Author Archive for Celeste Anderson

Sit On It, Detroit!

A majority of Detroit’s city population relies on the city bus system for transportation; however, most bus stops do not have benches. If you have to wait for a bus, it’s tiresome to stand. It’s even worse if it’s cold outside. The cold is very conducive with Michigan’s long winters.

Sit On It is a community supported social entrepreneurship organization. Sit On It was started by two millenial entrepreneurs names Kyle Bartell and Charles Molnar. Kyle and Charles solved Detroit’s bench-shortage by using reclaimed wood from homes that were deconstructed. Kyle and Charles take these bus stop benches a step further by converting the lower part of the bench into a book shelf. Now, citizens of Detroit can read while they wait for the bus!

In the future, Sit On It Detroit is hoping to continue providing benches for fellow Detroiters. They hope to set up benches throughout the city. The company recently moved into a new 10,000 square foot space. Kyle and Charles have expanded their business to building custom furniture pieces for restaurants.

Sit On It was originally funded by the micro-funding organization called Detroit SOUP. Check out my other blog about SOUP.

Stay warm, Detroit, and Sit On It!

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SOUP is a group of Detroiters who raise money for Detroiters. SOUP is a micro-funding dinner. The model of SOUP originated in Chicago. SOUP allows ordinary people to come together around ideas and bowls of soup at a public dinner. SOUP meets in a loft, anyone can come and listen to aspiring creative individuals share their ideas for how they want to improve the community of Detroit. Each project gets to present before those attending the dinner. The project presentations range from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more.

SOUP’s mission is “to promote community-based development through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust and fun.”

This great organization was founded by Amy Kaherl. Amy is the current director of Detroit SOUP. Amy grew up and attended college in Michigan. She studied theology and popular culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasedena, California.

SOUP actually funded the grant that helped start Veronika Scott’s social enterprise company called The Empowerment Plan. Read about The Empowerment Plan on one of my other blogs.

Stay warm, Detroit, and eat soup!

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The Empowerment Plan

The city of Detroit has been known for its high rates of poverty, homelessness and joblessness. One young entrepreneur decided to create a solution for the numerous homeless in Detroit. Michigan gets very cold during the winter and many homeless are left on the streets if they don’t find a spot in a shelter for the night. American social entrepreneur Vernonika Scott is the CEO and founder of The Empowerment Plan. The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based non-profit organization that creates coats that also double as sleeping bags. The coat unfolds to reveal a warm, insulated sleeping bag. During the summer, the coat can also be folded up and a strap is created out of the arms so it can be easily carried. Veronika has done amazing things with her entrepreneurship skills, and she’s only 26 years old!

The mission according to their website is:

Our goal is to help build a better life for those that have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness. We mostly hire homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.

Not only does Veronika’s company help the homeless by supplying them with coats/sleeping bags, but her company even employs the formerly homeless! (All of the workers at The Empowerment Plan have since found homes.)

To watch a video about the good work that The Empowerment Plan is doing in Detroit, click on this link:

As winter approaches, stay warm, Detroit!

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To start, you probably only want to read this if you are a girl, but the decision is ultimately up to you, reader.


“Period Proof Underwear: Thinx”

Co-founder and CEO, Miki Agrawal, created the company THINX with her twin sister Radha. These two sisters had the ingenious idea to create a product for women around the world that would truly solve an annoying, and expensive problem. Miki and Radha created period proof underwear. They now produce these underwear and sell them online.  Miki and her company are entering into a $15 billion industry. Innovations in this industry seldom occur, so THINX is really changing the business.

THINX is also a social enterprise! Miki has the goal of making THINX available to girls and women in third world countries. Often, in third world countries, there aren’t affordable or useful solutions for women in this area. Many girls and women are not able to work or go to school during their time of the month. This greatly inhibits women’s productivity in school, a job or at home.

Miki was names 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Technology Awards and her company THINX was named Time Magazine’s “25 Best New Inventions of 2015”. Miki and THINX have won other awards also in their tireless effort to serve their customers well but also to help make the world a better place.1-jpg-crop-promo-xlarge2 euepp2aeoogaszfirsn6qxz8qyrrlpn3plf0oipyvuadvnfifxgtcf7asansy7ja thinx-featureImage result for thinx

Pit It! Pinterest.


There is an online platform that many individuals, particularly millennials, enjoy. Well, often it’s a procrastination mechanism, at least it is for me. Pinterest allows you to save links to various sites including (but not limited to) retail sites and blogs. “Pins”, as they are called, are categorized and browse-able. With one simple click on the image, your computer, tablet or smartphone immediately links to the site from which the picture was pinned. This allows a user to collect and share others ideas, styles, thoughts, quotes, travels and just about anything you could think to take a snap shot of. I have certainly found myself spending a lot of time on this virtual creativity board.

Ben Silberman, born in 1982, co-founded the virtual pin-board known as Pinterest. Silberman is an internet entrepreneur and acts as the CEO of Pinterest. Silberman is quite the accomplished man. He participated in a prestigious high school research program at MIT, and he later graduated from Yale with his undergraduate degree. Silberman worked at Google in the online advertising group, until he started creating his own apps. Silberman said he thought of Pinterest because he has always liked to collect things. Now, with Pinterest, we can all collect ideas!

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease: HE>i

What started as a simple phrase became a successful clothing and decal shop. Kaimana Plemer, Kainoa Plemer and Chris Ballard live on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. They are part owners of the brand HE>i. The idea for the brand was born in 2003 when Kaimana Plemer wanted to create a catchy design for his screen saver. He liked the “>” symbol, and then, he remembered John 3:30. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become lesser and lesser.” The brothers opened a smalls store in Waialua with their friend, Chris.


The small store became a hit and the company now runs two store on Oahu. The stores carry clothing, decals and many other products with the “HE>i” logo. Many larger companies have contacted “HE>i”, asking to sell the products in their own stores, but Kaimana, Kainoa and Chris have refused. They prefer to focus on their current stores and the sales they make online. In these markets, “HE>i” has had immense success. The logo can be seen across the country and across the world.

I remember walking into the store and being amazed that the company made enough profit on t-shirts and decals to run two whole stores! The brand catches the eye and leads people to ask questions. What a great conversation starter about faith and God. I found this brand and its message to be inspiring. If you have not seen it already, check it out!