Three entrepreneurs share success stories in ninth episode of 100K Ideas' client storytelling series

FLINT, Michigan — There’s one thing that often stops a good idea from becoming a great business, and that’s resources — or lack thereof. For the Flint entrepreneurial community, 100K Ideas is a support system that provides passionate innovators and dreamers with resources to become doers.

What started in 2017 as a group of hobbyists, thinkers, and inventors, has grown to become a collaborative network helping products, services, and startups take foot right here in Flint. The ninth and latest episode in 100K's Client Storytelling Series highlights three Flint entrepreneurs — Lee Grant of BAU-HŌUSE & GoodBoy Clothing Co., Kavondra Rayford of Hi-Beti, and Jake Kendall of K&B Party Rental.


Lee Grant Allen Jr. believes fashion is art in motion, and he considers every sneaker and piece of clothing in the BAU-HŌUSE store to be true pieces of art. 

Allen Jr. considers himself a ‘careerpreneur’ with retail as his passion. Alongside BAU-HŌUSE co-owner Antonio Forte, the duo brings something unique to their hometown of Flint: a combination of art, street culture, fashion, and sneakers. 

“One of my favorite art movements was BAU-HŌUSE,” Allen Jr. says. “I loved it because it was the first time where multiple artists from different disciplines were able to study under one roof. It had a huge impact on fashion, architecture, and one of my favorite phrases, ‘less is more.’ BAU-HŌUSE is just the modern adoption. That’s what I wanted to bring to the city. We could come in together, under one roof, and really make a difference in our city, and do something positive.”
Young models pose during a photoshoot in front of BAU-HOUSE located in downtown Flint.
100K Ideas helped the BAU-HŌUSE owners with a pitch competition, directed them to resources, and even followed up after the competition with additional grant opportunities.

Although Allen Jr. did not win the pitch competition to help BAU-HŌUSE, he says that was a driving factor in moving forward with his vision.

Part of that vision includes giving back to the community. When they host pop-up shops for local designers, they do not charge a vendor fee or take money from their sales. 

“We wanted to be able to give back to Flint residents and show that we wanted to be a pillar of the community. That’s still the case today,” Allen Jr. says. “We still offer free pop-ups for anybody interested in fashion and design that’s trying to get a brand started from the ground up. And we offer free workshops. We just had Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, a historically Black college in Detroit, come in and do an introduction to design workshop for Flint residents.”

Allen Jr. also became the managing partner of fellow Flint lifestyle business, GoodBoy Clothing Co., located in Buckham Alley, after the founder Oaklin Mixin died in 2021. Allen Jr. encourages anyone who’s dreaming of taking the entrepreneur route to just start the first steps. 

“Don’t think that you’re going to have the answers right off the bat, and you should, because you won’t,” he laughs. “I’m confident you won’t, but that’s okay – you just navigate; you can’t be afraid to fail.”


Kavondra Rayford is the owner of Hi-Beti, a company that specializes in flavorful, healthy diabetic seasonings and BBQ sauce. Kavondra Rayford knows the difference in how her mind and body feel when she eats a healthy vegan diet versus the alternative. Her business journey for Hi-Beti started in 2019 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and diabetes. 

“I started doing my research on different herbs, waters, and different things that help people while they’re battling this disease,” she says. “I came up with Hi-Beti, which is a catchphrase for high diabetic.”

Rayford mastered her seasoning, and has formulated products using real, natural, raw herbs and little to no sugar or salt. Products include seasoning, BBQ sauce, fruit and veggie wash, and more items made “as natural as possible.” She believes her quality herbs and passion set her product apart from grocery store competitors. Hi-Beti is targeted specifically for diabetics, and ensures meals won’t spike blood sugar levels or prompt diabetic shock.

“Something as simple as changing your diet, or the salt and the herbs that you put in your food can change your life,” she says. 

100K Ideas helped Rayford with the pitch competition, her web page, labels, and how to get products in retailers. She says the support has been amazing from family members and the community.

“That’s what gives me that extra push I need to keep going on those hard days,” she says. “You’ve got to have people in your life that are there to benefit your growth. 
Networking with 100K Ideas staff has also propelled Hi-Beti to the next phases of business, too. 

“This company is awesome for anyone who’s an entrepreneur, who’s local, who’s trying to expand,” she says. 

Looking ahead, Rayford hopes to add another product to her lineup: a diabetic energy shot without the sugar that Red Bull and competitors have. She encourages other entrepreneurs with a passion or dream to follow it. Having confidence in yourself is the first step to success. 

“Once you have a passion for something, it flows because you’re dedicated to it, and you really want to see it come to fruition,” she says. 

K&B Party Rental

Jake Kendall Jr. is the owner of K&B Party Rental, an event rental equipment business.Jake Kendall Jr. grew up with a lot of young peers who are also in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Flint. He appreciates seeing the younger generation at the helm of the community’s growth, behind many local start-up businesses today. He’s one of them, too. 

During the pandemic, Kendall Jr. began looking at extra investment opportunities and ways to expand his business portfolio and stumbled upon a sale listing for tables and chairs.

“July of 2020 is when I bought our first couple of products. I think I started with 50 chairs, five tables, and two tents,” he says. 

K&B Party Rental was born. The event rental equipment business has since added a 360-photo booth and two bounce houses for open houses, corporate events, birthday parties, and weddings. Today, it includes 400 chairs, 50 tables, and 10 tents. 

Kendall Jr. hopes during the off-season, he can hire more employees, a general manager, create a business structure, and potentially move into a building. 

The business was awarded a People’s Choice award at the Pitch for $K and received a $1,000 check. He enjoyed hearing the other pitches and their stories as well as meeting future mentors. 

“With 100K Ideas, it really helped me with networking and getting the word out there of who we were. I got a lot of bigger companies and bigger connections, coming through 100K Ideas, so that was really cool,” he says. 

The entrepreneur hopes to use those connections to leverage more opportunities in the community, including a possible after-school summer credit program providing work experience. He encourages other thinkers to follow their visions as well.

“Chances make champions, so go for it,” he says. “I know we hear this all the time, but literally whatever you put your mind to, you can achieve.”
Check out the full storytelling segment below.

This story is part of a storytelling series supported by 100K Ideas. To learn more, visit:
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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.