ERICA BANTZ • BE HOME
Learn about why Erica chooses to be in Bakersfield + how she's designing the future of custom living.
Erica Bantz • Bantz Haus
We moved to back to Bakersfield from Los Angeles in late 2017. We decided to make the move because we had a baby and knew Los Angeles would be a tough spot to raise our little one. Being that we’re both from here, it was a logical decision to relocate to the Central Valley, in order to be close to extended family. Not to mention, we wanted to be part of a community, especially something larger than our group of friends. We wanted to raise our baby somewhere where we knew everyone, and there was not only support of grandparents, but also the community at large in Bakersfield.
One challenge we had was deciding where to live, ultimately where our first Bantz Haus project was going to be. We knew we wanted to be downtown, close to all the new projects and thriving local businesses. So we just had to figure out what house, what street, and hone in on that. Realistically, that wasn’t a sizeable challenge at all with the support of realtors, friends with advice on downtown living, and an eye for a diamond in the rough. We recently moved in and while we have a lot to do, we're loving our new life here.
Having spent the last 10 years in Los Angeles, we developed quite a tight-knit group of friends that really feel like family. We still get down to visit them quite often, but it’s been incredible to see how quickly we have found such a creative, open, and like-minded group here in Bakersfield. Aside from the outpouring of support via social media, we’ve joined a neighborhood wine club, enjoy attending local events in town, go to lots of fun mommy + me classes, attend barre classes at Poise Pilates + Barre, and now that the house is wrapping up - we’re so excited to start entertaining! We look forward to dinner and pool parties, camping trips, concerts, bike rides, and more!
Truly, we don’t regret the move at all. It’s an amazing time to be in Bakersfield, and what inspires me about living here is the opportunity to share my creativity. My experiences and adventures abroad over the last decade have shaped my design aesthetic. It is a wonderful feeling to see the city welcoming diverse perspectives in the Arts, from restaurants to museums, and to share our projects and point of view with such excitement. All through our renovation, and now that we have moved in, our very own downtown Westchester neighborhood has been especially warm and supportive. There is also great opportunity when it comes to the cost of living. When costs are low, this really allows people to take risks and do things that they wouldn't be able to do in a big city. They can explore their creativity, be entrepreneurs, and the support of the Bakersfield community can back those risks that are taken.
My hope for the future of Bakersfield is simple... I hope as this city grows, that it keeps its authenticity. That's what makes Bakersfield special and unique. It’s those mom-and-pop shops like Luigi’s Restaurant or Dewar’s Candy Shop + Ice Cream being beacons of the past paired with innovation and positive movement towards the next new thing. I’d love to see us reuse our existing structures and keep the charm in Downtown Bakersfield, all for us to enjoy for years to come.