As a small business ourselves, we can appreciate the triumphs and tribulations faced by all types of small businesses.
However, from our own experience and partnerships with other small businesses, we can confidently say the pros far outweigh the cons.
Small businesses have more creative freedom, independence, and equity. There are always new opportunities to learn and grow. More often than not, small businesses offer employees a deeper sense of purpose and connection.
Above all, there’s more empowerment.
Before starting Concetti, CEO + Principal Designer Rachel Nelson yearned for a work environment where everyone’s voice was heard, and everyone felt empowered to move the business and themselves forward.
Not only did she end up cultivating an empowered team, but she soon realized that a confident, autonomous team is more motivated to make positive change within the community and attract like-minded clients and partners.
Over the years, we’ve collaborated with several small businesses whose commitment to their team, customers, communities, and brand laid the groundwork for some of our most intentional projects yet.
Here are three Detroit-based small businesses whose values and vision continue to inspire us:
Good Cakes and Bakes
If you were to look for a bakery that values their team, customers, and community more than Good Cakes and Bakes, you might be searching forever.
Good Cakes and Bakes initially set out to create wholesome, organic, quality baked goods. They also wanted to employ those returning from incarceration as a way to ease their transition back into the community. As their business grew, their desire to give back expanded with it…which ultimately led them to us.
Having the shared belief that the spaces we work in have a profound impact on our well-being, we worked together to transform their bakery into a space that prioritizes the customer experience and activates previously unused areas to allow for more employee functionality and efficiency.
It still fills us with pride to look back on this project and know we collaborated to achieve their goal. More than that, we know their employees and customers are in a better position to put forth more positivity in the Detroit community each and every day.
Coriander Kitchen and Farm
As the only Detroit restaurant that is both farm AND table, Coriander Kitchen and Farm is dedicated to creating nutritious and thoughtful food while supporting local farmers.
However, this savvy small business knew they’d need more than an incredible mission and a prime Detroit River canal location to appeal to new customers…they also needed an atmosphere that was approachable and familiar enough for people to try their unique farm to table cuisine.
Our design solution was to co-create a space that combined the industrial Detroit feel people know and love, with the quirky, farmhouse feels authentic to Coriander. The result? An eclectic space that aligned with their mission, values, and menu.
In a fast-paced world where it’s tempting to take shortcuts and compromise, Coriander carved their unlikely niche in our city by living their truth, staying authentic, and reconnecting their patrons with the food they’re eating and enjoying.
The Color Bloc
We can’t help but wrap things up with the small business that gives back to Detroit creatives and embodies our city’s past, present, and future.
Before the Color Bloc came into the space, it was solely the Banner Sign Co., which has been operating from the same space since 1924. Even more interesting than its nearly 100-year history, is how the Banner Sign Co. has stayed in the hands of small business owners who have managed to adapt and meet the needs of a growing design professional and art community.
For decades, the Banner Sign Co. provided handcrafted illustrations to generations of local businesses. In the 1990’s, the company brought large format printing to the mix of offerings, extending its creative capabilities to include custom printing on acoustic panels, fabrics, wall coverings, tiles, and more.
Fast-forward to 2021, the new owners of the Banner Sign Co., Digital Print Specialties (DPS), brought in Detroit’s first Benjamin Moore to offer a multi-service hub for artists, business owners, home improvement enthusiasts, and many more.
In addition to recruiting our design strategy expertise to transform the space, DPS also encouraged us to use our rolodex of local partners to bring the multi-faceted design to fruition. The result? An award-winning project that wouldn’t have been possible without generations of Detroit small business owners.