Innovation & Job News

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Macomb County launches online portal to identify poor road conditions, reconstruction costs

Macomb County is trying a more transparent approach in addressing a topic that's been on most metro Detroiters' minds this winter: Road conditions.

While drivers weave in and out of lanes to avoid potholes and other road hazards across all of southeastern Michigan, Macomb County has debuted an online portal that documents the condition of its roads and bridges. Not only does it document problem areas, but the portal also identifies the costs of fixing the county's transportation infrastructure.

In its current iteration, "Macomb County Roads: Conditions and Costs" identifies 805 lane miles of roads that are owned by the county that are evaluated as being in poor condition. The county estimated that it would take $980,463,666 to reconstruct those roads. The online tool also names 44 deficient bridges across Macomb County, and provides an estimate of $80,779,325 necessary to reconstruct them. In total, that is more than $1.6 billion in estimated reconstruction costs as provided by the county.

"This new tool makes it easy for the public to learn more about the condition of our roads and the estimated costs to bring them into good condition," said County Executive Mark A. Hackel, according to a release.

The web portal also provides revenue numbers for road funding in 2018, as well as expenditures, and a list of construction projects both active and planned. "Macomb County Roads: Conditions and Costs" includes information on road treatments and maintenance techniques, frequently asked questions, and further resources.

Click here to access "Macomb County Roads: Conditions and Costs."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Fillmore 13 sets out to manufacture and distribute craft beers from Pontiac with $100,000 grant

Fillmore 13 Brewery was one of several Pontiac businesses receiving funding on March 14 as part of The Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program funded by Flagstar Bank. The grant program aims to offer one award annually to support manufacturing businesses to grow in Pontiac.


The brewery, which opened its doors in downtown Pontiac in March of 2017, was awarded $100,000 to launch manufacturing and distribution of its craft beers under the brand Fillmore 13: Brewed in Pontiac, MI.


Lee Roumaya, the owner of Fillmore 13, says he plans to use the funds to acquire canning and bottling materials as well as hire two new staff to assist with distribution. Funds will also support marketing and promotion of the product line regionally to bars, restaurants, and retailers.


“This will be a huge help for us, and it'll give us the opportunity with the funding to move forward,” says Kourmaya. “It'll help pay for more labor in the brewery, more products, a canning system, and a promotional program to get our name out there, and let people know we exist, and we are making beer in Pontiac.”


Kourmaya expects it will take three to six months before Fillmore 13 products will be available in bars, restaurants, and stores.


Brewer Bo Holcomb recommends Fillmore 13’s Abricot Belgian Ale. “It’s served right to the line between being a traditional Abbey Pale, and then with the addition of the apricot, opens it up to a lot of other beer drinkers that might sort of stay away from a Belgian style.”


This is the second announcement of grants under the Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program. On January 8, 11 grantees were announced in the first round of funding. Today, nine more are being announced in the second round of funding including:

  1. Fillmore 13 - $100k

  2. Your World Electric - $10k

  3. Libby International - $10k

  4. K&R Studios - $10k

  5. Plug N Play - $10k

  6. Upholstery with Class - $4k

  7. E&K Arts and More - $5k

  8. Epiphany Studios - $6k

  9. Max Out Fitness - $10k

The Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program is committed to investing $700,000 per year into Pontiac over five years. Of the total $3.5 million overall planned investment, approximately $500,000 will be allocated in the form of grants and $250,000 in the form of business loans, with an average grant size of $10,000 and an average loan size of $5,000 to $25,000. The disbursement is being leveraged through a partnership with CEED Lending, a Small Business Administration lender.

Lawrence Tech receives $75,000 from Siemens to bolster industrial engineering programs

Lawrence Technological University and its industrial engineering programs are celebrating a $75,000 gift from Siemens Corporation, the United States subsidiary of the German industrial automation giant Siemens AG. The $75,000 is being awarded in the form of cash, hardware, and software.

According to Raj Batra, president of Siemens Digital Factory, U.S., the donation is intended to address growing workforce skills gaps in the industrial engineering and high-tech manufacturing sectors. The investment in LTU is also designed to help forge new pathways to the middle class for manufacturing workers.

Batra is an LTU alumnus, graduating from Lawrence Tech with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1990.

