It has now been a year and eight months since we moved to Michigan. Brad and I came mostly with excitement for a new place. Sure there was apprehension about making new friends at 33, where I would work and how long and gray the winters would be. I can honestly say it has been a great adventure, and I owe it all to the people.
In the spring of 2017 I was wide eyed, excited to get involved, to go to talks and workshops and to understand the state of the city, local organizations and especially the creative entrepreneur scene. Through connections with my well established studio mates, my colleague from college and the trade show collective Design Make Detroit I nudged my way right into the local scene. I was also able to rebuild a amazing group of talented collaborators and staff at EBJ all from network connections. To say that people have been welcoming is a understatement, a city has meant a plethora or interesting people and places, but the tight knit community means that people are connected, you see the same faces, and yet there is space for everyone.
There are some really talented people in Detroit, it’s a city where you can go for it because there is s p a c e, little pretension and it's affordable to live. However there is not necessarily a local apatite for handmade goods with a story. So while we would all love being part of the city the fact is that most of the work, customers and livelihood ends up being from the surrounding, and never ending suburbs.
This summer has given Elaine B Jewelry some of the most amazing opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs . We are (through Christmas) one of 13 locally owned businesses collaborating in the 1441 Collective. A huge 2500 sq foot store front right across from the new Shinola Hotel in arguably one of the best storefront locations in downtown Detroit.
I also got to participate in Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses program, a three month long “mini MBA” which columnated with a 50 page business and growth plan. The 10kSB program brought together 30+ business owners of which I was one of the youngest and one of the least successful, needless to say I am in very good company and grateful to the network they have given us.
Here is my team. Caitlin, Natasha, myself and Mo. These ladies came into my life last year through this amazing network here in Detroit and have been the backbone of Elaine B Jewelry. As we step into probably our most exciting season EVER I'm excited to tell you more about them, and to share big news on our upcoming move to a storefront and so much more.