What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I try to participate on a lot of educational webinars. I also try to attend local events and programs put on by various chambers of commerce around town.
Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
The first significant customer that we landed was as a result of networking. I became involved in a local non-profit organization at the same time as another woman who happened to be the vice president of marketing at a large locally-based company. We became friends, worked together at the non-profit on a volunteer basis, and when an opportunity arose to do some graphic design work for her company, we were given a shot. That was seven years ago and the company is still a client.
Where did you find your first employee?
We posted on CraigsList and ended up hiring a recent graduate from Purdue University who was looking to move to the Detroit area.
Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We do not have a formal intern program, but many of our employees have started with us on a freelance basis and then moved to full-time.
Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Fortunately, we have been able to fund our expansion and capital investments with cash flow from our business and have never had to raise capital from a third party.
What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
I like the fact that, particularly over the last several years, this region has become much more entrepreneurial. We are seeing many new opportunities for our business because, it seems, many new, small businesses are sprouting up. It's also exciting to see that Detroit and other communities are implementing programs to attract and retain creative and technology businesses.
If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
It would be great to see more young talented people settle in this region. Obviously, they can only do so if there are jobs available, so hopefully as the economy improves more young people will stay, or move to, Michigan.