"Siemens’ donations will help establish an industrial engineering and manufacturing lab at LTU’s campus, and help establish a semi-automated mini assembly line using Siemens Digital Factory tools," Ahad Ali, associate professor and director of LTU’s Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering programs, said in a statement. "It will be a great learning experience for our students, and help prepare a skilled workforce in the industrial and manufacturing sectors."

This is not the first time Siemens has contributed to the Southfield-based technological university. Siemens has awarded LTU two in-kind software grants since 2013. The Siemens PLM software, which includes NX, Teamcenter, Technomatrix, and Solid Edge, is commercially valued at more than $200 million.

LTU is recognizing the $75,000 donation from Siemens at two events: A March 13 event on the Lawrence Tech campus, and a formal presentation at the Manufacturing in America conference and exhibition at Ford Field in Detroit on March 14. The conference and exhibition is a forum designed to get students interested in careers in high-tech manufacturing.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Beaumont and Dearborn recognize city's healthy restaurants with inaugural round of awards

Dearborn's restaurants are being recognized for their commitment to providing diners healthy food options. The Healthy Restaurants awards program is the result of a partnership between Beaumont Health and the city of Dearborn's Healthy Dearborn initiative.

Thirteen restaurants were acknowledged as the inaugural class of Healthy Restaurants. The restaurants received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze window decals to be placed in their storefronts to inform customers of their commitment to healthy food options, healthy outlooks, and sustainable practices.

Healthy Restaurants organizers characterize the criteria for recognition as stringent. The three award levels, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, reflect a restaurant's level of healthy options.

Bronze awards go to restaurants with at least one vegetarian option and a menu with at least 30 percent of items made from whole food ingredients, no preservatives, low-fat/low-sugar, and rBGH-free milk.

Silver awards go to restaurants that meet the Bronze requirements and at least four of the following additional criteria: At least one vegan entree, alternative oil options, a fresh fruit offered as dessert, unsweetened teas, and infused waters. Also included are "lifestyle options" like halal, kosher, low carbohydrate, and allergy-free items.

Gold awards go to restaurants that meet the Silver requirements and at least four of the following additional criteria: Organic ingredients, locally sourced ingredients, pasta grain alternatives, and partnerships with local food banks for unused food.

Three Gold awards and ten Silver awards were given to thirteen Dearborn restaurants. Making it to the Gold level of Healthy Restaurants were Brome Modern Eatery, Picasso Restaurant Group, and Mint 29. Winning Silver awards were Al-Ameer Restaurant, Andiamo Ristorante (Dearborn), Frida Mexican Cuisine, Habib’s Cuisine, La Pita Restaurant (Dearborn), Lue Thai Cafe, M Cantina, Sahara Restaurant (Dearborn), Sheeba Restaurant, and TRIA Restaurant at The Henry.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hazel Park film studio debuts web series with Detroit small business consulting and events company

A partnership between a Hazel Park-based film studio and Detroit entrepreneur Jennyfer Crawford has debuted the first episode of its new online video series highlighting Detroit-area entrepreneurs. The web series "All Things Detroit Conversations" debuted on Wednesday, March 14.

Reel Clever Films produced the series, which features conversations between Crawford and local small business owners. The first episode features Megan Cowan of Finch Finery.

The "Conversations" comes out of Crawford's small business consulting and events company, Ask Jennyfer, which organizes the All Things Detroit events at Eastern Market. It's a natural outgrowth of the original business, as each are meant to showcase and promote the area's small businesses. All Things Detroit events provide vendor space to local entrepreneurs, along with food trucks, performances, and other attractions.

The next All Things Detroit event takes place at the city's Eastern Market on Sunday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket costs range from $5 to $15 and can be purchased online. Children six and under are welcome, free of charge.

For Reel Clever Films co-founder Eden Sabolboro, the partnership between the two companies is a perfect fit. Eden says that Crawford was one of the first people to respond and support Reel Clever following Eden and co-owner Thaad Sabolboro first moving to Michigan from the Philippines in 2014.

"Whenever I meet someone here, they always have the most interesting stories, stories of people starting from scratch. And Jennyfer's one of them," Eden says. "That resilience and grit, it's a sense of attitude here. That's what I want to highlight in Jennyfer's film series."

