Goodbye From Nicolas

Hello everyone, As you all may know by now, I have been working with the Green Garage throughout this school year. And, it is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that I will not be returning to the Green Garage next year. I have made many friendships and business connections during my time working here. And I want to thank each and every one of the people whom I’ve interacted with through my time here. From Gracie Xavier, to Curt Malouin, and Karen Chappelle, the conversations I’ve had with the amazing residents of the Green Garage, have been more than just significant to me. They have changed who I am, and the way I view the world. Though I may not be returning, it is my hope that Tuesday, June 12th, is not the last time you will see my face, or hear me crack an unfunny … [Read more...]

Green Garage Member Stories – Brad Dunn

Brad Dunn is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of the app development company 4Thought Studios, which is currently developing their first app, Epochly, a social scheduling app. Brad says that he has always been interested in technology, and that his interest was strengthened by his work during and after college when he worked for Wayne State University as a web developer. When Brad’s friend, Jenna (now 4Thought’s CEO), and Kwame (who’s now the Chief Information Officer), had an idea to develop an app that would help people manage their schedules, Brad made a connection between the two ideas. Soon after, they jumped on the idea and started 4Thought Studios.  On the recommendation from Kwame, the 4Thought team took tours of the Green Garage to see if it was a place that they … [Read more...]

Green Garage Member Stories – Nicole Braxton

The Green Garage is home to a strong, diverse, and supportive community of professionals. We work across a wide array of industries but share a commitment to each other and to minimizing the environmental impact of what we do. We believe that people are more likely to succeed when they’re surrounded by a supportive community, and we’ve seen that proven out as our members tell us time and again that the Green Garage has changed their lives. This series, Green Garage Member Stories, explores how. Nicole Braxton is the owner of Around the World In 7 Days (AW7D). She is with us for the winter under a Bradley fellowship, created by Green Garage co-founder Helen Bradley and named after her late husband Tom, who had a passion for community. AW7D is a social enterprise that focuses on … [Read more...]

Green Garage Member stories – Gracie Xavier

The Green Garage is home to a strong, diverse, and supportive community of professionals. We work across a wide array of industries but share a commitment to each other and to minimizing the environmental impact of what we do. We believe that people are more likely to succeed when they’re surrounded by a supportive community, and we’ve seen that proven out as our members tell us time and again that the Green Garage has changed their lives. This series, Green Garage Member Stories, explores how. Gracie Xavier is the Director of Corporate and Economic Development Strategy for Global Detroit, a nonprofit-in-residence that works to revitalize southeast Michigan’s economy through immigrant attraction and retention. In that capacity, she leads the Global Talent Retention Initiative of … [Read more...]

TBD Magazine Article on the Rooftop Farm

Our rooftop farm was covered in September's edition of TBD Magazine, a local journal that covers the people and ideas that define modern Detroit. The article profiles the work of Sarah Schnell, the manager of the garden, and includes some great photos. Take a look! The Greenest Garden by E.M. Sommerville (TBD Magazine, September) … [Read more...]

Farewell, So Long, Goodbye

Dear Green Garage Community,   Nehe-Miah Scarborough speaking. Having interned with the Green Garage for 2 years, I learned a lot, which is to be expected when you spend your time working with amazing people. I learned the importance of independence, diversity of thought, and diversity in general. I learned that making money, by yourself and for yourself, aren’t characteristics to be ashamed of. I learned that while being an employee is great, it should not be the sole curriculum taught to students. Rather, they should learn that manning their own businesses and obtaining entrepreneurial skills aren’t impossible goals. And if anyone ever deems them impossible, they should simply step into the Green Garage and take a peek. Notice the “manager” who may seem like an employee at face value. … [Read more...]

Video Oral Histories of the Green Garage

Last month, Liz Riedman, an Anthropology Master's student at Wayne State University, interviewed three of the original founders of the Green Garage, Helen Bradley and Don and Mitzi Carter. The interviews were recorded and are below for you to listen to. The videos are brief, each not more than 5 minutes, but they do provide a sense of the original thought behind the Green Garage project, and give insight into several key design decisions that make the Green Garage what it is today. Hope you enjoy them! And thanks, Liz, for helping us embark on our oral history journey. … [Read more...]

“A Workspace With A Heart”

Every summer our businesses host a number of interns, adding another dynamic element to our work. Last month one of the interns for Fresh Corner Cafe, Will Stewart, wrote a piece about his experience in The Michigan Daily. He titled it A Workspace with a Heart: A Look at Detroit's Sustainability Leader. We think he did a beautiful job capturing the spirit of the Green Garage. Take a look! … [Read more...]

Mistakes are the compost for growth and learning

Every Thursday from 12:00-1:30, the Green Garage hosts an open lunchtime conversation about the leadership of triple bottom line businesses. Regularly in attendance is Harriet Greenwood, who operates her consultancy Greenwood Solutions out of the Green Garage. This post, originally published in Harriet's blog, was inspired by the conversation at one of those lunches.  * * * Mistakes are crucially important to entrepreneurs. When you’re working on something new, it’s normal for things to go wrong. The only real failure is the failure to learn from what happens. Life experiences – which inevitably include mistakes – are the best teacher. Some programs encourage entrepreneurs to write business plans and go the bank right away for financing.  Those business plans are often pure fiction.  … [Read more...]

Task lighting selection

It's mundane to most of you, I know. Choosing an appropriate task light shouldn't break the brain bank. It took us months, however, to find just the right task light for our offices. This tiny but important decision reflects accurately the level of detail we put into every decision at the Green Garage. Because it's all a learning process. We'll accept nothing but the most sustainable product we can locate, and we needed to give a lot of thought as to how it would be used. If you're married to a designer or architect, perhaps you live with this careful approach to decision-making and understand intuitively what I'm talking about. The people who participated in our design discussions understand this, too. This is the deep study we've been conducting for the past 4 years, in all levels of … [Read more...]