Archives for April 2017

April 28, 2017 - No Comments!

REBRAND DETROIT’S BUSINESS FELLOW: PRECILLA LI

I started helping out at my family's restaurant at the age of 10 years old where I understood the meaning of the Chinese saying: “huet hon qian” which directly translates to “blood, sweat money."

Working at a restaurant taught me that every penny was earned by dripping sweat and by a sore body from long hours and constant movements. There were many moments when I was exhausted from the work, but the good food, especially the Kung Pao Chicken, always fueled me up! There were other moments where I would also glance over to my mom and wonder how she was able to work 7 days a week and at least 12 hours a day and still smiled brightly to her customers, employees, and to her family, to me.

As a first-generation Chinese American, my mom chose her profession not because she was passionate about the food industry, but because she wanted her daughters to be able to achieve their hopes and dreams for the future. As a second-generation Chinese American and first-generation college student, I needed to pursue my passions wholeheartedly and to reach success with the opportunity that my mom had provided me - an opportunity that no one provided her.

I now graduated from the University of Michigan where I concentrated in Marketing and Strategy at the Ross School of Business. Throughout my four years of college, my background in entrepreneurship was my foundation upon which I have been able to propel myself and to reach levels of success I have never imagined. At the University of Michigan, I had the opportunities to participate in 3 organizations: alpha Kappa Delta Phi, China Entrepreneur Network, and Best Buddies, to have internships abroad as well as during the school year and in the summer, and last but not least, to work at Rebrand Detroit, where I learned many valuable marketing skills from Hajj Flemings that can prepare me for my job post college. After graduation, I'll be working for Cardinal Health as a senior analyst for the Marketing Emerge program, a program that allows me to switch to a different marketing role every year for 3 years.

This was all made possible through my mom's hard work. Witnessing her work ethic and the sacrifices she made for us has inspired me to constantly challenge myself and to become a better me.

Thank you, mom.

April 25, 2017 - No Comments!

MICHIGAN ROSS’S CHINA ENTREPRENEUR NETWORK (CEN) PRESENTS: HAJJ FLEMINGS

“What are you going to do with 89,440 hoursof your life?” - Hajj Flemings

China Entrepreneur Network was honored to invite Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Detroit and Brand Camp University, to  speak at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

After 10 years of working as an Engineer for a major car company, Hajj Flemings decided to make a major career change to become an entrepreneur in the city of the Detroit. His efforts and his passion to revitalize his hometown, Detroit, through marketing was inspiring to students like us. Through this event, Hajj taught us that instead of working for someone else’s dream, we should strive hard for our own. Moreover, he said that being an entrepreneur, it is going to be rough patches and there wouldn’t be a set schedule, but as long as you’re passionate about the business, the hard work will pay off.

We are very thankful for the lessons Hajj Flemings provided during the event. Hope your business goes well. 

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/CENUMich/?ref=br_rs

April 9, 2017 - No Comments!

Rebrand Detroit Stories (Episode #2): Jason Hall – Slow Roll Detroit

Jason’s friends began to ride the city together regularly on just two wheels. Soon they opened it up for anyone to join them on their regular bike rides.

"We started to feel the positive energy and change. We wanted to start an event to share this energy with others." - Jason Hall Founder of Slow Roll

Jason and his partner Mike both come from background in promotions. It wasn’t hard for them to spread the word about Detroit’s regular bike ride. The regular ride soon grew to hundreds, now up to thousands in the city of Detroit coming together to explore the city and Slow Roll Detroit was born.

For more information: http://slowroll.bike/

April 9, 2017 - No Comments!

Rebrand Detroit partners with WordPress to Launch Detroit Websites

The first nine businesses in the 100 Project to launch new websites went live today, March 9, 2017.

Nine Detroit small businesses have new websites created pro bono by developers from San Francisco-based Automattic (the for profit arm of WordPress), part of a citywide initiative to get 100 businesses online by 2nd quarter of this year. The new websites were created during a 48-hour Super Bowl Weekend blitz as part of the 100 Project, program of Detroit-based Brand Camp University in partnership with WordPress and TechTown Detroit.