There are currently six episodes scheduled for the first season of the web series. Planned conversations include the owners of Delectabowl, Detroit Girls Rock, Tealing & Co., and Zayna Bakes.

"All Things Detroit Conversations" is available on Jennyfer's website and on YouTube.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Rochester develops data-driven tool to help inform development decisions

The city of Rochester might have an indoor, year-round farmers market coming its way. But then again, it might not. Rochester might be in line for 1,500 to 2,000 brand new residential housing units. But again, maybe not. Office, commercial, residential--the city of Rochester has its pick of the litter. But the city has decided it best not to rush into any big new developments just yet.

Area developers and construction companies have been waiting on bated breath as the city has decided to take a step back from developing the seven to eight of its remaining big sites to consider just what it is that will benefit Rochester the most. And not solely in an economic sense, but taking into account quality of life issues, as well.

It's called the Sustainable Rochester tool, and its results were debuted Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Royal Park Hotel at 7 p.m.

The city's planning department tapped planning firm McKenna Associates to develop Sustainable Rochester, which takes into account a range of datasets that have been fashioned into an informative matrix, helping the city decide just which development projects to approve.

While a new farmers market or mixed-use development might seem exciting at first blush, Nik Banda, Rochester's Economic & Community Development Director and Deputy City Manager, says that each potential development could significantly alter the city and its quality of life.

There are no more roads to be built, he says, so how much more traffic can the city accommodate. Same goes with sewers and other questions of infrastructure. The information gleaned from Sustainable Rochester will help city planners inform their decisions. Development will occur, it's just a matter of what kind.

"Development can mean change, and change is hard for some people to accept. This is about finding a balance," says Banda. "Not everyone is going to be happy, but we do our best."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Ferndale incentivizes environmental sustainability practices in new projects

The city of Ferndale is serious about its environmental sustainability efforts. So much so, in fact, that the city has integrated green infrastructure into its negotiations with developers. They've since further developed those efforts by adding a new position to the planning department. Erin Quetell was hired as the city's first Environmental Sustainability Planner just six months ago.

Ferndale uses incentives to get developers to add green infrastructure features like permeable surfaces to manage stormwater runoff. Should a developer want access to something like Brownfield tax increment financing, they have to work with the city on its environmental sustainability requests.

Jordan Twardy, Community and Economic Development Director for Ferndale, takes part in those negotiations. He's helped green infrastructure become a priority in development talks. Examples include introducing an underground water retention system at the Parkdale Townes townhouse development and permeable surfaces at the new parking structure downtown. Even saving old oak trees is on the table.

"Basically, what I do is lay out what we're trying to accomplish. There's always some back-and-forth, some trade-offs," he says. "It's an extra layer of nuance but worth the effort."

According to Twardy, Quetell's hiring has helped the city better formalize the process, while also improving Ferndale's own green infrastructure.

Lately, Quetell has been focusing on improving waste management and recycling rates in the city. She's been studying the implementation of an anaerobic digester to improve on city compost practices. The anaerobic digester uses a closed system to deprive compost of oxygen, breaking organic materials down while capturing methane emissions to provide energy to power facilities or gain energy credits.

"We're looking at making small efficiency updates like street lights and interior lighting, and then go bigger from there," says Quetell. "We're working toward a sustainability master plan."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

600 jobs created and 2,200 jobs retained in Pontiac mortgage company deal

Six hundred new jobs have been added in the financial services sector in Pontiac, thanks to the Michigan Strategic Fund's approval of the Oakland County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority's $1,900,145 in local and school tax capture. The news also means the city will retain 2,200 existing jobs, says the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The mortgage company United Shore Financial Services and Pontiac Center Investment are responsible for the expansion project. United Shore announced a move of its corporate headquarters from Troy to the Hewlett Packard Enterprise building at 585 South Blvd. in Pontiac in June 2017.

An existing building will receive extensive renovations, which will serve as a corporate headquarters for the company. Also planned is the construction of a new outdoor recreation center and amphitheater. Surface parking lots will be renovated, as well as added.

The MEDC, the state organization that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF, expects the United Shore project to generate a total capital investment of $69 million in addition to the 2,800 jobs created and retained. The $1,900,145 in local and school tax capture will help in brownfield remediation, demolition, asbestos abatement, site prep, and improvements to infrastructure.

