100%

funded

Total loan: $2,800

Phillip

Detroit, MI, United States / Retail

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A loan helped build out the store inside of The Baltimore Gallery so I can continue to share smiles through The Smile Brand's tshirts, art, and accessories with Detroit and the world.


Phillip's story

With over 20 years as a visual artist and 10 years as a graphic designer, apparel designer, I’ve made name for myself in the Art and Design community in the Metro Detroit area. Now, Owner of The Baltimore Gallery, Art Gallery in the Milwaukee Junction area of Midtown Detroit, I am surrounded by art and fashion and music. As a community artist, I paint smiles in the majority of my artwork to leave a positive impression in the hearts of my viewers. In the fall of 2013, I was featured on Channel 4 WDIV’s, Live in the D. The segment highlighted the true passion of why I paint smiles, “to make a difference and spread joy”. With much success and positive feedback from the community, I decided to take it further by creating “The Smile Brand”. It all started with my first company Freshman Clothing Company. In November of 2009, I opened the Freshman Detroit store in downtown Detroit, near East Grand River and Broadway and in November 2011, Freshman Detroit closed its doors to the public. During those short 2 years, Freshman Clothing made a huge impact in Detroit, featured in 15 fashion shows and becoming the main brand for local hip hop artist to perform in. After the closure of Freshman Detroit, I felt like a failure and wanted to give up on my goals as an entrepreneur. I used my art as therapy and painting smiles actually help build my confidence and overall help me smile again. It was then when I enrolled in BUILD Institute business class and Retail Boot camp with Tech Town Detroit to learn how to run a successful business. With my personal drive and guidance from these two small business incubators, I gained more confidence and now plans to take The Smile Brand globally, starting with Detroit.