Paulina Petkoski: PLAYGROUND DETROIT is a Detroit-based creative agency and digital media company that serves as a resource and catalyst for art, culture and music. It provides creative entrepreneurs with resources, professional development and support through an online magazine, e-commerce, event production and digital media services. Our goal is to support and promote inclusive business and creative opportunities for residents and professionals in order to enhance and sustain Michigan’s creative economy.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
PP: My father was a business owner and I understand that children of entrepreneurs have high percentage of being entrepreneur themselves. During college, I had a jewelry consignment collection and started a clothing line with a business partner; always had the mentality. PLAYGROUND DETROIT was a response to living in New York after growing up in Detroit and having to answer, “Where are you from?” There was strong need to represent Detroit and counteract the negative stereotypes that are prevalent outside Detroit. My answer was “I can’t tell you about Detroit, I have to show you.” It started as an online blog and events in NY to showcase the talent. The website included articles about things going on in Detroit, it was the alternative cultural news that was relevant to people in New York. Since then, our audience has become both local and global. It includes people who recently move to MI, visitors, and native Detroiters, not just original New York audience.
“The class made us check in weekly with homework and it was nice to be surrounded by people that were going through similar challenges.”
PP: We were an awardee of the MCM Business Track and they paid for the class. My partner, Samantha and I needed to formalize an idea from a passion project to transition into a business. It was a critical time to get into the business mindset! We were already in motion but it’s always challenging to balance the work, development, and strategy. Build provided the framework for people to ask the same “stupid” questions that I had. The class made us check in weekly with homework and it was nice to be surrounded by people that were going through similar challenges.
What’s in store for PLAYGROUND DETROIT?
PP: We are looking for partners and sponsors to invest in PLAYGROUND DETROIT. There needs to be serious investment. I want to see our social media following grow exponentially larger. Over the next 10 years, we plan to leverage the UNESCO City of Design designation. Creatives are entertaining the idea of staying in Detroit but the opportunity has to catch up. We want to see a sustainable creative economy with PLAYGROUND DETROIT being a component to enable creative professionals to realize their full potential. Retention of creative professionals is important. By staying, they can lend their experience and expertise to the next generation.