"We appreciate the opportunity to support the investment and job creation being made by United Shore at this brownfield site in Pontiac," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, said in a statement. "We are fortunate that a building of this size and stature was available for United Shore for its continued expansion in Oakland County."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Royal Oak seeks community feedback on potential for improved public transportation

The city of Royal Oak's Transit Task Force wants the opinions of its citizens.

As Royal Oak officials seek to improve the city's public transportation options, the newly formed Transit Task Force has released an online survey to better understand the wants and needs of the people. Answers gleaned from the survey could lead to the creation of a municipal bus system, an increase in SMART bus service, or something else entirely.

While the answers to Royal Oak's public transportation questions are not yet known, the city has learned one thing: That public transit is an issue worth addressing. Though the metro Detroit region as a whole voted down a 2016 millage to fund a Regional Transit Authority, more than 31,000 Royal Oakers voted yes on the millage, representing a positive vote from more than half of the city's population overall.

Marie Donigan, chair of the Transit Task Force, served on the Royal Oak City Commission from 1997 to 2004, and later became a State Representative. Donigan says that she's seen the same issues come up year after year, and Royal Oak now has the chance to address them.

"After twenty years, we're still talking about public parking issues downtown," she says. "If we took any of the energy we've spent on parking and instead spent it on public transportation, we might actualy get a transit system."

Whether the city creates its own branded bus system or increases SMART bus service, the goal is to better connect local routes to regional ones. According to Donigan, the newly-launched FAST bus service is making stops along Woodward Avenue every 15 minutes, the best service she's yet seen. The question, says Donigan, is how to better connect downtown Royal Oak to a regional service like FAST.

Royal Oak residents can take the Transit Task Force survey on the city's Facebook page.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Lawrence Tech-based business incubator receives state grant to continue fostering innovation, growth

Small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs throughout the southeastern Michigan region could be better equipped for success, at least up until March 31, 2019, as it's been announced that the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory Gatekeeper Business Incubator has received further funding.

The Michigan Strategic Fund has granted the business incubator a $100,000 extension as part of its total of $1.7 million in grants awarded to foster entrepreneurial support throughout the state.

This marks the third such grant for the LTU business incubator, allowing it to continue helping small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs in their scale-up efforts. The focus of the incubator remains on early-stage technology companies in the product design, engineering, and prototyping and manufacturing sectors.

"Collaboration resources such as those available through Automation Alley, TechTown and SmartZones across Michigan are essential in providing our state’s entrepreneurs the necessary support needed to spark innovation and spur the business economy," Fred Molnar, vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said in a statement. "The continued funding of these programs demonstrates their impact in not only building and growing startups in Michigan, but in attracting out-of-state talent."

The LTU incubator falls under the city of Southfield's SmartZone, a state program that fosters the growth of tech businesses and jobs by connecting universities, research facilities, and industry to one another, building a network of growth. The business incubator itself connects business leaders with everyone from mentors to college students, from workshops to workspace.

Visit the LTU Collaboratory online to learn more about its programs.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Southfield debuts online toolbox to increase odds of success for small business

A healthy small business community is vital to any city's success. With the announcement of a new online interactive toolbox for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the city of Southfield hopes that its newest investment in small business will further nurture along existing businesses while also help to attract new ones.

It's called the Business Catalyst, and it provides local business owners and would-be entrepreneurs with several data sets to help them inform their decision-making and succeed. Data includes information on business climate, industry trends, customers, competition, local opportunities, zoning controls, workforce, and available properties.

According to Southfield’s business and economic development director Rochelle Freeman, the Business Catalyst is a resource designed to help business owners thrive in Southfield. The online toolbox will be kept up-to-date and easily accessible.

"It can be challenging for new businesses and entrepreneurs to find the correct resources and information they need to create effective business plans," Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said in a statement. "The Southfield Business Catalyst will address these challenges by providing the most current data available in one convenient place. We’re excited to offer this toolbox and want entrepreneurs to know that Southfield is open for business!"

