By Darralynn Hutson
“I remember my mother talking about Marlowe Stoudamire to someone that didn’t know him; she said that ‘he was a beacon calling attention to the talent of Detroit,’” says Tatiana Grant, co-founder and owner of 2050 Partners, Inc, a new firm delivering integrated marketing, social impact and business strategies to its clients. “Marlowe had been encouraging me to start a partnership with him because he said that I was perfect at bringing strategies and events together on the back end. He felt that I deserved so much more than that.”
The native Detroiter and serial entrepreneur runs both Infused PR & Events – whose clients include Michigan’s M1 rail and McDonalds, and Cultivate MI Solutions, the only company in the state to hold a license for recreational cannabis events, both while successfully managing the launch of a new brand, 2050 Partners just prior to the tragic death of her mentor and partner Marlowe Stoudamire. Stoudamire died due to complications from contracting the Coronavirus.
“Infused PR & Events has always been my money maker and has allowed me to fuel other businesses. Before I had even considered Cultivate MI, a third company – Flash Delivery – was bleeding money with [the creation of competitors] Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates. I was pregnant with my daughter when one of my mentors suggested that I investigate the cannabis delivery business,” says Grant.
2050 Partners came on the heels of a devastating blow that would leave Grant a victim of partner fraud. Recovering from the loss of a fledgling business while becoming a new mom was challenging but not daunting. Grant always surrounded herself with mentors and individuals that supported her vision. “About a week before we officially launched the company, Marlowe and I were talking about executive things that included working with the CFO and accountants. He knew that I wanted to be hands-on with those people specifically because I had been burned before with my previous partner. He understood that and I appreciated him for letting me take the lead. He knew that there were bigger things in store for us,” said Grant.
Expansion and resilience are the cornerstones behind Grant’s success. She started the partnership at a tumultuous time when most business owners, especially Detroit business owners would have given up.
“After the betrayal of my previous business partner, I was devastated but I was also six months’ pregnant which is when I became so much more spiritual. I started to envision the reasons why people do the things they do and why they are put in situations where they believe they have to lie, deceive and [commit] fraud. It was hard but I had to keep going. I was driven to thrive and live,” said Grant. “It has been weird that I’ve been blessed to have strong businesses and strong mentors that have always supported my entrepreneurial spirit.”
Grant received praise from 2050 Partners’ clients after the untimely death of Stoudamire. “Our family of parents, staff and shareholders were devastated when we heard about Marlowe’s passing,” says Diane Fisher, CEO of Chandler Park Academy, 2050 Partners’ first client. “We have been changed for the better after working with 2050 Partners for just a short time. It’s been amazing that the whole team — Marlowe, Tatiana and everyone involved — have become a part of our family. Enrollment is up, our website conveys our mission and our community partnerships have grown. That’s all due to our work with 2050 Partners. Our transformation has been painful for some because we have been doing business the same way for 22 years, but it has been amazing.” 2050 Partners’ active clients include Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History which is in the midst of planning the annual African World Festival 2020, and the Michigan State Police which is involved in a powerful community engagement and brand strategy campaign.
Since 2009, Tatiana Grant’s brand has partnered with other major Detroit players such as Mayor Duggan’s “Duggan for Detroit” campaign, the PGA, the Detroit Super Bowl host committee and so many others. “I believe that it is my purpose to start these businesses and it’s been odd how things have come together. To say it’s been a roller coaster would be an understatement,” says Grant. “A month ago, I was on cloud nine because we were about a week away from announcing Michigan’s first recreational cannabis event. Then we got a call that the governor was shutting down all outside events and the coronavirus swept away how we do business. If I was not a spiritual person and surrounded by people that love me, I would not be able to keep moving forward. I have to continue to live and continue to thrive because none of this hard work is done in vain. We are representatives of how Detroit does business and I believe that Marlowe would be proud of that.”