Ballet. I am a stay at home mom with another baby on the way! Most of my favorite hobbies are not outdoorsy ones, but we all can't be Annie Oakley. I'm so excited to share my mommy-wife-life perspective with this great community of women.