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Husband and wife media super team JT Maples and Randi Rosario Maples kicked off the inaugural Motor City Industry Fest with a weekend full of networking, insider information from various market professionals and supporting small Black-owned businesses.
More than a year after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Capital Brand led by husband and wife JT and Randi Maples, set the city on fire with their first ever Motor City Industry Fest. Hosted in the TCF Center, the two-day extravaganza featured expert panelists including Detroit stylist Marv Neal and designer Front Paije, HuffPost Senior Front Page Editor Phil Lewis, Zeno Jones, manager to Detroit rap legend Big Sean and several other national and local influencers across music, media, technology, business and beyond.
Randi Rosario Maples is a globally recognized influencer and successful entrepreneur in her own right. Dominating social media and a best-selling author, Rosario Maples also heads an
online radio broadcasting company, OhSoRadio. The serial girl boss and co-producer of Industry Fest is leveraging her network to help grow Detroit’s professional community beyond the pandemic.
“We already had a concept; bringing a festival-like event here. Then, COVID hit and shook everything up,” said Rosario Maples. “So, once we worked through what we were all going through with COVID; be it depression, be it anxiety, and refocusing and re-finding yourselves, we started to put together an event that we had to rework. We wanted it to make sense to what was going on right now.”
Staying true to that notion, the Maples developed a program that featured a fashion show, concert of local talent and a display of vintage automobiles. The panels for the action-packed weekend included Black men’s discussion on mental health, fashion icons, female entrepreneurs and media professionals.
“I love Detroit. When I saw there was an event happening in the city and that they wanted me to come back and speak for it, I was like ‘absolutely.’ Anytime I can come back to Detroit and impart wisdom, I will definitely do it,” said Philip Lewis.
The brainchild of husband JT Maples, the Motor City Industry Fest is just the beginning. The duo exclusively shared with Michigan Chronicle their upcoming plan to bring the large-scale event to other metropolitan cities across the country.
“This event is the Motor City Industry Fest, but the overall production is the Industry Fest. Starting in February, we’ll be on tour so we’ll be in five to seven other A-List markets between the start of 2022 and the middle of the year,” said Maples. “We’ll do it here in our hometown of Detroit annually so we’ll be back next fall with the second rendition”
While continuing to grow their brands, the couple also grew their family, welcoming a son. Branding and family may not come easy each day, but the couple continues to do it with grace.
“The hardest adjustment in motherhood is that you never really go back to being the old version of yourself. That old version is gone. You’re never going to get that person back. You can be a doper version of that person, or a lamer version of that person; whichever you choose to do,” said Rosario Maples.
The couple hopes attendees will leave Industry Fest with a new sense of drive and passion. Stoking the flames for each annual event, the Maples are ready to make Industry Fest a staple in the community.
“People want to attend events again. Our job is to make these events meaningful and worth their time,” said JT Maples. “The goal is to produce a weekend-long series of impactful conversations, connections and of course live concert performances that the city, state and region will enjoy and anticipate for next year.”