Detroit Is A Hotbed For Entrepreneurial Activity

By Rochelle Riley
Detroit Free Press

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Three years after filing for and 10 months after emerging from bankruptcy, Detroit is now the epicenter of an explosion of small businesses and start-ups across southeast Michigan. An influx of new entrepreneurs is joining longtime residents seizing opportunities of which they’ve long dreamed.

Detroit Free Press

Leah and Zachary Holston lived different, separate lives.

They had previous marriages. They were devoted to their day jobs. They had growing children.

But when they met and married three years ago, the Farmington Hills couple looked toward new lives, longtime dreams of entrepreneurship and ways to embrace their passions as careers. So they stopped chasing their dreams and began living them.

They have found a new groove.

Zachary Holston, a 43-year-old soap company CEO who always wanted to run a martial arts school, opened one in January. Called H2O, it now anchors an Oak Park strip mall. And Leah Holston, a 44-year-old engineer by degree who works for an auto supplier, always wanted to run her own clothing store. Beginning Sunday, she’ll be doing just that, opening a new boutique, H2OMG, in the rear of her husband’s school. The shop features clothes for curvy women (with a few things in those other sizes, she said). But she wants you to read H2OMG as H2-OMG, as in Oh, my God.

“This is a rebirth for both of us,” she said. “All of our children either have been in college or are going. Our youngest is leaving for college this summer. We figured this is our time. He’s always had a dream of opening up the school, and I always dreamed of opening up a boutique. We have the space, so we said, ‘Let’s try it and see what it does.'”

They are not alone.

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