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The Peacock Room

15 E. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202

Rachel Lutz

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I have been involved with TechTown, and its Thrive program.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
My first customer was one of 500 who came into my shop's opening night which happened to be Noel Night. It's an annual neighborhood open house that attracts over 40,000 people to Midtown.

Where did you find your first employee?
You're looking at her. I may hire someone later in the year.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
I put every penny I owned into my business and maxed out a credit card. Three friends gave me interest-free loans. I hesitate to ask for community money as start-up funds since so many start-ups fail, and quickly. I want to establish more of a track record before asking strangers to invest in me. I plan to apply for a Hebrew Free Loan after I can document at least several months in business.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?
Invest yourself first before asking others to invest. Put your own money on the line, which will make you work harder. Ask others only for what you really need, and tell them what that money will pay for. There is no shortage of good ideas in this town. But really ask yourself if you have what it takes to make something a reality. Do you have a romantic notion in your head about what running your business will be like on a daily basis?
People see my job (as a shopkeeper) as very fun. It is fun, and I do get to buy crazy amounts of fun things for my customers. But I'm not just the buyer. I'm my buyer, salesperson, public relations agent, customer service department, real estate agent, construction manager, merchandiser, bookkeeper, stock girl, janitor, and more. Are you ready to wear many hats and take responsibility for every aspect of your business?

What do you see in Detroit that other people who live outside the area don't?
The people. Detroit has a richness in its people unlike any other town. Also, we are blessed with a beautiful stock of historic architecture. Look around you, it's everywhere.

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