Community Spotlights

image

With so many amazing projects happening in Detroit, we want to share a few that we’ve got on our radar this month. Check them out below!

D:hive Build Grad and SOUP winner Sarah Pappas owns and operates a seasonal flower farm in Woodbridge. This loan will help her get the equipment she needs to run efficiently and fulfill wholesale demands.

Document your Detroit story in this citywide participatory media event on April 26th organized by One Day on Earth.

A Talent Summit hosted by Pure Michigan on June 13, 2014 with over 100 participating Michigan companies. 

Annual 5K Run and Walk benefitting the Belle Isle Aquarium on April 26th at 10am. 

The second in a series of public lectures presented by Assemble. Nigel Jacob will discuss the role of technology in government. April 22nd at the Max Fisher Music Center. 

The first of an ongoing series of 3rd Thursdays on Livernois. Participating businesses will be open late for art demos, shopping, and more. 

Making History Come Alive in Hamtramck

image

D:hive Build Grad Greg Kowalski in the Hamtramck Historical Museum

It’s a well-known fact that Hamtramck is one of Michigan’s most internationally diverse and densely populated cities. What’s less well known is how Hamtramck came to be the cultural and ethnic melting pot it is today. For many, the city’s history starts and ends with the established Polish community, but that population has slowly declined as new immigrant communities, including Yemeni and Bangladeshi populations, continue to grow. For history lovers or curious visitors, the Hamtramck Historical Museum is finally open for business!

Greg Kowalski, a D:hive BUILD grad, started the museum as a project with the Hamtramck Historical Commission, launched by the city in 1998.  “When we first met we had nothing, no archives, no records, no artifacts, nothing,” says Greg. “We started piecing things together by going to city hall, finding records, talking to the community, receiving donations and doing public programs and presentations on the city’s history.”

They received an overwhelming community response to their work and had dozens of people volunteering their time to help preserve and archive the city’s history. Even though there was definitely interest, it was too expensive to launch the museum at that stage. After fundraising $14,000 and being selected to participate in Michigan’s ‘Cities of Promise’ program seven years ago, the gears were finally set in motion.

 image

Greg took D:hive BUILD’s satellite Hamtramck class in the Spring of 2013. “It helped us understand how to market ourselves and measure our progress,” he says. Next he embarked on the process of acquiring and renovating the space, which is still a work in progress. “It was established 100 years ago as the first department store in Hamtramck, before it became a barber college and finally a dollar store. The space has been through a lot.” But that didn’t stop Greg from diving into repairs and opening up the museum to the public two days a week.

The museum, located at 9525 Jos. Campau, offers photographic exhibits, unique artifacts, and historical maps and documents. The upstairs is packed with boxes upon boxes of archives, which they hope to display once renovations are complete.

image

With a background in journalism and communications, Greg knows marketing is critical to the museum’s success. “We can’t expect people to just wander in – they need to know there’s a reason for them to come. We don’t just want a static space,” he says. His vision is to create an interactive community hub with a robust programming schedule including community classes and speakers, as well as a gift shop and café. “People have to know their community so they can invest in it,” he says. “Museums are not just for putting up exhibits of old artifacts – they are important for a city’s growth and future. We want everyone to understand that this is their museum.”

___________________________________________________________________

The Hamtramck Historical Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11-5pm. It is located at 9525 Jos. Campau. Greg Kowalski is also partnering with the Hamtramck Free School to offer an exploratory history course, starting April 14th. Learn more here

Q & A with Ebony Rutherford

image

Ebony Rutherford is the enthusiastic and fashion-forward founder of Trish’s Garage, the newest business to take over D:hive’s pop-up space at 1249 Woodward. We got the lowdown about her plans for the boutique and what she hopes to learn from the experience. Trish’s Garage opens April 7th with a grand opening party on April 11th. RSVP here. We’ll see you there!

What is the concept behind Trish’s Garage?

Trish’s Garage provides affordable looks and styling services geared towards young professionals in the community. We offer free style consultations to help you maximize your look and make it more polished. We are also a boutique with a curated selection of vintage clothing and artisan goods from Detroit entrepreneurs.

Why did you want to do a pop-up downtown?

I wanted to put my best foot forward to build my business into something more long term. I knew that doing a pop-up with D:hive Pilot would give me the ability to get real life experience in owning + operating my own business so I can put into action what I learned from my small business training. What better way to test the market!

What was your experience in D:hive’s Build + Techtown’s Retail Bootcamp?

It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur! I’m very thankful for D:hive + TechTown for helping me along the way. Foundation is key – I built a very strong business foundation through these programs. And then of course the resources and opportunities to network with other amazing small business owners.

What do you hope your business will bring to Detroit?

As Detroit’s young professional community grows, I want to provide an affordable option to help them look polished while also making a stylish statement.  I’m also excited to spotlight unique and fashionable local products made by Detroit entrepreneurs. But I’m most excited about the conversations I will have with people, the connections I hope to foster, and the community events we have planned.

How did you come up with the idea of Trish’s Garage?

I was working in corporate tech support for 5 years, but I always had a creative side. I knew I loved fashion and started to look for mentors in the industry and learned from hands-on experience by starting my own t-shirt line. I realized that I had to make a decision and see if I could do this full time, or not do it all. I’m excited to take the leap!

What inspires your style? 

I always loved Punky Brewster growing up. Just the quirkiness of her style. I love mixing and matching and putting my own unique twist on things. I’m a big fan of the sexy tomboy look – throwing on a t-shirt with jeans, but making it more sexy + sophisticated. 

