May 2021

BLAC0521

Chasing a Dream

This month, we’re spotlighting Detroit’s Black entrepreneurs, which I’m particularly excited about. I’m no entrepreneur, but as a creative, I’ve always felt like the two spheres are kin to one another. I spent years as a freelance writer, and so, I get the hustle. I get the late nights. I get steadfastly stomping out a path that most will be unwilling to follow – or even understand. I get the soul-wringing desire to spend your days doing what you love and birthing something that didn’t exist before.

Our cover star is Nailah Ellis-Brown of Ellis Isle (formerly Ellis Island Tea). I interviewed Ellis-Brown and our other entrepreneurs, and she and I spoke about some of the inspiring things the brand has been up to – but she also talked about the hard work. No spoilers, but the beverage company is switching gears in a few major ways, but to get there, Ellis-Brown shares, hasn’t been easy. And that’s the real of it. 

Vetra Stephens of cannabis brand 1st Quality Medz and Nelson Sanders of custom suiting house Dandy round out our main profiles. Photographer Lauren Jeziorski visited each one at their places of business, capturing that entrepreneurial essence. Also look out for a handful of honorable mentions.

We asked each of them the same three questions: What personal quality has served you best as an entrepreneur? What’s one thing you thought you knew about entrepreneurship that has been proven wrong? And, what advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs? Their answers ran the gamut and gave us beautiful insight into what fuels a business owner.  

This Mother’s Day, while we celebrate the mothers, we also want to acknowledge the millions of women who are struggling with infertility, an issue that affects Black women more often than white women. Writer Kaye Byrd calls on endocrinologist Dr. Karen Wheeler of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan to walk us through in vitro fertilization, the most commonly used assisted reproductive technology. Discover the ins and outs, from the medicine to the money to the mental.

We also check in with Deon and Karen Derrico, the Detroit-bred, Las Vegas-based couple who are parents to 14 biological children. Season 2 of their TLC reality show, Doubling Down with the Derricos, premiers on June 1. 

We’re also looking ahead to National Wine Day on May 25 by rounding up our favorite Black-owned brands, discovering a new mobile spa, plus much more. And see our snapshots of folks heading into Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians on Opening Day. Yes, please, for the love of God, take me out to the ballgame. Or anywhere that’s open.

Nailah Ellis-Brown

The BLAC List: Celebrating Detroit’s Black Entrepreneurs

These Detroiters are Black, business savvy and busy.
IVF

A Means to Motherhood: Breaking Down IVF

This year, while we honor the already mothers, we want to also remember the hopeful mothers-to-be who may be considering assisted reproductive technology, especially in vitro fertilization.
Rashaun Rucker

Rashaun Rucker is Part Artist, Part Storyteller

The printmaker, photographer and illustrator says it’s all about the narrative.
Mosaic Youth Theatre

DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director, Mosaic Youth Theatre

This former theater kid now helms a youth development organization that preaches the power of creative arts – and of finding your voice.
stroke

Ask the Expert: Can the Risk of Stroke Be Reduced?

Symptoms include sudden weakness, numbness, slurring words, or mental confusion.
Black-owned wines

Our Fave Black-Owned Wine Brands

We heard through the grapevine that you should grab a bottle of one or more of these Black-owned wines.
Good Vybz

Good Vybz Restaurant & Lounge adds a Modern Twist to Classic Jamaican

The family-run Farmington restaurant settles into Farmington.
SpaLand

SpaLand Mobile Spa Offers Massages and More On Wheels

Brandy Ali says she caters to a busy and senior clientele.
Detroit Black Coffee

Detroit Black Coffee Brews Coffees, Teas and Lemonades

Owner Jasmine Jackson’s roasts pay homage to the city she loves and its people.
Doubling Down the Derricos

‘Doubling Down with the Derricos’ Prepares to Return to TLC for a Second Season

Deon and Karen Derrico are parents to 14 biological kids, and Season 2 of their reality show, ‘Doubling Down with the Derricos,’ is returning to TLC in June.