The Business Catalyst website also serves as a promotional tool for the city itself. The online portal touts the benefits of Southfield's infrastructure, access to high-speed fiber optics, broadband, and satellite services, as well as its central location within the metro Detroit region.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can access the Southfield Business Catalyst online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Organization offers lifelong educational programming opportunities in Rochester area

Mary Eberline and Frank Cardimen believe in the power of lifelong learning. It's why they started Smart Towns, a continuing education program that aims to enrich the community through presentations on a wide range of topics, well after individuals have completed their traditional schooling.

"We're pushing the envelope because when you're looking at the demographics of our area -- Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township -- we're becoming an older community," Frank says. "So we're creating continuing educational experiences for these people."

Smart Towns got its start in 2017 and, as Frank tells it, was so successful that they just had to do it again. More than 20 presentations will be given this year. And though they will cover a sleiu of topics, from micro-finance lessons to examining various anti-Catholic and anti-Islamic movements, Smart Towns 2018 will be united under one theme: Agents of Change.

The idea is that agents of change influence and alter all facets of our culture, from health to education, economics to the arts. The various events will occur throughout the year and will be held at the locations of the program's partners: Ascension Crittenton Hospital, Meadow Brook Hall, Oakland University, Rochester College, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, and Rochester Hills Public Library.

Future presentations include a demonstration and performance from the Michigan Opera Theatre, and on topics that include the Panama Canal, medical science, and the first computer.

"We're looking at it in different ways of how our lives have been affected," Frank says. "We want to have people recommit to educating themselves. We think that's an important part of our role."

Visit the Smart Towns website for more information on this year's events. The next event is "Micro-Finance: Your Chance to be an Agent of Change (just Like a Nobel Prize winner!)," which takes place Jan. 30 at the Rochester College Auditorium.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Michigan start-up marries urban planning with aerial drone technology, advances in NY-based contest

The seemingly unlikely partnership between a pair of urban planners and a professional drone pilot has resulted in a unique company that has captured the attention of the state of New York. It's the sort of groundbreaking company that can only be formed at a kitchen table over pizza and red wine.

Urban planners Adrianna Jordan and Daniel Brooks own the Oakland County-based firm Pivot Planning & Design. While enjoying dinner in Jordan's home with friend and professional drone pilot Zachary Halberd, the idea for their new company together, Quantifly, was born. Quantifly employs aerial drone technology to provide unique data sets in parking and traffic study analysis.

"Urban planners, transportation engineers; they've been doing things the same way for more than 50 years," says Jordan. "There hasn't been a lot of innovation in the industry."

Quantifly fills that innovation gap and they're being noticed for it. In just a year, the trio has advanced as finalists in the second round of the GENIUS NY program. Already guaranteed $250,000 in prize money, Quantifly now has the opportunity to win up to $1 million in grand prizes should they win an April event.

The fact that it's New York is an important one. Halberd says that Syracuse, New York, is considered the Silicon Valley of autonomous aerial drone research.

A stipulation of the contest is that the company must move to New York. The state takes a small percentage stake as it invests in the business, too. But for the $250,000 already won, and a shot at $1 million, the trio says it's worth it.

Despite having to move the company to New York, the Quantifly founders will keep some of their operations here in metro Detroit. It's an appropriate place for this type of research, they say.

"For all the work going into autonomous flying vehicles in New York, there's work going into autonomous vehicles here in Detroit," says Brooks. "It goes very well together."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Autoliv creating 384 jobs over 5 years

The auto-safety manufacturer Autoliv is consolidating its operations in Southfield into one facility and is expecting to create 384 jobs over five years boosted by a $2.6 million grant approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

"It was a cost-saving move to consolidate all four of our electronics-based employees under one roof for our employees to better collaborate and efficiently serve our customers," the company tells Metromode.

In October, the company broke ground for its 180,000-square-foot Electronics Technical Center. Construction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

Jonna Construction, Harley Ellis Devereaux, and Signature Associates have all been tapped with work on the new facility. Autoliv's hiring plans will mainly be in engineering, research, design, and development in sensor and radar technology, brake systems, and camera technology, according to the company.

Autoliv is a leading automotive safety supplier of airbags, seat belts, steering wheels, and more. With autonomous driving the engine for the future of mobility, the company says Autoliv is "fortunate to be among the leading companies providing technology to help save more lives."