Taking Root in Detroit

image

Noah at an employer roundtable at Live.Work.Detroit in March

Growing up in the Detroit suburbs, I had always operated under the assumption that unless I desired to work in the automotive field, I would have to abandon my roots in order to secure fulfilling and gainful employment. Even after countless hours logged in Detroit visiting my parents’ workplaces, attending concerts and sporting events, and exploring old and new buildings, I believed that I had to leave Detroit to experience full-body urbanism. It is what I had always been told. I was to be an unwilling participant in the infamous and inevitable Michigan Brain Drain.

As I write this, I sit in my apartment above Lafayette Park, near downtown Detroit, with a view of iconic buildings and an international waterway, feeling more viscerally a part of an urban center than I would in Chicago or Los Angeles, thankful that I chose to act in spite of the misconception and hyperbole about Detroit coming from my hometown. I am far from alone in this generational defiance. When I moved to Detroit from Ann Arbor two years ago, it was a demographic culture shock every time I would go back and forth; that feeling of one city as a hot tub and the other an ice bath has been moving toward equilibrium ever since. 

In the past couple of years, there has been an exciting influx of motivated and educated twenty-somethings into the core of Detroit. They come from all over the city, from the surrounding suburbs, from the middle and left sides of the state, from those thriving U.S. metropolises that did not falter in the mid-20th century; they come from abroad. They bring their creative explosions, their computational minds, their empowered hands, but most importantly, they bring a desire to contribute to Detroit’s growth.

When they reach out to me for guidance with Detroit’s job market, they come with enthusiasm and resolve. I often argue that if the city continues to attract the grand problem-solvers and those motivated by their surroundings as much as their bank statement, Detroit will have a population as proportionately nimble and versatile as any other large city. The looming question on every Detroiter’s mind, however, is whether this influx is sustainable, or if it is just trendy.

image

I recently sat around a table with recruiters and human resources employees from some of the city’s most prestigious companies and organizations to discuss the issues concerning talent attraction and hiring specific to Detroit. While the feedback varied understandably based on the industry represented, one common thread was woven throughout the discussion: the opportunities for fulfilling and gainful employment are plentiful, despite the misconceptions regarding their unavailability.

It’s going to take more than a simple mayoral press release to dispel the notions of Detroit as a professional void. When considering whether this progressive momentum is enduring or “trendy”, remember that techno and automobiles began as a trend, but through innovation and perseverance in the face of doubt and criticism, they took root. In Detroit, for the foreseeable future, I have as well.

___________________________________________________________________

image

About the Author: Noah Kaminsky is D:hive’s Work Resident. When he’s not connecting talented professionals to local employment opportunities, he is working on his music business, Backbeat Detroit. He enjoys playing the drums and watching the Tigers. He lives in Lafayette Park, where he loves being in close proximity to Eastern Market. 

What are your weekend plans?

With Spring in the air, we put together a list of 5 things to do in Detroit over the next 5 days. From independent theatre at The Hilberry to Opening Day festivities at D:hive, there’s so much to see and do in the city. What are you most excited about? 

1. North American Bicycle Week @ Cobo Hall

2. Lyft Detroit Launch Party @ PracticeSpace 

3. Moon Over Buffalo @ The Hilberry Theatre

4. Opening Day Party @ D:hive 

5. Visualizing Data Exhibit @ Work Detroit Gallery

Springtime Fun

Today marks the first day of Spring! Are you ready to start planning your outdoor adventures in Detroit? We’ve got newly updated bar + restaurant and lunch spots checklists, as well as handy maps of Greater Downtown, and more great resources. Stop by D:hive (1253 Woodward) anytime between 10-6pm to grab yours. And keep an eye out on the Detroit Experience Factory website for upcoming Spring/Summer tours!  

image

Mapping BUILD

image

Our new BUILD Zip Code Map highlights the geographic diversity of our BUILD students over the past two years. With over 300 graduates representing 65 zip codes, it’s pretty awesome to see BUILDers from all corners of Detroit ready to turn their ideas into a reality! We’re excited to see even more inspiring and diverse entrepreneurs come through our doors in the future. Read about what some of our BUILD alumni are up to here

Kudos to D:hive Design Resident Alicia Stocker for her work on this project. 

313 Day Love

image

Photos: Michelle & Chris Gerard

There are countless reasons to love Detroit. We received so many wonderful comments from our followers on FB on 313 Day - below are some of our favorites. Thanks for sharing your Detroit love! 

It’s not just one thing… it’s the people, the places, and all the things I have here that make me love it. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s people and passion and pride. It’s the old-timers with stories to tell and to learn from, and new-comers who are creating new stories. Detroit is not for everyone. But if you’re here, you DO matter. #313Dlove

Michelle


Detroit provided the opportunity for a diploma in my hand, the smile in my heart and the grit in my character. For all of this and more, I love, and owe, Detroit.

Jerry


It’s home. When Detroiters fall, we know how to pick ourselves back up and survive.

Nikki


Fall foliage, spring blossoms, cherry custom cars cruising in the summer, and snow before I have to shovel it. The architecture and design. How it’s both a big city and a small town rolled into one package.

Michael


Detroit is filled with resilient people whose passion for the city is reflected in the actions they take to see visions come to life.

@6degreesdetroit


I love Detroit for its energy, grand architecture, midwestern resilience and the collective interest in building things better.

Sarah



I love OUR spirit! From how the city started, to its growth and development, to fall and now rising… You can go out of the state or country, spot a Detroiter, ask “Are you from the D?” and it’s like you met up with a long-lost friend. There’s something that strings us all together and makes us a slightly dysfunctional family that can joke about ourselves, but will be ready to fight if someone does the same…

Tatiana



It’s a world of wonders. It’s harvested some of the best talents in the world. The people are the heart and soul. And no other city has soul like Detroit does.

Theresa