Meet Doug Schwartz the founder of Detroit Wick. Detroit Wick is located in the heart of Eastern Market, the largest historic market in the country. Detroit Wick manufactures limited-edition products onsite like custom candles and the space is interactive including a carefully curated boutique, scent branding facility and production. We talk about how he stumbled upon his candle making business by accident, how he paid attention to what brands wanted which led him to scent branding aka scent logos, how you have to believe in yourself and fight for your end goal and how no city has the soul that Detroit has.
Whether you’re a native Detroiter, a transplant or a boomerang, you can’t deny that what’s happening in the city is history in the (re)making. From the work ethic to the entrepreneurial spirit, Detroiters are rolling up their sleeves and rebuilding the city with the same determination as Henry Ford and Berry Gordy before them. And in the end, those visionaries, similar to the ones you’ll meet this season, not only shaped Detroit, they shaped the world. Once the fastest growing city in the world; the place that created America’s middle class. Detroit is still a city that breeds innovation.
Just like the city of Detroit, our guests have stories of perseverance and creativity. Why should you care? You’ll find motivation and inspiration to apply to your own life from listening to the dreamers, future leaders and risk-takers who are making a direct impact on the community. We talk about lessons learned the hard way, what it took to reach success, business advice and what makes Detroit special.
This season we’re partnering with Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit whose mission is co-creating independence and dignity through the power of personal and workforce development. Goodwill Detroit works to ensure that every neighborhood of Detroit experiences the kind of renaissance that we’re seeing in downtown and Midtown. We welcome Jessica McCall, the vice president of marketing and external affairs at Goodwill Detroit, as our special co-host. We’re asking listeners to use “#WhatsGoodDetroit“ when you come across something inspiring, notable or just plain good in the city.
We’re recording in the Foundation Studio at Detroit Foundation Hotel. Our official podcast studio is located within the beautiful boutique hotel which is the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and Pontchartrain Wine Cellars.
Just a taste…
Explain scent marketing to us.
I figured out a way to curate and design fragrance for brands. It’s more about B to B. What I learned from making candles and selling them to consumers is that all of these people were asking for their branding or logo on something. I was getting that request often, and then they wanted a particular vessel that the candle would be in, or I was asked if I could make a room spray, diffuser, incense or if I could scent an event space. I was paying attention to all of these questions and what everyone was asking me to do and I kind of turned that into the scent branding situation … I have three labs, we curate in my gallery space and basically we can reverse engineer any scent. If you had a candle you were obsessed with… I can duplicate that at 99 percent, but I’ll always make it a little bit different so that it is unique to you. And then once we have that formulation it translates into any product I manufacture. It’s really good for client gifting, selling and creating an experienced-based [moment] through scent.
“Everyone here roots for everyone here …
Everyone wants Detroit to win.”
Would you encourage other creatives and artists to come to Detroit?
Of course. Just being in Eastern Market and being in the gallery every day, I have people from out of [the] country who walk in and I ask, “What are you doing here?” And they say, “We just want to see Detroit.” Berlin, Russia, you name a place and those people are walking around Detroit right now trying to figure it out. From overseas to all the creatives in L.A., New York, Chicago where you think that’s the Mecca of creativity… Detroit is that. For people coming here, the time is now. I don’t think anyone is too late. It’s moving right now.
Photography by Derrick Busman
Listen to the full conversation on Apple Podcasts or SimpleCast.
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