This man might just hold the key for the future of black-owned business in Detroit.
Peaton Brown Jr, aka Petey is 24 and has created MallofDetroit.com, an online marketplace for local black businesses. It’s a safe platform for small business owners to sell and promote their products and it’s continuing to expand every year.
What inspired you to create Mall of Detroit?
“Seeing so many black businesses in Detroit competing instead of working together. And wanting to leave something for my family to run for generations to come…I want to eventually have a [physical] mall located somewhere in Detroit by 2025. And to change the negative connotations that come with black businesses.”
Can you tell us a little bit about what businesses are currently working with Mall of Detroit?
“We have a few photographers that work with us, some models, real estate and automobile companies that sell through us. Lots of creative talent from graphic designers to musical artists [such as] HRG (High Roller Gang Music Group); they’re one of the home teams and they have their clothing line on the site with some of their music.”
[High Roller DP of HRG music group posing in apparel available at mallofdetroit.com]
Can you tell us about the recent events that Mall of Detroit has participated in/sponsored?
“We’re actually coming up on a year anniversary of our
#FreeDetroit event that we do with a non profit called Sync Detroit where we give away free everything to the less fortunate in the city. The OBU (Central Michigan University’s official Organization for Black Unity) fashion show was fun to do just to bring the brand to my alma matter.”
What is the “Blessed” Brand?
“That’s actually a clothing line I created myself. It came from all the stress and struggle from post grad life and growing up not having much. As we get older we tend to stray away from our faith and college is a land of temptation so I whenever I wear the shirt, I’m always reminded I was blessed to come out of some of the worst situations alive, healthy and free. The clothing line is meant to inspire people that even when they feel down they’re still blessed no matter what.”
What is your goal with Mall of Detroit in terms of expanding Detroit business?
“Well, it’s been a rocky start getting other businesses to sign up. So with our new hired CEO, we’re just going to focus on finishing out the second half of the year by increasing brand awareness along with sales and hopefully get some business on board with advertising…My older sister, Geneva will be taking over as the new CEO and I’m just going to let her run the show and get some experience. I’ll be more behind the scenes now.”
For more information on Mall of Detroit, visit mallofdetroit.com
or follow them on Instagram @shop.detroit and Twitter @MallofDetroit
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