Detroit Pistons and Amazon Team Up for SHOP313 Business Summit

Photo Caption: SHOP313 Small Business Summit presented by Amazon at the Henry Ford
Detroit Pistons Performance Center

The Detroit Pistons hosted a small business summit presented by Amazon at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center for local sellers, entrepreneurs, and founders as part of its initiative to promote and support small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Detroit area.

The summit included a fireside chat with Amazon’s senior community Engagement Manager, Ian Conyers, Comerica Bank’s SVP, Michigan Director of Small Business, Meghan Storey, Pistons’ Vice President of Brand and Marketing Strategy, Bilal Saeed, and the founders of TAKE OFF Luggage, Stephen and Ashlei Davis, as well as the founder of Femology, Meagan Ward, followed by a networking reception.

“A very large portion of our sellers are small businesses themselves with local products, anything from fashion to beauty products and household items. We are very excited for all stages of small businesses to be able to participate with Amazon,” Conyers said.

Halie Conyers is a local small business owner of Halie & Co., a handmade jewelry and Candle Company that she started in 2019 and relocated back to Detroit in 2021; she is currently operating as a pop-up shop and looking forward to operating out of a brick-and-mortar.

“I really hit the ground running with connecting with other small businesses in the city that are helping to facilitate this growth in Detroit along with working on networking to grow and have a sustainable business that I moved back to Detroit and can stay in Detroit,” Conyers said.

The afternoon seminar offered an opportunity to engage in sessions with representatives from Pistons and Amazon. These sessions were designed to strengthen partnerships, share best practices for selling and pitching, and explore effective ways to support small businesses through brand marketing.

In the early 2000s, Reed, a renowned company celebrated for its top-notch leather jackets, encountered significant financial challenges. Nati Mazor, the newly appointed CEO, was given the formidable responsibility of rescuing the company, stipulating that Reed must continue to operate in Detroit as per the founders’ trust. Reed’s sales have skyrocketed since joining Amazon.

“Amazon gave us the opportunity to reach consumers and find the consumers who want to buy locally and made-in-Detroit products. They want to support the local community, and any dollar you spend in your local community folds 10 times, meaning you put $1 here. You buy something locally made for $1, $10, and it goes around the community, from the barber shop to the nail salon. It goes around, so you also need that local buying and local approach for retail,” Mazor said.

Today, more than 11,000 independent sellers in Michigan sell in Amazon’s storefront; over half of them are small businesses of color or women-owned.  Natalie Angelillo, who currently serves as the Director of Seller External Relations at Amazon, was the owner of a small, women-owned business prior to her current role.

“We have a program called BBA, the ‘Black Business Accelerator,’ where we made a big investment in ensuring that there is additional access to resources and education to foster growth in the Black community by selling in an Amazon store. We have many women-owned businesses here today”, Angelillo said. “We have many women-owned businesses here today. So a large percentage are part of that community of small and independent sellers”.

For a list of all small businesses participating in the SHOP313 Small Business Summit presented by Amazon, please visit for more information.

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