"We are unique in that our products must work as designed because they have only one change to get it right," the company tells Metromode. "From airbags, seat belts, steering wheels, to night vision, radar, stereo vision cameras, safety is our business, and we trust that our customers and the end costumers will rely on us to keep them safe on the journey. "

Also, Autoliv's Auburn Hills Technology Center is undergoing what the company describes as a "refresh" over the next year and a half. Among the upgrades include workspaces, cafeteria, and conference rooms. Progress is underway on an estimated $1 million expansion, according to the City of Auburn Hills. The additional 124 spaces will bring the total number of parking spaces to 589, according to the city.

Autoliv has 70,000 employees across 80 facilities in 27 countries.

Honey creating oasis for mothers in Ferndale

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and that essentially sums up how Brooke Miller created honey, a comprehensive wellness space for mothers and mothers-to-be in Ferndale. The mom of two was then inspired to open honey because it was something she wanted—and couldn’t find.

She first opened in Royal Oak after sharing the idea with a friend who had a room to rent. It took a year to build relationships with other moms, find out what they wanted, and write up her business plan. She then relocated to Ferndale, significantly expanding her space. Honey recently marked its one-year anniversary in the Ferndale location.

“I went from a room to a business,” Miller says. And the business has been flourishing since the move, with the addition of new services and staff.

The 2,000-square-foot space on Hilton Road is an oasis for mothers whether they need some rest or to do some work. It looks and feels more like a good friend’s living room, with candles and flowers decorating the calming space, a dark gray couch with plenty of pillows and a large chalkboard that communicates honey’s mission and vision. 
The foundational programs are the six-week group sessions, separated into different sections depending on the age of the child. In addition to the groups, honey offers psychotherapy and counseling services (Miller is a licensed psychotherapist), a full-service salon, a photo studio, and business coaching and networking.

The business services have been so successful that honey is launching a six-month business program called Final Push to help women entrepreneurs not only build a foundation upon to create their business but also to give them the resources to ensure their long-term success. 
Miller, a Michigan native who moved to California for several years for college and work and recently returned with her family, took some time to answer questions about her business and show Metromode around honey, which was in the middle of upgrading its childcare room and co-working space when we visited recently.

What inspired you to come up with the idea to create a comprehensive wellness space for moms that includes yoga, beauty services, and co-working?

What inspired me in the first place was simply that I was looking for this space. I couldn't find it. So I started it myself. My daughters were two and four months at the time, and I started honey with the hope that there were other moms out there who wanted the same thing I did: community.

My job has shifted though, from building what I needed to building what the mamas in our community want, need and deserve. Honey belongs to our mamas. We've added healing and supportive services along the way that they have asked for. It's been an honor to run a business where I'm most often able to say, yes ... we can do that for you.

You cater to moms and moms to be. On your website, you share your personal struggles and how it was motherhood that brought you to your knees. What was it about motherhood that was more challenging than brain surgery, depression, and a childhood fire?

Everything I've been through in my life like depression, brain tumors, fires, and anything else, was and has been about me—my body, struggles, my traumas, my choices, my healing. Becoming a mother has been a personal journey, but the act of mothering, although we like to pretend is about us, isn't at all. 
It's about ushering another human towards their path, giving them as many tools as they are willing to receive, and taking a big deep breath as they do life in the way that is best for them. … There is nothing more transformative, scary, messy, beautiful, magical, nauseating, joyful than motherhood. Brain surgery is nothing compared.

Moms are often bombarded with conflicting information. What are some examples of this?

There is a lot of information out there—people want to express themselves. People who just want to “help.” It's not specific information that's bad per se, it's just … too much information. Too many people getting their help all over the place. Everyone thinks they have the truth ... and they share it online, in line at the grocery store, when they come to see the baby. 
When a new mom who isn't sure what her personal truth is yet, isn't sure what her unique right is, and isn't confident on her way yet … it can be mind-numbing-heart-racing-self-judging-overwhelming.

My team and I always focus on calming those outside voices, helping moms connect with the inner wisdom they were gifted when they became mothers. Their maternal instinct is powerful, and it's always there—although sometimes pushed down by the stampede of information coming towards them at all times. From our space to our programs to the music in the background. We strive to have less noise, more heart.

Honey is located at 3136 Hilton Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220. 248-232-2555.
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