Tell us about your come up....
I grew up in a smaller town in MI, Trenton. I went to OU for college and lived in Rochester for 4 years. I studied Communications & PR. In high school I would spend weekends walking down Woodward with my mom and grandma, who grew up in the city, listening to their stories of Detroit’s heyday. I remember saying “I wish I could shop downtown like you guys used to.” It really comes full circle. I’m just trying to do my part.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most people think I blog full-time, which is definitely not the case. I am usually working from our offices downtown, or traveling for work. When I’m home, I’m touring people from other cities around Detroit to show them how much is happening here and get them involved.
How does it feel working for a company that’s literally re-building Detroit?
I moved back home from a short living stint in NYC doing fashion marketing and soon realized I needed more substance to my career. I wanted to do something that was bettering myself and those around me. I saw the amazing things Bedrock and Dan Gilbert were doing and I wanted to be part of it. This really is history in the making. I believe that everyone is a part of the revival, including people that travel here. All roads lead to Detroit. We’re not making this shit up or starting from scratch. When I first started at Bedrock, people wouldn’t take my calls and now people are calling us. It’s crazy how the conversations have changed in just 3 years and I couldn’t be more excited to see where it goes from here.
Do you know Dan Gilbert?
Yes, of course, he’s a family man and the hardest worker I’ve ever met. He’ll stay at the office until 3 am some days but still has time to go to his kids basketball games.
Where did the idea of Hautemesss & Deatroitcity come from?
When I moved back and started my full time position I still craved that creative and fashion outlet. People would tell me at work that I should start an instagram to tag my clothes, so I did lol. I would come home from work each day (when I still lived with my parents) and my mom/dad would take a photo of me standing in front of my garage, pretty professional I know haha. I got dinner with one of my friends that is blogging full time and she helped me create a theme and thus the Detroit lifestyle/food/fashion page was formed! My life is so engrained in Detroit and travel, so it just made sense and was an easy and organic fit.
@deatroitcity started before @hautemesss, actually. My best friend and I eat out for just about every meal and always took food pics, we felt bad for cluttering our personal feed with them, so we made it for fun. She moved to GR so it’s just me posting, now. It’s more of a fun feed because it’s all pics of food and puns…aka basically my life.
Can you talk about the growth and trajectory of Hautemesss (I know Deatroitcity is your side hustle)?
I started it in the summer of 2016 and launched my website/blog this past December. It’s been fun to see more people ask for suggestions on where to go/eat in Detroit- that’s my favorite part. Especially when it’s people from out of town.
Care to share your fave editing apps/camera setup?
I have a Canon I got off Amazon right now, not sure which version it is but I know it’s a point and shoot. I know I suck lol but most of my pics are taken by friends or on my iphone. I usually edit in Snapseed.
What’s your biggest motivator?
Seeing/watching Detroit grow and prosper. It honestly consumes my life!
Biggest accomplishment to date?
Regarding social media: it’d probably my Zagat award for @deatroitcity. It was totally unexpected and really cool to be one of the 4 winners in Detroit.
Who’s been your greatest influence in business?
At work: The guy that hired me aka the President of Bedrock, Dan Mullen. He’s fought for me and supported me since day one. If he didn’t believe in me I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today.
Social media: My girl squad, Marina/Sarah/Nancy. These girls are my ride or dies and are always there for me. I love bouncing ideas off of them and that we’re all able to lift each other and help out with projects.
After all of this success, what is your biggest struggle right now?
When people ask what my “end goal” is. I honestly have no idea where this road will lead and that’s kind of how I like it. I always find myself struggling to come up with the answer to this question, I’ve become fine with not having one.
If you could give one piece of advice to every woman in Detroit, what would it be?
Lift each other up and help each other out. Girls can be mean sometimes and there’s no reason for it.
What are you most excited about in 2018?
Shinola Hotel!!!!!!!!!!! (can you tell?) Shinola as a brand has really helped put Detroit on the map in the retail space, and this will be their only hotel to open in the world. It’s going to draw people from all over. Plus, Noho Hospitality is one of my favorite restaurant groups and going to be doing the food & beverage for the hotel and I AM SO EXCITED.
Top 3 favorites things right now?
Where can people find you to connect?
Candice Simons, j'adore Detroit