Christina Collie: In 2012 I only saw negative images of Detroit and that disturbed me. The idea was to to highlight positive things because we were not just going through bankruptcy or the Kwame trial. One of the ways that I could help combat the negative images was to create Picture Detroit, an Instagram feed that promoted the positive things in Detroit, such as new businesses and growth. In my images, I stay away from ruin porn and staged photography and prefer to take photos in the moment. My photos are of architecture, iconic Detroit sights like the Spirit of Detroit, the good things happening here, the day to day living, and those working in the city. A description is always included with every image so viewers get a story as well.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
CC: It was something that happened naturally! I started doing this as a hobby 4 years ago. I was spending at least 6 hours a day on social media, responding to people, or doing research. It got to a point that I put so much time into it that I wanted to see how far I could push it, how far I could go. I wanted to actually build a business off of it so I reached out to the staff at Detroit Experience Factory and they recommended that I check out Build.
“For the price that Build charges, the value is definitely there!”
What was your experience with Build?
CC: We were able to bounce ideas off of the other students, the learning and growing with like minded people. The course material was informative. I didn’t even know about social entrepreneurship until I took Build. Camaraderie is built through the course because you’re in the room with people in the same position as you. Some don’t even know what to call their business, they just have the idea. Even after graduation, everything that Build offers to alumni keeps us in touch with the people we’ve grown with so we have a support team. For the price that Build charges, the value is definitely there!
What’s next for your business?
CC: Working on more paintings. I’d like develop partnerships and find an organization that a percentage of my sales will go towards.