Metro Detroit entrepreneurs draw inspiration from Motor City for their business

Two Detroit native entrepreneurs have drawn inspiration from the Motor City for their latest business idea.

DETROIT – When two Metro Detroit natives wanted to start their own business, they drew inspiration from the Motor City.

It started when four friends thought they could improve a car air freshener into something more cool.

Donovan Brown and Garrick Mitchell both graduated from west Bloomfield High School in 2007.

“We’ve all been either starting or attempting to start businesses literally since high school,” Brown said. “Shout out to all my teachers that helped me learn about marketing and business in DECA and all that good stuff.”

With that drive to want to create something, Brown and Mitchell -- along with two others -- came up with something any true Detroiter would appreciate. Ride FRSH is a more updated, modern spin on car air fresheners.

“This thing hasn’t been something that people consider to be cool ever,” Brown said. “We’re attempted to change that. It hasn’t been updated or challenged in a very long time.”

They’re sold online, individually and also subscription based.

“We’ve been around for about two and a half years now amd have over 10,000 active subscribers,” Mitchell said. “We shipped out over 300,000 air fresheners at this point.”

What’s so cool about them? Besides their wide variety of smells, each one is marked with song lyrics about driving.

Ride FRSH -- now based in California -- is gaining attention from startup acceleration companies like Grid110.

“It’s really a no-brainer,” said Miki Reynolds, executive director at Grid110. “When you think about you hear about what they’ve just said, the business that they’re building, it’s such a simple product but the innovation around it is really exciting.”

And while Ride FRSH’s success is exciting, Brown said it’s not just the product that makes them proud.

“We’re all motivated by creating something that can give opportunities to our friends, our family and people around us and people that look like us who maybe could use that opportunity,” Brown said.

More information can be found on Ride FRSH’s official website or official Facebook page.

About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.