Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jess Jackson, Co-Founder of Copper House Detroit, located in Detroit, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Inspired by Queer history, Copper House Detroit centers provide healing and love for marginalized communities and serve as a community ambassador for the Northwest Detroit Community wherein it is situated. Copper House Detroit is a place for rest, breath, and love for its community. They host many queer and Black founders looking to connect. Copper House Detroit is a home away from home for the cannabis community. Copper House, open since 2019, is the first of its kind. “This is the first feminine-focused consumption space in Detroit,” Jess said. “All the other consumption spaces are very masculine-focused or gender-neutral, which is great. But we wanted to really center on the feminine perspective because we’re often overlooked in the industry.”
The Jacksons have broken through, quickly managing to make a name for themselves. Their first event made it to the cover of the Detroit Free Press, and they’ve since appeared in popular magazines for cannabis connoisseurs. They’ve also partnered with big brands to host events at the House. To date, Copper House has hosted a variety of experiences, including game nights, writing workshops, collaging workshops, cooking demonstrations, kink conversations, blunt-rolling competitions, yoga and wellness events, vendor shows, and the popular Elevated Melanated Tea Party, among others. “We do all types of events, all types of experiences,” said Jess. “And we are an overnight stay, so we get a lot of guests who come to get the recreational product and get to know the industry here.”
Copper House is 3,000 square feet, including their new 1,000-square-foot finished basement, which was just remodeled courtesy of a $42,000 grant from Cannabis for Black Lives. There is a one-bedroom suite available for rent on the house’s third floor. The basement space can sleep up to 10. Built-in 1932, our home is completely 420 friendly — in the house, outside in our zen-like backyard, you get to decide where and when you smoke. We’re on Detroit’s Northwest side, right off of the Avenue of Fashion, which has the highest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the US.
In our neighborhood, you’ll find some of the most adorable boutiques and some delicious eateries, including our favorites Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles, Good Times on the Ave, and Table No. 2. We’re about 15 minutes from downtown Detroit, and even closer to Downtown Ferndale, and Royal Oak. Our community is special; we invite you to explore it during your stay.
Tell us about yourself
The concept came to us during our engagement trip in Europe. In Paris, where we got engaged, we stayed in an Airbnb in The Marais district, an area known as a gayborhood. So we learned that environments should be intentional. Copper House is located off of the avenue of fashion and near Ferndale. Areas with the highest concentration of Black-owned businesses and our very own gayborhood. While in Amsterdam, we stayed on a cannabis-friendly houseboat. All of the supplies, papers, grinder, lighters, and ashtrays were there.
Finally, in London, we stayed in a hostel and had access to community ambassadors that shared the happening places to go. These 3 elements--inclusive environment and neighborhood, cannabis friendly, and serving as a community ambassador have informed everything about Copper House.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our Basement expansion. We completely transformed our basement from demo to rehab. It was a $65K project and something that was funded in part by a grant from Cannabis for Black lives. This expansion has allowed us to accommodate more events, guests, and experiences and really reflects what's possible in a short time.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balance and manage expectations. We've been at this for 2.5 years and thought we would have multiple properties in the portfolio by now. However, there's so much for us still to get right, including our internal operations and building a team, we got through the pandemic and have expanded, but it still never feels like enough. Managing expectations and being realistic about capacity has come with its own growing pains.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start where you are.
- Use what you have.
- Share what you do-- if you're not talking about your business, you don't have a business.
Where can people find you and your business?
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