Anastasia Niforos

Detroit Entrepreneurs and Their Roads to Success

First and foremost, our class trip to Detroit was dope! Why?

  1. We had a killer tour guide that knew so much about the city it made my brain hurt.
  2. We were able to check out Amy’s house and meet her lovely dog.
  3. We met amazing entrepreneurs who are doing spectacular things.

I thought everyone we met was truly inspiring, but there were three people that really stuck out to me. Shanley Pearl, the creator of Hungry in Detroit; Dave Kwiatkowski, the founder and owner of Sugar House and other bars and restaurants; and Eric Tomas, the co-founder of Saga MKTG.

Shanley Pearl
I absolutely loved meeting and hearing about Shanley’s story. I think a lot of what she had to say reinstated with no only me, but the rest of my classmates because we could connect with her in some way. When she graduated, she job hopped a lot until she finally found what she was passionate about. I think for most post-graduates this tends to be the case and I already know that it’s going to take all types of work for me to finally figure out what direction I want to go in.

What I really liked is how honest Shanley was about the way she gains followers on Instagram and how this has allowed her to grow Hungry in Detroit. She also gave us a variety of apps with editing tools that we can use to step our Instagram game. Overall I thought Shanley’s story and advice really had me thinking about what I want to do with my future.

Dave Kwiatkowski
I thought Dave was really cool and I loved his idea for Sugar House. I took his story about the development of the bar as building from the ground up. When he first bought the place, it was in terrible condition. He pretty much renovated everything himself and paid out of pocket. I mean when I say he built it from the ground up, he literally did that. Now the bar has this western aesthetic feel to it, which I absolutely loved.

Not only that, but he took an idea that was already popular and made it better. His cocktails are so exotic and different, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. Even more, he actually comes out with a menu that matches a theme. His recent one was, “Guilty Pleasures.” I thought everything he talked about and did to make his dream come true was truly inspiring and it motivated me to get out there and do the same.

Eric Thomas
I loved Eric’s vibe and the way he spoke. His story was not only inspiring, but real. He didn’t come from much. But now he is not only the co-founder of Saga MKTG, but a writer, speaker and most of a storyteller.

What I absolutely loved about Eric is how brutally honest he was not only when he spoke about life, but when he spoke about his writing as well. He says it like it is and a lot of times people don’t like that, but it starts conversation. Even if they don’t agree with him, they are still sharing and commenting on his writing, which ultimately helps him. Eric is intellectual and wise beyond his age and I loved listening to what he had to say.

I’m happy to say that this trip really had my mind racing with ideas, thoughts and creativity. I’m glad I was able to meet such inspiring and knowledge creators andhopefully one day I can be as successful as them.shia labeouf inspiration GIF by GQ-downsized

 

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