The 2nd Annual CreatorCon unfolded as an event filled with inspiration for founders, influencers, and creatives across diverse industries. Robert Courtney, the driving force behind the rapidly expanding digital marketing agency, Robert Courtney & Associates, curated an event to be a melting pot of ideas, insights, and inspiration. CreatorCon was more than just a conference; it was a convergence of creators, businesses, brands, and everything in between.
Among the many stages and insightful sessions, the Fashion Stage emerged as a pulsating hub where Detroit’s top fashion pioneers shared not only their expertise and experiences but also unveiled the secrets to navigating the challenging landscape of the Motor City’s fashion scene.
“It’s tough love here and I appreciate it,” said Daishawn Franklin, Owner of Indie Fashion a platform dedicated to supporting the evolving independent fashion scene. “We don’t accept mediocrity and I’m alright with it. We are tough critics. Detroit puts an expectation on artist, that we have to be great here. I say being from Detroit is the biggest inspiration because the tough love here makes it easy to face the tough love in other cities. The D made me great.”
Detroit, often acclaimed for its unique blend of fashion flair and persistent grit, served as the perfect backdrop for an event focused on networking, collaboration, and the exchange of invaluable insights. As attendees gathered to soak in the wealth of knowledge, the fashion stage became a pulsating center of wisdom and inspiration.
Throughout the event, the Fashion Stage served as a platform for Detroit’s fashion elite to share their stories, offering a rare glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of navigating the city’s demanding fashion landscape. From establishing a brand identity to overcoming logistical hurdles, each speaker provided a roadmap for aspiring fashion moguls looking to make their mark in Detroit.
Staying in the fashion territory, closing the event with a powerful keynote address was none other than Tommy Walker, the visionary founder behind the iconic “Detroit Vs Everybody” (DVE) brand. Known for transforming his clothing line into a statement piece for the city, Walker epitomizes the essence of a true creative: a fusion of innovation, community, and unapologetic individuality. His journey from a local entrepreneur to a symbol of Detroit’s resilience resonated with the audience, emphasizing the transformative power of fashion as a cultural force.
“The “why” is everything. Before DVE I branded for years I branded artist, rappers, and businesses. In my travels I saw that Detroit was getting a bad rap. I wanted to see how I could use my platform to change the narrative to the truth. CreatorCon and this creative spirit of Detroit that’s getting all of this attention now has been going on, but at that time it felt like it was getting suppressed. With attention I was getting I wanted to use my platform to promote the true truth of what was going on her in the city of Detroit.”
Walker discussed how a visit to California more than a decade ago ignited a spark within him. Observing Detroit’s influence permeating states like California, he couldn’t help but notice the lack of positive recognition from the very cities it was impacting. Fueled by this realization, Walker vividly remembers returning home with a surge of motivation, propelling him into the journey of DVE.
“I came back home, and I took the temperature of the city. It was Detroit Vs Everybody because everybody loves Detroit, but nobody wants to stay here.”
One of the event’s crucial components was the presence of key vendors, such as Capital One, Detroit Means Business, and Tech Town. Recognizing that creativity alone is not enough to thrive, these vendors played a pivotal role in connecting Detroit creatives with essential resources, mentorship opportunities, and crucial funding. Their support ensures that the city’s burgeoning talents have the backing they need to elevate their brands and transform their visions into reality.
“In this day and age, to be successful in business, everyone has to be a creator. This means, if you can’t figure out a way to do it yourself, you have to find the right people to help you do it,” says Courtney. “Our agency specializes in playing the middleman, connecting talented creators, videographers, photographers, and other talent to the business owners who need the services.”
Numerous attendees, panelists, and the hosts brought forth compelling narratives during the event. A recurrent theme in resource discussions revolved around the importance of innovatively leveraging opportunities and existing resources. Speakers passionately encouraged guests to seize the moment at the event, emphasizing the need to shed light on alternative avenues for advancing their ideas, businesses, and talents to new heights.
“Sometimes when you have only the resources that you have to work with you have to be innovative,” said Andre Ash, a Digital Journalist in Detroit. “That’s what you find in the CreatorCon space and in this industry no matter [the field]. Sometimes being entrepreneurial, you have to find ways to be creative -and that’s something I had to learn along the way to create. What better way to do that than to learn from others here at CreatorCon Detroit.”
As the buzz surrounding CreatorCon Detroit gradually subsides, one resounding theme continues to echo: It is imperative to join forces and foster innovation. And what better place to do that than here in Detroit?