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3502 W Liberty Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Mike Burns

The HandeHolder is an almost entirely made-in-Michigan product. Why is making sure everything is locally sourced a better business decision than choosing the lowest cost option regardless of geography?
I really believe that we can help each other by doing our business with other businesses in the state. If everybody does a little something it will help everybody out. That's truly the reason I am doing it.

There have been a growing number of local small businesses that are focused on in-sourcing as much of their business as possible. A lot of this has been because local businesses are trying to rally around each other in tough times. Do you think this trend will tail off as the economy improves?
When the economy improves, and I believe it will, people will sit back and realize working with the other businesses is what kept them going and allowed them to make it through. We will continue to work with Michigan companies.

How difficult is it for you to find the seed capital you need for your business?
I have been personally financing HandeHolder. We're at a point of making revenues and expanding. I am looking at it as an investment in my people and my company. I'll get everything I put into it.

Have you hit the net-revenue positive inflection point yet?
We're right on the cusp of it.

You doodle a lot of your product designs when they come to mind. Should all entrepreneurs keep a small notebook on hand to capture their ideas?
I never really thought about it that much because it's something I have always done. Everybody is different. The only thing I would advise people to do is be willing to look at things around them in different ways. Keep an open mind.

It's often said that entrepreneurship is a young man's game. What do you think about that cliché?
Maybe in a way, but maybe not. If you're real young you may have a lot of the energy you wouldn't have when you're as old as I am, but you may not have the experience. Experience isn't always what's it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it will hold you back. I have always been a little bit of an adrenaline junkie.

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