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Verde Lifestyles

200 W 2nd St
Suite 1444
Royal Oak, MI 48068

Danielle Brycz

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I was an International Studies major in the College of Social Science at MSU and Ryan is currently finishing his degree in Marketing at OU while working full-time. I was in the TechTown SmartStart program for 6 months and all other experience has been through trial and error.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customers were family and friends from Michigan.

Where did you find your first employee?
University of Michigan

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We don't currently have the need for a full-time employee.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
The site has been funded primarily by my partner Ryan and is now in a position to support itself.

What do you see in Metro Detroit that other people who live outside the area don't?
An opportunity to reinvent yourself. If I hadn't been laid off three times in the past two years I probably wouldn't have started my own business. Granted we started the business while I was working my first job out of college, but I knew the economy was bad and not going to improve in the short term. We needed another source of income and I also wanted to have a creative outlet and a place where I could experiment and grow my online marketing skills.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Provide more support in the form of training and funding. TechTown was a tremendous help in developing my business and leadership skills. We didn't use the funding they provided because we didn't want loans or investors, but the skills I learned were invaluable. In the beginning I also reached out to family and friends and talked to them about their experiences as an entrepreneur or business professional. Once again, the information they gave me was a tremendous help and it was great to bounce ideas off of people who had been in a similar situation.

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