Our Fellows: THE BLOG
A little quieter this coming week in Detroit, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening in the city. I think with Father’s Day some of major events that has been happening over the last few weeks is taking a break until next week. Plus, summer starts really soon, so a string of great events is only beginning here in Detroit. Should be a great weekend. Hope you enjoy!
Grab the interactive version here: D_Blast 6.12_6.19
I cannot emphasize enough how many awesome events are happening every day in Detroit, especially with the awesome weather. So many great outdoor festivals and events going on and now, a Whole Foods is open in Midtown. The greater downtown (yes, there is a large difference between the greater downtown and the rest of the city) is a very exciting place to be right now. Hope you enjoy!
Grab the interactive version here: D_Blast 6.5_6.12
Lot’s of events over the past weekend. Luckily the weather turned out to be really nice on Saturday and Sunday. Sorry for the late post, but hope to get back to it this week. Enjoy!
Also, Happy June!
Grab the interactive version here: D_Blast 5.29_6.5
Some of the best times I’ve had “playing” in Detroit have been with my fellow fellows. It’s been great getting to know this amazing group of people. Many have become close friends and I’m so glad to know them and have them to share this experience with.
One of my favorites things about moving to a new city is getting visitors and showing them around my new home. This is an ambitious itinerary, but it can be done in a weekend.
What a weekend it will be in Detroit. Lots of music going to be pumping in downtown Detroit. Movement Electronic Music Festival (aka Detroit Electronic Music Festival) will be happening this weekend. It is a really big deal! Why, might you ask? Well, Detroit is arguably the birthplace of Techno and the internet is always right (if you don’t believe me, please see this ad).
SOOO, if you decide to make a trip to the city, please be aware that there will be a lot of people and traffic in the Hart Plaza/ Campus Martius area from Saturday to Monday.
If Techno is not your thing, no worries. There are still some other great events going on, like the Detroit FC game. Side note: I attended the Detroit FC home opener last weekend, and it was really awesome. The soccer was decent, but the crowd was great. The far side bleachers of Cass Tech were completely full and in motion the entire game. It was a great football (soccer) crowd and I was very pleased with the turnout. Now the question remains, was that crowd more filled with curious band wagon fans for opening day, like myself, or is that normally how many fans attend each game? If that is the norm, I will shed my bandwagoness and get a season pass. Overall, for $5, well worth it.
Otherwise, if you are headed out of town or just planning to relax and BBQ, please enjoy you Memorial Day weekend!
Grab the interactive version here: D_Blast 5.22_5.29
Tell us about your company and what you do.
Mans Lumber & Millwork is a home improvement and building company. To clear any assumptions though, Mans is not Home Depot. They’re quite different. And also, the name “Mans Lumber” is not a proclamation that lumber is manly. Mans Lumber has been a family owned and operated company since 1900 still run by the Mans family. Now that we’ve cleared that up, Mans Lumber does everything: decks, flooring, trim, cabinetry, lumber, windows, doors, design services, install services, and custom millwork.
Broadly speaking, my responsibilities fall under the umbrella of marketing, communications, and event planning. On a given day, you could catch me creating print materials, planning an event, managing co-op marketing activities, sharing content on social media, making promotional materials, or comparing competitors prices. On a good day, you’d find me hauling lumber in the distribution center…
Describe an accomplishment or contribution you’ve made at your company.
Mans doesn’t have an official marketing team, so I get to work with many different departments and help streamline the marketing efforts throughout the company. I’ve also created a wider online presence through different social media platforms and other home improvement sites.
I also love communicating through visuals, so I utilized video, photos, and graphic design for branding and communications. Currently, we are working on launching a new website that will be more visual. There will also be a separate Kitchen & Bath website that will showcase the work the designers have done. Stay tuned!
What makes working for your company unique?
Working for Mans is unique because the wide range of products and services offered creates a challenging task in terms of marketing. The homeowner, contractor, and builder are each customers that make up their own unique target market. It takes organization and creativity to create a marketing plan that is inclusive yet targeted. In a sense, it’s just like building a house. Each room has its own function and personality, but it’s the conglomerate of those rooms that make the house a house.
