Tell us about Who’s That?
Joshua Smith: Who’s That? (WT?) is a Detroit-based branding studio and retail design consultancy dedicated to learning about, crafting and sharing the visual identities of our next-generation businesses and cultural institutions. We partner with founders and makers in apparel, food & beverage, and lifestyle goods manufacturing. The name, Who’s That? comes from a play on what we do in branding. The root question for branding is “Who” – it is the identity of the brand, the core. When I see businesses in Detroit I ask, who’s that or who’s behind that. My interest has always been in people and getting to know them. I work with people that are super passionate about their product and they are putting everything on the line!
What was your experience with BUILD?
JS: Being at D:hive and taking BUILD served as a great launching pad to connect with the business community. At D:hive, when I manned the front desk I could talk to professionals, entrepreneurs, general people, and people from other countries, it was an intersection of many communities! BUILD was the beginning. The binder helped me to think about business, the entrepreneurial mindset, and dealing with risk and uncertainties. I worked at D:hive because I wanted to get in the mix of small businesses in Detroit. Having the support of providers and clients really put me in a unique position to connect with the DEGC, funders, and other business support. I picked up a lot of clients including Paramita Sound and other BUILD grads.
“BUILD was the beginning. The binder helped me to think about business, the entrepreneurial mindset, and dealing with risk and uncertainties.”
What’s next for your business?
JS: Now that Who’s That? has officially launched, my goals are to look for space, build a roster, and speaking on branding. We don’t have a dedicated studio and we’re looking for opportunities through coworking spaces and buildings. We’re building a roster or network of designers, writers, and expanding the talent pool that we work with. I’ve found success in speaking about branding to the next generation of entrepreneurs to provide practical knowledge about branding.