What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I study public relations at Wayne State University. I am also a Blackstone Launchpad
Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
I was fortunate enough to land a pretty good job in corporate America to raise the capital for The Social Club Grooming Company. In addition to saving 90 percent of what I needed, five family members contributed the other 10 percent.
What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
I have the best location in Metropolitan Detroit for a barbershop/salon. We are well positioned in Midtown—the heart of Detroit. We are on the main campus of Wayne State University
in the center of student life. We have retail space literally connected to the undergraduate residential suites.
Another advantage of working in Midtown and at Wayne State is that there are so many people pulling for us to succeed. I have met so many good people that just want us to win. A great example is Tom Brennan of The Green Garage. Tom and his wife Peggy, have opened their Garage doors and are helping me build a sustainable and responsible business. The Green Garage has so many cool businesses that we are going to work with on top of working with the garage itself. To have access to companies like The Green Garage and organizations like Midtown, Inc. while also have a powerhouse like Wayne State University behind us is the reason why doing business in this area is so perfect. It’s unreal. I am a big thinker and the people that I have met understand my vision. The Social Club Grooming Company is more than just a barbershop and hair salon. Our goal is to revolutionize the health and beauty industry and doing business in Detroit, Midtown Detroit to be exact, will help us do that. The energy in this area right now is crazy.
If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about this region it would be the closed mindset. People should engage in new things and new people. I can see this starting to happen in certain areas, but there is still a lot of room for opening up. Exposure is the key to growth.
Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
More walkable communities like Royal Oak. Midtown is doing a great job of transforming the area, but this is something that is sorely needed. We all understand that this takes time, but I’d definitely like to see more brick and mortar retail spaces create walkable neighborhoods.
What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Brag about what’s being done and influence people to want to be apart of that. Create opportunities with funding to allow people with great ideas to implement those ideas. Invest in making people believe in their dreams. There is no greater incentive for getting a business started or moving into a home, than actually believing that it is possible. Once you believe that things are possible you will stop at nothing to realize that possibility. On a more practical note, make the process of doing business in Detroit a very simple and logical one. I had trouble pulling permits for construction and renovation because this was my first time going through this process and I didn’t understand anything at the beginning. Now that I know the process I plan to repeat it several times in my life. But if people understood the process, perhaps they’d be more likely to move forward with their ventures.