“Detroit is bustling with young entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders who are ready to take advantage of the great opportunities the city has to offer. In fact, I started my blog I Am Young Detroit (www.iamyoungdetroit.com) to highlight just that. However, the average creative just getting started, can’t even think about owning and running their own retail space. Most of them are forced to work their day job just to maintain their bills. They pursue their real passion as a side hustle, often setting up an etsy.com shop and attending local fairs to sell their wares,” said Margarita Barry, publisher of I Am Young Detroit.
She added, “I surveyed over 400 local designers with products to sell, and 90 percent of them were dissatisfied with the number of opportunities they’ve had locally to pursue their entrepreneurial passion. Because of that, I saw a need to provide a new and innovative model for these emerging creative entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their locally made products.” The ultimate goal is to showcase 71 local artists and designers who would otherwise not have the opportunity to own their own retail space—this might include low income, emerging, or student artists. 71 POP’s companion website 71Artists.com will highlight its impact by documenting the artists living, working, or showing in and around the 71 POP space.
Here’s how it will work:
1.) Designers will submit an application to detroitpop.com.
2.) Select designers will be chosen to team up with local and national brand sponsors. The sponsors will offset much of the costs for these designers. Student and low-income designers will have the chance to apply for full or partial shop grants, while others will pay a nominal fee to set up shop in the space.
3.) All designers will have the opportunity to design a custom “shop” around their brand and aesthetic.
4.) All operations will be handled, including marketing, e-commerce sales, and launch event consulting. 71 POP will also provide optional paid services to help take the designers’ brands to the next level.
In addition, out of over a hundred applicants, Barry was named the Arts & Culture winner of the IDEA: Detroit Conference, sponsored by Crain's and Advertising Age. During the conference on March 23rd, she had the opportunity to publicly announce her 71 POP concept to the masses. The IDEA: Detroit conference brought business leaders from around the country to share successful stories and learning that exemplifies thinking about traditional business differently with an emphasis on Detroit and Michigan natives who have built successful businesses in other corners of the world and are passionate about bringing their thinking to their hometown.
To jumpstart 71 POP’s inaugural year, she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to provide artists grants for the first year of shop owners, as well as to raise funding to cover the costs of the space, equipment, and operations. She gathered a few of Detroit's leaders in the creative and fashion community to produce a video for the campaign.
She's asking the Detroit community at large to consider supporting by backing the project on Kickstarter. "This is something that's going to impact the entire community,” Barry said. “We could use more distinct shopping experiences in the city and emerging creatives need more options to turn their passion into a profit.”
Kickstarter is a community tool to fund and follow creativity that allows users all over the world to discover and support projects that spark their enthusiasm and interest. Donations are made to the project in exchange for tangible rewards from the artists, while they retain full creative control of their work. To make a contribution or help the spread the word, check out this link.
The home for 71 Pop will be located at 71 Garfield, a former abandoned property that has been converted into a combined housing and studio space for artists. Situated in Midtown, the area is known as Detroit’s Cultural Center. Within its boundaries is The College for Creative Studies--one of the leading art schools in the country, Wayne State University--home to thousands of young urbanites, and the newly named Sugarhill Arts District that houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, and The George N’Namdi Art Gallery, it’s an innovative spot for Detroit’s up and coming young, creative class. Aside from being a great property with great foot traffic potential, 71 Garfield is completely green: geothermal, solar and wind and water retention systems will reduce net energy consumption and the waste stream to near zero. For additional info on 71 POP, please visit the website at www.detroitpop.com or visit us on Twitter and Facebook.