Hottest Startups in the Comeback City

Modified: May 13, 2022 | Story by Meghan Simonie

At the very heart of the city of Detroit are the hard-working and inspirational individuals that want nothing more than to see the city succeed. Some of the following individuals found it important to start their businesses in the city that has already given them so much.

Clearly Female

It makes complete sense that Clearly Female’s founder, Kristen Barnes-Holiday, supports all things clearly female! Her creativity related to female empowerment inspired her to start Clearly Female.

She created the mantra, “Mirror Checking Is A Must” and used this mantra to develop a women’s fashion line centered around women empowerment and self-reflection.

As a lifelong Detroiter, there was no other option but to found Clearly Female in Detroit, according to Kristen. Aside from it being home, Kristen feels that “Detroit is a unique place filled with beautiful yet empowering people, bold fashion, and a city with a lot of heart and soul.” The women of Detroit inspire Kristen every day and she loves that she is a part of this trailblazing group.

Monroe Sweets 

When looking for something to satisfy the sweetest of sweet teeth, Monroe Sweets LLC based in Detroit has a little bit of everything. The menu offers a wide array of cakes, cookies, pies, truffles, cupcakes, and more.

Coming from a long line of family bakers, Sasha Monroe always found comfort and enjoyment baking in the kitchen with her grandmother and aunts. When an injury sidelined her from playing her favorite sport, basketball, she started to spend more time baking instead. A friend encouraged her to start profiting from her amazing talents and the rest was history.

Born and raised in Detroit, Sasha grew up with only one well-known bakery. Feeling like the city deserved a wide variety of high-quality pastries, Sasha felt obligated to base her bakery in Detroit. Her location allows for the people of the city to have access to those delicious pastries without needing the 30–40-minute drive outside the city.


It’s no surprise that there are a multitude of dog lovers in and around Detroit. Temeria Heard has always been not just a dog lover, but extremely passionate regarding the care and protection of [wo]man’s best friend.

After witnessing a video showcasing the horrific abuse of a dog by its owner, Temeria knew she had to do something. She created Swaggles to support ongoing efforts to protect and care for dogs in Detroit, nationally, and around the world.

According to Temeria, she started Swaggles “as a passion project” after routinely “donating to local animal rescues in Detroit.” The name Swaggles came simply from her marketing background, producing promotional branded items, otherwise known as swag, and her adorable dog’s namesake, Snuggles!

Being born and raised in Detroit, her love for the city stressed the importance to found and build her company as a Detroit-based business. Temeria feels strongly that many dogs lack the necessities of protection and compassion. She loves that her brand can contribute back to the local and national animal rescues and shelters whose efforts are providing the protection and compassion those dogs need.

Penny Love Fitness

“Invest in Yourself” is the motto of Penny Love Fitness. This group of outstanding women has created a space where women can come to get fit, feel comfortable, and dance their heart out!

As a drama and judgement free zone, Penny Love Fitness is an ideal place to find your people in Detroit.

Fitness class at the Lexus Velodrome

These Detroit-based businesses are just a few of many local companies that are not just creative and inspiring but so important to the revitalization of heart of the city itself.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    3031 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
    (313) 259-2800
  2. 2
    Penny Love Fitness
    Marygrove College, West McNichols Road, Detroit, MI, USA
    (313) 717-5939