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Entrepreneurial success from clothing to coffee

February 22, 2017

Michael Rogers, communications officer for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with Eric Yelsma, the founder of Detroit Denim in Detroit, and Phillip Jewell, chief operating officer of Blue Hat Coffee Roasters in Coldwater. 

From the Detroit Denim website: “Although Detroit Denim was legally incorporated in 2010, the journey from began much, much earlier. Almost thirty years ago, when Eric Yelsma was a teenager, he discovered an interest in sewing, and his love of making things and altering his own jeans on a sewing machine. Even while in a successful corporate sales career, Eric’s passion for sewing and making didn’t wane. Over time, his enthusiasm and experimentation emerged into a detailed, and very specific line of men’s jeans. The finest quality components. All sourced from American companies. Handmade in Detroit, by Detroiters. To expose the myth that it’s impossible to create a sustainable jeans business domestically. And help diversify the manufacturing base of Detroit, by producing a line of men’s jeans like no other. Eric branded these jeans and his company Detroit Denim Co.

From the Blue Hat Coffee Roasters website: “Blue Hat LLC is a woman owned. Catherine Jewell is sole owner of the business and is the Chief Executive Officer. Phillip Jewell is the Chief Operating Officer. Catherine is a retired opera singer. Phillip is a retired software engineer. Both are experienced jewelers. Catherine is a certified gemologist.”

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