3 Reasons We Moved Our Ecommerce Business in Detroit

By Robert Hake on September 16th, 2015 / Comments

“It takes a movement to change a city.” That quote struck a chord with me when I stumbled on it in 2010, during the midst of the Great Recession.

Detroit was constantly getting lampooned on the national news because of the struggling auto industry and the issues in our local economy. But especially in times of adversity, I have never felt more proud to call the Motor City my home. I knew I wasn’t the only who felt this way.

I was born and raised in the great city of Detroit. Barry Sanders, the smallest running back in the league, found a way to become one of the greatest at his position while he secured himself a position in Lions lore. Even though Tigers pitcher Jack Morris led the league in wild pitches, he also led the majors in strikeouts and most wins during the 80’s.

People from Detroit find a way to thrive in the face of adversity.

I was fortunate enough to have a thriving e-commerce company based in Warren, Michigan. We had already moved into our second location, but we were quickly outgrowing our facility. This is when I knew that moving to the Corktown district was a necessary move for MyLocker.net. Why am I so eager to share the story of MyLocker.net’s growth? Because it was thanks to the bright minds of America’s Comeback City that our e-commerce business was able to transform into one of the leading custom apparel companies in the United States.

After all, our nickname is America’s Comeback City. I wanted to join the movement to change the city of Detroit. I knew that MyLocker wasn’t going to singlehandedly revitalize the city. But we wanted to be a piece of the puzzle and use the incredible character of Corktown to work in our city’s favor.

Why Corktown? For the History. I have always been fond of nostalgic settings. From the old Tigers stadium to Joe Louis Arena, there is something about an old, historic environment with a rich past that I find appealing. Founded in 1668, Corktown District is Michigan’s oldest neighborhood. It offers a unique setting that could not be matched elsewhere. In Corktown, you won’t any find cookie cutter buildings. Each residential and business location has a distinct personality of its own.

We had no desire to move into a corporate office space. Instead, we moved into an old sewing factory once run by Automotive Interiors on a 120,000 square foot complex on Rosa Parks Boulevard, just down the street from where the old Tigers stadium once sat. The building also was once a business run by old Tigers player, Hank Aguirre. Our name is MyLocker and we sell custom apparel from Detroit to all over the nation. What could be more fitting for our company than this historic Corktown location? We are combining Detroit’s rich past with its bright future.

Attracting Bright Minds. Millennials are technologically savvy and don’t settle for the status quo. We knew that if we wanted to attract bright and talented young locals, we would need to differentiate ourselves.We set up shop in an exciting urban setting, and we invited a local graffiti artist to come in and decorate our office walls. The culture MyLocker is that much more appealing for younger, bright minds.

We have a thriving e-commerce business that has experienced upwards of 100% year-over-year growth. In order to continue that growth, we needed to attract young Detroit natives, and we were confident that Corktown was the ideal environment to accomplish this.

The Detroit Brand. We sell our custom apparel throughout the entire United States, but the heart and soul of our company originates from the vibrant livelihood of Corktown. From the manufacturing and order processing to the design and marketing, everything MyLocker creates originates from this dynamic neighborhood. Each day, our 160 employees – all Detroit natives – ship over 4,000 T-shirts, hoodies and gear from Corktown to the rest of the United States.

MyLocker.net is proud to call Corktown its home. We joined the movement and we have no intention of stopping now.

About the Author

Robert Hake

Robert Hake

Robert Hake is the Founder and CEO of MyLocker.net, an ecommerce store for custom gear and apparel. Robert is a proud Michigan native and entrepreneur, and a winner of the Entrepre-neur of the Year awards for the Michigan and Ohio region.