Hannah Brenner

Detroit Startup Day tour

I was unbelievably appreciative of the opportunity to speak with Kiki and Rohani at The Farmer’s Hand. There is something so satisfying about learning something in school and then getting to see it in real life. It isn’t theory anymore; it’s real.

I started studying the benefits of small, organic farms my freshman year of college in the RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment) program. Our little greenhouse represented a space to learn so many of the values The Farmer’s Hand lives by. Local, responsibly grown food is so important and it touched my heart to see people bringing that to those that didn’t have access to it before.

It was the perfect start to the day. The very first business we talked to cemented my idea that I want to work with small businesses in the future. Whether I’m a contractor for social media and photography or starting my own small business, I love the environment and the people involved. I want to focus my service toward businesses exactly like The Farmer’s Hand.

With this already on my mind, we headed over to Ponyride, where I had the most caffeinated cup of coffee that has ever touched my lips. It was beautiful and delicious.

I have never been to a place like Ponyride, which is an incubator for small manufacturing firms. There was so much hope, excitement, and growth. I learned that it isn’t always cutthroat and competitive. Two successful business owners in the beauty field — The Lip Bar and Naturalicious — work side by side and support each other. I am personally not very competitive; I work best when focusing on my own work and not trying to out do others. In some ways I have always seen that as a weakness of mine. Only recently I started finding the positives in that and finding ways to use it as a strength. Seeing in person that these two businesses could work in the same space and both succeed was uplifting and reassuring.

Eric Yelsma from Detroit Denim gave me some valuable advice on how to approach businesses with my social media marketing in photography. He gave me reassurance that this is something businesses really want, and told me to really make the pitch about the business and not about myself. My next project now is to get some concrete statistics on what I can do for businesses and refine my pitch so I can start working with small businesses.

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