Grab your friends and get ready to pose. Three local women are introducing a unique photo experience designed to produce the perfect selfie. The Pose Experience is metro Detroit’s interactive event space. Located in Southfield, the unique selfie museum is helping visitors set the stage for a series of social media posts bold enough to break the internet.
Co-founded by Danielle D. Hughes, Kiera Henderson and Dr. Danielle Penson, The Pose Experience is like nothing the city has seen. The women, all a part of The Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019, met while being honored and forged a sisterhood.
Steaming from a lighthearted conversation, The Pose Experience took just under two months from idea to execution. Wanting to give Detroiters a fun way to pass time during the pandemic, the trio used their collective skills to create the multi-functional space.
“We really just wanted to make sure that we could bring something different and enjoyable to the community. 2020 was so hard for a lot of us. We all suffered loss in some way, and we wanted to make sure we could bring some joy and something different and exclusive for the community,” Hughes says.
Henderson, also owner of Pareik Gallery in Southfield, used her event planning skills, and combined with Dr. Penson’s administrative savvy and Hughes’ marketing skills merged into one curated moment. The selfie museum has 10 interactive and immersive exhibits, including a Bali-themed lounge, 3D donut wall and a life-sized magazine.
“This selfie museum is community-based. We’re doing this specifically for the community to give them that moment outside of a moment. To make another moment. To have a time where they can get dressed up because we know everything has its limitations,” Dr. Penson, a licensed clinical therapist, says.
The group plans to frequently change the theme of the exhibits to keep selfies fresh and new. With some seasonal themes, guests will have more than enough stations to show off their selfie game.
“Our stations that we have right now have been curated and designed, [but] we’re going to switch them out quarterly. So, you get this experience, but every three to four months, there will be a different experience,” Dr. Penson says.
More than launching a new business, the women wanted to show Black female partnerships in a positive light. Discussing plans of working with other women and organizations in the future, the selfie queens wanted to quiet the myth that women are not able to work together.
“People have this notion that women can’t get along and that women can’t be productive together; it’s such a negative stigma around that,” Dr. Penson says. “So, we want to be able to have partnerships and collaborations with other individuals as well.”
Bigger than just photos, the co-founders plan on working with youth to give back to the community. Emphasizing the importance of community ties to the selfie shop, the owners have their sights set on Detroit’s high schools to help create something memorable.
“We want to be able to do something with our youth that are transiting from high school to adulthood. So, at some point we want to get with a high school that has an art program so that they can come in and design and curate one of our stations,” Dr. Penson says.
The ladies already have plans for expansion. With their Southfield location newly open, the group is looking to bring the experience to the inner city.
“We are looking to expand to Detroit pretty quickly. So, that is definitely on our list for expansion,” Hughes says.
The space, perfect for a girl’s night out, birthday celebration or private event, offers general admission tickets for $28. Guests are permitted to remove their masks when taking photos. The event space will be available for rent for groups of 25 or less. Strict COVID guidelines will be followed with mask mandates and temperature checks. Guests are required to make an appointment for the experience. Ten people will be allowed in the space at a time.