Entrepreneurs across Detroit are starting unique small businesses that make an impression in the city’s growing market. One of the entrepreneurs is Erika Beauchamp, owner of Detroit Basket Co., which designs and produces gift baskets out of products that originated from Detroit. Beauchamp spoke with DBusinss Daily News about her company, and her views on small businesses setting up shop in the Motor City.
1. DDN: Can you tell me a little bit about your company?
We just opened Jan. 15, but we have been planning it for about a year now. I have a passion for Detroit products, and I think there are a lot of exciting things happening in the city of Detroit, as far as new products being developed and entrepreneurs. We wanted to put everything into a basket.
2. DDN: You used to be in real estate, what made you switch to becoming a business owner?
I got out of (real estate) when it was really crummy, when the economy tanked. Then I had two children back-to-back, 350 days apart, so I took a little break. I’m a very creative, artsy person. I’ve been in musical theatre my entire life and this is a way to incorporate my love for all things Detroit and my creative flair, I guess you’d say. It’s been so much fun and I get to meet the most incredible people who connect me with all the artists in Detroit and those are my people — people who are passionate about Detroit, who make cool products. It has been a lot of fun to see all the excitement for everything.
3. DDN: Where can you buy your products?
We don’t have a storefront. Everything has been online right now, and sales have been through the roof thanks to advertising through Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A lot of people don’t have access to any of these products. People who are from Detroit have such fond memories and nostalgia for a lot of these products.
4. DDN: What’s next for the Detroit Basket Co.?
I’m hoping to have at least 20 different styles by the beginning of the summer. I only have six right now. I’m also working with our web developer to offer a “build their own basket” — so people can have the option to pick their favorite “Made in Detroit” items. Ultimately, it would be my goal to get (a store) downtown. There are pros and cons to having a brick-and-mortar (location). But eventually, I would love to have that problem where I have to have a storefront because business is going so well.
5. DDN: What do you think about all the new opportunities in Detroit?
I think it’s fantastic. It’s an exciting time for everybody. There’s so much opportunity. People are enthusiastic about the comeback, and I think there is a lot of positive energy. I thought I would meet some resistance in some areas — as far as meeting new vendors and getting products and pricing. Everyone is so excited to work with me, and they love this opportunity. I’m placing a lot of orders with these small independent people, so it’s good to help everyone out and keep the money in metro Detroit.
For more information, visit DetroitBasketCompany.com