To become understand each customers person, I conducted a survey of our customers (retail shopper, builder, contractor) when I began working here. It was interesting to learn about our customer bases similarities and differences. It also showed me that there is undoubtably a strong sense of customer loyalty at Mans. Another unique part of Mans, is the family business atmosphere breeds a sense of customer loyalty. Customers have been working with Mans for generations, which says a lot about a working place.
Why do you enjoy working in the Detroit community?
In the building industry, the Detroit community is so thankful to be busy again. It’s a definite sign of progress and a well-deserved relief. After a long rough patch, people don’t take things for granted, and they have great work ethic.
What’s the biggest highlight of working at your company?
The biggest highlight of my work is learning. Marketing is like problem-solving, and I get to provide solutions. I use hard and soft skills, my left and right brain, keeping me on my toes. Plus, it’s great to work with a company that has family history and a tribe of loyal customers.
Check out my spotlight video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyh52ul0s2o&feature=share&list=PLBn7vXWlXLQujv8ZBVkPV4tuBkMtRu0ZH
As part of the service and sustainability committee, I get to help organize some of the volunteer events that we
do for Challenge Detroit. The giving aspect of Challenge Detroit is important to me, because it’s crucial to become integrated into Detroit. Furthermore, in a society (and city) that breeds unequal opportunity and living standards giving back helps create a more balanced, happy society (though we still have a long way to go). We’ve all taken something from society or seized opportunities offered to us, so it’s only right for us to want to give back. Plus, I always have a good time. The Wobbly Kitchen’s event in Cass Park was a really cool experience, because it is a grassroots effort.
Every other Sunday, people bring food to Cass Park serving it to anyone looking to fill their bellies. I brought tuna casserole, and others were making grill cheese sandwiches (the favorite) and serving a variety of pastas and salads. The Wobbly Kitchen is a prime example of DIY do-gooders in Detroit. Many of the volunteers are regulars, friends and family. The atmosphere was relaxed and fun like we were having a regular ol’ cook out in Cass Park.
On Wobbly Kitchen’s Facebook page it says:
“Since hunger and want are found in abundance in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan We have little choice than to share what we can to ease the burden of those Forgotten Workers.“
And I couldn’t have said it any better.
Detroit keeps it real. There’s no covering up the unrelenting miles of blight or trying to hide behind a political farce. It’s all out in the open whether it’s intentional or not. On the bright side, real breeds real. Detroit is filled with real people, real problems, real solutions, real heroes, real art, and real food. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I feel it’s my obligatory duty to preach about the freshness of food in Detroit.
Let’s start with my neighborhood pub, Woodbridge Pub. Walking distance from my house, it’s a great little pub with a frequently changing, seasonal menu. Woodbridge Pub looks for fresh locally grown produce whenever possible. Some of it comes from the Community Garden right across the street, which was started by the owner of Woodbridge Pub. Needless to say, I am so happy to have Woodbridge Pub as my local go-to spot.
Roast is Michael Symon’s restaurant located in the posh Westin Book Cadilac. I went there for my birthday, and it was a treat. They have Ipads at every table for you to order drinks. No need to flag down your waitress. As for the food, it was very delicious and super filling. I think the pictures below can speak louder than my words. If you’re not a meat eater, the photos will not excite you. But if you are, check out the Porter House my brother ordered (far right). We definitely had left overs.
Some may say that poutine is unhealthy with all of the gravy, cheese, and fries stuff, but Brooklyn Street Local sources there food from local, organic farms in the area. If this is unhealthy, well at least it is environmental sound. We all know that mother nature could use a breather now and again, so it’s justified. It was here in Corktown’s Brooklyn Street Local that I had my first experience, and I have been in love ever since.
La Dolce Vita is one of my favorite places to eat in Detroit. Nestled in the Palmer Park District, La Dolce Vita has everything I could ask for in a restaurant: a beautiful outdoor patio, live jazz music, fresh ingredients authentic Italian food, and bottomless mimosas for brunch. La Dolce Vita translated into english is “The Sweet Life.” And here is where you to come to live the sweet life.
There’s plenty, plenty more of fresh food all over Detroit. Go out and explore.