Brand Camp University’s mission is to help businesses tell their story via brand strategy, workshops and mentoring. Brand Camp’s 100 Project seeks to eliminate the digital gap that exists in so many communities that the Super Bowl weekend pilot project aimed to establish a digital presence for neighborhood businesses increasing their accessibility and their bottom line. The genesis of this project was seeded by the Knight Foundation’s Knight Cities Challenge.

“Getting the privilege to partner and learn from Alicia* and Kay** and their Detroit-based businesses have made me rethink how the Web needs to work, for *their* work.”

– John Maeda Global Head of Design at Automattic

A talented WordPress team of developers flew in from around the country help put a diverse group of Detroit neighborhood businesses on the grid. The selections not only represented a variety of industries (arts, eateries, apparel, etc.), but also represented diverse ethnicities and economic levels. The Rebrand Detroit team facilitated a tour using a colorful art bus from The Detroit Bus Company, giving a glimpse of some Detroit landmarks. The developers then had the opportunity to tour the businesses and meet the business owners behind the websites they would craft to introduce or reintroduce them to the digital world. The next forty-eight hours were used to create websites, connect, exchange ideas and create a dialogue focused on ideas on how to continue to improve the presentation and reach of their brand.

“More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months,” says Hajj Flemings, founder of Brand Camp.” There is a digital divide that inhibits businesses without websites to benefit from this e-commerce reality. Forty-six (46%) of small businesses in underserved neighborhoods are disconnected digitally. We aim to change that.”

Websites debuting on March 9, 2017:

Seven of the nine businesses are clients in TechTown’s SWOT City program, which provides customized, one-on-one consulting for small businesses in Detroit’s neighborhoods.

The 100 Project will be scaling with the assistance of community partners to help more businesses get on the grid. If you would like to partner with this great effort, contact Hajj Flemings at speak[at]hajjflemings.com.

*footnote or link to Alicia’s business “Motor City Java House” — a neighborhood coffee shop

**footnote or link to Kay’s business “Art in Motion” — a community ceramics studio

April 7, 2017 - No Comments!

Rebrand Detroit Stories – Original Series (Episode #1)

Rebrand Detroit Stories is an original series, a collection of stories, short films, talks and physical experiences of Detroiters who are fueling Detroit’s resurgence.  This series takes a look behind the scene of our city and introduces people to everyday citizens whose hustle, resilience and passion are impacting the place they live, work and play.  These stories, highlighting people who refused to accept the national narrative, are  birthed out of work they are doing in neighborhoods all across the city from Grandmont Rosedale, West Village, the Hope District and beyond.   We believe that a city’s brand is comprised of its people and these creative pieces aim to inspire regular citizens to do what is in their heart and help build a city for all people.

Rebrand Detroit Stories - Stories about people who can’t afford skyscrapers

Rebrand Detroit launched last year because the Knight Foundation decided to take a bet on my idea to innovate Detroit neighborhoods.  As much as I love my city there are times that I have a love hate relationship with Detroit.  I hear the stories of people who are not from Detroit who are making Detroit, Detroit.  I wanted to do a series about people who couldn’t afford to buy a skyscraper but were doing amazing work in neighborhoods.  Gritty entrepreneurs fighting the challenges of building a business in neighborhoods with no foot traffic with major throughways running through them and so Rebrand Detroit stories was birthed.  

Rebrand Detroit Stories is an original series, a collection of stories, short films, talks and physical experiences of Detroiters who are fueling Detroit’s resurgence.  This series takes a look behind the scene of our city and introduces people to everyday citizens whose hustle, resilience and passion are impacting the place they live, work and play.  These stories, highlighting people who refused to accept the national narrative, are  birthed out of work they are doing in neighborhoods all across the city from Grandmont Rosedale, West Village, the Hope District and beyond.   We believe that a city’s brand is comprised of its people and these creative pieces aim to inspire regular citizens to do what is in their heart and help build a city for all people.

Our original list of stories are about barbers, a bookshop, a coffee shop that is closing it’s doors, and a guy who had a dream of starting a bike ride.

Inspired by my CNN Black in America 4:  The New Promised Land Silicon Valley story.