The Detroit Riot is a vintage to modern thrift store that sells unique clothing and accessories that help Detroiters stand out and express themselves. Founders Iesha Mitchell and Myka Watts were inspired to start the business after a leisure trip to Paris. While visiting the city, they became enamored by the city’s thrift and resale culture and wanted to bring that same vibe back to Detroit. When asked why they went with the Parisian theme in Detroit, Mitchell said, “At one point in time, Detroit was considered the Paris of the Midwest, so everything came full circle for us.”
Rolling out sat down with Mitchell to learn more about the Detroit Riot, their social media strategy and their creative approach to business, as well as their upcoming Juneteenth pop-up event.
What is the significance of hosting a pop-up event for Juneteenth?
When we were planning our next pop-up, the day we decided on fell very close to the June 19, which just so happens to also be Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in America. That said, we thought it would be a great idea to have a pop-up dedicated to the holiday. Many people are unaware of the importance of the holiday and it is not widely celebrated in the Black community like other holidays. We hope that this event sparks influence and inspiration, which will lead to more celebrations throughout the community over time. We want to uplift the history of our people while creating a history of our own.
Tell us about your events. When is your next event? How often do you have events?
We host independent pop-up shops on a quarterly basis. Our events are normally free and we usually host 2-3 additional vendors at the event. Our goal is to make customers as comfortable as possible so we encourage attendees to “sip, shop and vibe” when they arrive. The purpose of the pop-up shops is to reach varying consumer groups, build traction for our brand, and give customers a glimpse of what the Detroit Riot will be like once we finally obtain a brick-and-mortar location. We also hope to promote and inspire a sense of community by interacting with various neighborhoods throughout Detroit and other up-and-coming Detroit brands. Our next pop-up shop will be a Juneteenth celebration, hosted on June 17 in Northwest Detroit.
Describe the social media strategy for promoting your business.
Our social media strategy is to be organic and represent our brand in a way that would capture our own attention. We capitalize on bright colors and unique style while using professional photography as much as possible. Most importantly, we remain consistent with our voice, frequency and overall theme. We want our social media to promote our brand and inspire people to embrace their individuality.
Describe your creative collaborations and importance of collaboration.
We’ve collaborated with other brands/companies and through those experiences we’ve been challenged and learned more about our preferences. Without collaborating with other brands, we wouldn’t be able to reach a diverse audience of Detroiters. We also would be limited in our learning if we continued to work alone. We’ve learned a lot about running our business and what it takes to run a business by working others. Collaboration has been a vital part of our business’ growth and it has connected us to new opportunities and other networks.
Describe the importance of networking in any industry.
Networking is very important. We are constantly looking for opportunities to get our name out there and reach new audiences. Without networking, The Detroit Riot would not have grown as quickly as it has. Through our networking experiences, we’ve also learned that it is important to be your own number one fan. That means constantly talking to more and more people about our business during in-person conversations and even online. Networking in any industry is imperative because one can gain mentors and even get advice from other established businesses that have been in your shoes at some point.
Name three creative icons that influence your approach to business and life.
Three creative icons that influence our approach to business and life are Beyonce, Myleik Teele and Oprah.
Describe goal setting methods you use and how you evaluate your success.
We set goals by first writing them down and formulating timelines. We then work backward and identify what steps it will take to achieve those goals. We measure our success on whether or not we have met our goals and if our goals are very ambitious, we note what we can also reasonably achieve and be happy with. When we set goals and we don’t make them, we have to remind ourselves to be patient with the process and things will come together in due time. We realize that it’s good to set goals but not to always get hung up on them.
Share two national brands that have a creative approach to business that keep them seen as a trendsetter and leader in their industry. Please give examples with each creative approach.
Two national brands that have a creative approach to business that are seen as trendsetters and leaders in their industry would be Apple and CurlBox. Though Apple is a tech company, they are continuously leading in their industry as it relates to relevancy and innovation. Curlbox is a subscription box service that was the first of its kind. The company was started by a Black woman with a vision to provide hair and cosmetic products to other Black women. Since its inception, the company has grown, offering the service to women and men of all shades and backgrounds. Both companies inspire us tremendously.
Finish the sentences
Creativity is … freedom.
The creative culture of my company is ... unlimited and steady growing. We are a new company and we are still figuring out what works for us. With that being said, we have learned the most from being adaptable and flexible in our approach.
Style and creativity are … similar but not interdependent. We believe that there is creativity in style, but creativity comes in varying forms. The Detroit Riot and the thrifting culture in general embrace both style and creativity, and that is one of the things we love most about what we do.
Our creative voices can be seen and heard … in our work, our lives, and our actions. As black women, our experiences give us unique perspectives of the world around us. We hope to share our voices and inspire those around us with our vision and The Detroit Riot.
Where can our readers find you on Social Media? Do you have a physical store(s)? Where can they purchase your products?
You can learn more about the Detroit Riot on our website, www.TheDetRiot.com. Readers can also follow us on Instagram @TheDetroitRiot and “like” us on Facebook (The Detroit Riot). We are planning to open a physical location in the future; in the meantime, potential customers can purchase items on our website and at our pop-up shops.