Category: General

Charles Jones, Owner of Taboo Treasures

Charles Jones, Taboo Treasures | Black History Month 2022

“The cannabis plant is so versatile and has experienced a stigmatized background. We have a lot in common,” explains Jones. “I was born and raised in Detroit, and I’ve seen my share of rough and hard times in the city growing up. But, I emerged through the other side a new individual, with a different purpose and wanting to do more for my culture, and myself.”

Randall Coats, Owner of Wine 4 Da Ppl

Randall Coats, Wine 4 Da Ppl | Black History Month 2022

Coates is referring to the lack of representation of Black people within the wine industry, a trend that is also seen in the wider alcohol industry and hospitality industry. Coats hopes to bring awareness and education of the industry to his community, one glass at a time.

Deidre, Owner of Yotique

Deidre, Yotique | Black History Month 2022

Yotique was founded in 2016, though Deidre didn’t do anything with the business until 2018. She connected with ProsperUs and went through their training program, and that’s when the business really started.

Jessica Kwalli, Owner of Jessica Blair Beauty

Jessica Kwalli, Jessica Blair Beauty | Black History Month 2022

Kwalli began researching ways to get into the beauty industry and how to open and run a beauty store. Though the task was daunting and she didn’t know where to begin, Kwalli noticed one of her notebooks sitting by her at the time had a vital message embossed on the cover. Write Every Moment.

“So I did just that,” Kwalli says. “Each day, I would jot down ideas, thoughts that would come to mind. I’d then start doing one thing at a time. Which put together a blueprint.”

Nedra Banks, The Grubbank | Black History Month 2022

“There are two defining moments for me that pushed me down this path of entrepreneurship,” Banks recalls. “I was taking my daughter to school one day and saw kids outside waiting on the school bus. Their stop was near a gas station, and I watched those kids rush in there and attack the snack aisles. When I asked if they had had breakfast, they all said no for various reasons. That moment made me realize there was no alternative for their family to have access to fresh food for them to start their day.”

Niema Stone, Soapstone Soaps | Black History Month 2022

“Eventually, I got better. But it took a lot of research and dedication to learn the proper way to do things and the way the ingredients work with each technique,” Stone says. “With each batch, both the soap and my skills got better, my confidence grew, and people started asking if they could purchase my products.”

Playground Detroit photo by Leah Castile


They uplift artists, inspire the next generation, give back to Detroit through community discounts and partnerships with other community members, leverage the ability of their artists to use their talent for good and positive change, enhance Detroit’s creative economy, and encourage the vibrancy and beautification in Detroit. 

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