“When we take people around Detroit, we show them examples of successful businesses, creative projects, the untapped potential. We want to inspire them to create their idea, their dream, in Detroit…to utilize the land, restore the buildings, create businesses and jobs like many are doing right now. That is the future. “
Jeanette Pierce, Executive Director of Detroit Experience Factory, is a lifelong Detroiter who grew up in the Morningside community on the east side of Detroit and anyone who knows Jeanette will tell you that it’s impossible to have a conversation with her and not learn something new about the city. Her passion for Detroit is contagious!
That’s why she started the tour company, to tell the city’s story from her perspective as someone who really, really loves this town. Jeanette launched what we now know as Detroit Experience Factory, when she was living downtown and walking everywhere. She realized her own experiences discovering all kinds of amazing things as she explored the Motor City in a non-motorized way did not equal the badmouthing the city endured from outsiders, and wanted to change the narrative.
She started with bar tours, versus other tours that focused on culinary, historical, or architectural themes. The idea was to show people what the day-to-day experience of living in Detroit was like, and to break down some of the myths about the city.
Detroit’s economic decline has led to people wanting to create their own jobs and spawned a serious small business culture. And, Jeanette says, “the people doing it aren’t trying to become the next local kajillionaire – they’re doing it to make their communities better and create the kinds of things they want to see in their city.” Jeanette’s enthusiasm made her a natural fit to join forces with FoodLab as we work together to plan 2 exciting tours of FoodLab businesses in the coming months.
As she likes to say, "Detroit is big enough to matter in the world, but small enough that you can matter in it." And there’s no doubt Jeanette, with her boundless energy and enthusiasm for Detroit, won’t rest until everyone experiences the city for themselves and sees it for the wonderful, complex, thoroughly unique place it is.