FLINT, Michigan — In July of this year, 100K Ideas moved from the Ferris Wheel building in downtown Flint to the Dryden Building just next door. With this move, the organization has introduced a more expansive Shops on Saginaw
initiative to the Flint community, hosting a safe, low-stakes environment for over 20 unique vendors in Genesee County.
“Providing safe spaces where entrepreneurs can explore and expand on their ideas, businesses, and endeavors has always been a pillar of 100K Ideas' mission. So when the conversation came about reopening Shops on Saginaw, it just made sense to create a program to achieve this, as it fits perfectly within the work we already do,” said Paul Zehnder, the marketing specialist at 100K Ideas.
Shops on Saginaw is a consignment-style space that allows local entrepreneurs to build their brand by selling their products at a brick-and-mortar location. The shop features local innovators with various products to sell and gives them an opportunity to build a sense of community within the new entrepreneur sector of Flint while providing a supportive environment for community members to engage with local creators.
Zehner says this initiative provides both an opportunity for creators and a stage to use the resources provided to them by 100K ideas. “It gives accessibility to so many entrepreneurs to get their products into a retail space, without the overarching costs of finding and opening an individualized space, especially those still in their startup phase.”
“The excitement from all the vendors, shoppers, and local community has been so rewarding as we take on this program under 100K Ideas,” Zehnder continued. “We are excited for the possibility to bring even more individuals into the space as they progress on their ideation/small business journeys.”
A few stand-out vendors located in Shops on Saginaw are:
Leather goods sold by the company 1: Eleven. (Courtesy photo)
Created and handcrafted by Miracle McGlown, 1: Eleven
is a local craftsmanship business producing handmade leather handbags, luggage, and wallets. Before becoming a vendor at the Shops on Saginaw, he was a 100K Ideas client who participated and placed in the 100K Pitch Challenge last year. Miracle’s love for leather shines through his business. It is just 1 of eleven craftsmanship brands prioritizing quality here in Flint.
Rootless Coffee Co.
Fresh coffee beans from local coffee company Rootless Coffee Co. (Courtesy photo)
Roasting coffee right here in Flint, Rootless Coffee Co.
was founded by Sean Murray to blur the lines between high-end, commercial coffee and the stuff everyone makes at home. Rootless also sells and ships their coffee that features comic and multimedia artists' designs. Inside Shops on Saginaw, the local coffee company offers customers a variety of whole bean and ground flavors within their vendor space.
A variety of clothing sold by Clothed Boutique. (Courtesy photo)
The mother-and-daughter-owned business, Clothed Boutique
, began in 2020 with a mission to clothe and give. Christi and Lily see this business opportunity as a way to enhance the confidence and beauty of girls and women by offering fashionable clothing pieces and accessories to spice up any style. Though Clothed Boutique is not a new vendor to Shops on Saginaw, they are excited to offer their inventory to the Flint community again.
Soaps sold by Coco Babez inside Shops on Saginaw. (Courtesy photo)
Another vendor inside the Shops on Saginaw space with standout qualities is Coco Babez
. The small, Black, women-owned business creates natural, handmade beauty and skincare products. All products offered at Coco Babez are carefully curated using natural and organic ingredients free from added fragrances, toxins, or color. With scrubs, cleansing bars, toners, and more, the local brand is perfect for community members looking for a new addition to their skincare regimen.
“It is very fulfilling to see the growth and expansion of the local entrepreneurs who are vendors in Shops on Saginaw from such an early stage,” said Zehnder. “As we continue along the journey of this initiative, we are excited to see the continued opportunity and growth that it will continue to bring.”
The 100K Ideas team welcomes all entrepreneurs interested in a spot at Shops on Saginaw to apply. Vendors are selected based on space, inventory type, and availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. Before opening in Shops on Saginaw, all vendors must be registered businesses with a valid EIN number and a business bank account. Entrepreneurs who still need to complete these tasks should still apply. The application link can be found here
“100K Ideas is happy to connect entrepreneurs with resources to prepare them to be vendors, shared Zehnder. “This initiative means so much to [us] as an organization. We are beyond thrilled to launch this program and expand our services for the local entrepreneurs, businesses, and community.”
Beyond Shops on Saginaw, the 100K Ideas team is committed to continuing its initiatives and resources to help support the success of young entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the Flint area.
For more on Shops on Saginaw, visit: shopsonsaginaw.com
. And to learn more about upcoming events and ways to donate or engage with the work 100K Ideas is leading, visit: 100kideas.org