Detroit Fiber Works signed lease on Livernois during polar vortex; here’s how it’s thrived

Feb. 9, 2015, Crain's -- SS StartupsSomething unexpected always happens when starting a business. For Mandisa Smith and Najma Wilson, it was the weather.

The owners of retailer Detroit Fiber Works signed a lease on Livernois Avenue, in the strip north Seven Mile Road once known as the Avenue of Fashion, on Jan. 1, 2014 — just in time for the polar vortex. Few souls walked through the doors during the first two months of business.

“We had no idea. We thought, ‘People love us; it’s going to work.’ Then January comes and nobody comes in here. We end the month with $500 in sales, and rent is a lot more than that,” Smith said. … Read more at