Saturday, August 29, 2009

Interview Detroit :: Denise Reed, artist, seamstress, innovator, DIVA

Residential Innovation.

Let me explain that. I’m in Public Relations and it’s a game for me to think of a pitch for every new and fantastic idea I hear. And during my conversation with seamstress, artist and mother, Denise Reed all I could think of was Residential Innovation. An approach to recycling that not only assists the everyday mom in staying organized, but also stand for things of beauty and useable decoration. She’s the queen of reuse, duchess of reconstruction, this woman has an eye for making things last forever. And I’m not going to lie, I’m comfortable with it. An uber-Detroiter, often times she’ll quote definitions of the meaning of various architectural motifs in City buildings. She’s smart, little, and the ultimate Diva.
I had the chance to sit down with Ms. Reed in her home-based studio this past week. During our conversation she busied up two sewing machines and an industrial steam iron, impressive. Mmmm, creativity.

Black in the City:: What is your stand on business?
DR: Business today has gotten too big and too impersonal, its not looking out for people. It’s become business for business sake. We are producing a lot of product that has just turned into waste. And we are becoming too dependent on that waste that the good product isn’t readily found. Where as when business used to be “find the need and fill it“, it has evolved to “think of something stupid and sale it.” Simple?
Don’t get me wrong, I love being in, having and producing business because I can see that today’s global economy is going to create more people who are taking charge of their income producing status.

Black in the City:: What, do you feel, is necessary to include with every transaction aside from an A-1 product or service?
DR: The ability to meet a real live person. That is what business has to come back to. People want to know that they are able to have a relationship with a real live individual. They can hate an entity, but the consumer doesn’t immediately gain hate for a real live person, who is devoted to delivering an excellent skill or service.

Black in the City:: Has the way you think of business (in general) affected your success? How so?
DR: Yes, when I see a business, I check out how their product is affecting everyone, not just me, and if I see something that is unnecessary, I won’t support it. I understand price, community and the connection between the two. You have to accept it for what it is. Its business.

Black in the City:: I am sure you have goals, but tell me about your next transition?
DR: To move from having my hands on everything, I know to continue to grow I need to have a better team. I need to spread the wealth around by hiring a management team.

My sentiments exactly. As I launched BethanyEastPR.com this past month I realized that presentation is not the only necessary aspect of the new frontier of small business in Detroit. There needs to be an equal amount of attention paid to providing customer services, understanding your competition (and the non-competition), implementing a change in individual communities.

And I learned from Ms. Reed today that you must also pay attention to being able to let go aspects of your business, introducing help to your business is often times vital when it comes to how fast other small businesses are moving. Don’t dare to think that everything could be done by yourself. The growing community of independent contractors, consultants, small management firms show that some skills are hard enough for someone can actually do only that to make a living. Take for instance shipping. If you designed special shoe sole inserts, you wouldn’t do your own deliveries, right? It’s customary to allow UPS or Fedex to handle that aspect of your business, because that’s what they do. Then why would you decide to do your own contract negotiations, pattern making, web maintenance, organization or talent sourcing? Don’t be afraid to grow your business by asking for help when you need it, think of the cost as an investment in getting you projects done correctly and efficiently.

Innovation is inevitable, make sure can keep up.

*for more information of Denise Reed, visit denisereed.com


1 comment:

  1. Hey Ms. Reed,
    Thank you for the interview, it was provocative, insightful and real. I know I raised you, but you kept everything real in this interview, bringing forth good points. Thank you

    Denise Reed
    "CASEY"...the Original Loc/Braid Hair Snood