About ten years ago Katrina Brown came up with the idea for her store, Everything Detroit. Katrina knew that Detroit had no lack of talented designers, artists, and entrepreneurs, but she also noticed that these small businesspeople “shied away from marketing their businesses because of the expense.” Everything Detroit offers Detroit based entrepreneurs, artists, and designers a place to sell their products without incurring the high costs of marketing.
Katrina attended TechTown and ProsperUs programs at Grand River WorkPlace. Katrina then contacted GRDC looking for a place in the Grandmont Rosedale business community. The GRDC renovated commercial space at 19566 Grand River is the ideal spot for Katrina to feature an array of Detroit based products such as bags that feature Detroit artists’ work, Detroit skyline t-shirts, and sunglasses and jewelry by Detroit designers.
A UNIQUE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Online sales are available at www.everythingdetroitmi.com, but Everything Detroit offers customers the opportunity to check out the merchandise before they purchase and to find something unexpected. Entrepreneurs pay a rent fee for displaying their wares, and when Katrina markets the store, she markets the individual entrepreneurs. She also coaches the entrepreneurs on how to market their goods, and provides an e card featuring the logo of the store as well as the entrepreneurs’ logo. Everything Detroit is a true business cooperative, and Katrina has expanded that spirit of cooperation beyond the walls of her store.
BUILDING A BUSINESS COMMUNITY
With support from GRDC, Katrina renovated the patio just west of her store. She approached Tina Castleberry, owner of The Garden Bug at 18901 Grand River, to see if she’d be willing to donate pallets for benches. Tina is happy that the pallets no longer crowd her store, and Katrina has some new, definitely locally sourced benches for her patio.
Katrina looks forward to working with Detroit Vegan Soul, hoping customers might browse Everything Detroit. Small business owners, artists, community development organizations, and residents all have a stake in the Grandmont Rosedale business community. As Katrina says: “Neighborhoods are the backbone of Detroit, and strong, small businesses are necessary in order for neighborhoods to grow and stay strong.”