Blog: Lish Dorset

Lish Dorset is a member of Handmade Detroit, the crafty gals who put on the annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair. She has been making crafts since she started her first Troll doll clothing line back in Mrs. Schneider's fifth grade classroom. Lish also works as a social media coordinator for MS&L Digital in Ann Arbor. She looks forward to chatting about the state of the indie entrepreneur here in Metro Detroit.

Post No. 1

Meet an indie entrepreneur. Huh?

I am not a business person. Not at all. Let’s just type that now.

I graduated from Michigan State in 2003 with a degree in journalism. I spent my time learning how to be a good reporter, not a savvy business gal. Need more proof than my lousy grade from my microeconomics course? Take a look at the evidence:

  • I own one suit I purchased in 1999 to wear to fight a speeding ticket I got when I was 19. “Business casual” to me means a clean pair of Chuck Taylors and a vintage T-shirt without bad words on it.
  • My checkbook is a scribbled mess with incorrect subtraction. It’s balanced… just barely.
  • Crunching numbers to me means shredding my old tax documents in an attempt not to have my identity stolen.
  • The thought of being on "The Apprentice" fighting to win a biz gig with Donald Trump is about as appealing as hosting a "Real World Reunion" telecast on MTV.
  • My cubicle at work is covered in old concert posters, Hello Kitty toys and vintage Pyrex. You’d never know I worked with technology all day long.

Yet despite all these cautionary tidbits as to why I should stay far from the boardroom, I definitely consider myself an indie entrepreneur, just like many of my cohorts in Handmade Detroit, and lots of talented artists in and around the metro area, do.

What is an indie entrepreneur? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, so here’s my take on it. To me, an indie entrepreneur is anyone who’s trying to showcase their hard work to the masses to make a better life for themselves but not adding “Fortune 500” to their homemade business cards.

A do-it-yourself entrepreneur can be just about anyone. It can be your next-door neighbor and the fantastic pies she makes every weekend for her table at the local farmer’s market, just like the one I attend religiously in Plymouth, my current locale. It can be a co-worker who enjoys an evening at home making greeting cards that then go on sale in the employee lunchroom. Or it could be the journalism grad who makes embroidered dish towels in an attempt to make the world a bit greener. 

(In case you were wondering, that last one is yours truly.)

Everyone will agree that Michigan’s economy has seen better days. But if you’re like me, a lifelong Michigander, you’re in love with the state that looks like a mitten and know things will, no doubt, be bouncing back our way. But until then, having a different approach on what it means to be a business person, wait, indie entrepreneur, might just be the way to get not only metro Detroit, but all of Michigan, back on its feet.

Even if you think wearing Bedazzled sweat suits to work should be socially acceptable.