Startup storytellers inspire Marble Bar audience with tales of woe and resilience

With the neo-soul stylings of Detroit’s ONEFREQ setting a loose and freewheeling vibe, a packed house at Marble Bar was regaled with four tales of entrepreneurial woe and resilience on March 27, 2019.

It was all part of “Don’t Call It a Comeback”. The night marked Model D’s third annual Startup Story Night held in partnership with the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan’s New Economy Initiative.

This year’s event, hosted by pro-storyteller Shannon Cason, focused on entrepreneurial resilience. The four storytellers were selected from more than 50 submissions and were mentored by Cason in preparation for the evening’s presentation. Entrepreneurs included a hair braider, a biotech innovator, a Detroit-brand clothing purveyor, and a cookie dough maker.

Each of them had made mistakes. Each of them bounced back from the depths of despair. Each of them had a story to tell.  But just don’t call it a comeback.

Enjoy each of the stories here:


Charese L. Howard, Owner, Amazing Kinkz, LLC

A tale of falling and climbing back up.


Mark Kiel, Co-Founder & CSO, GenomenonHe went from flying on corporate jets to laying on a nursery floor, listening to whales.

Clement Brown, Jr., Owner, Three ThirteenIt all started with a case of the “-itis.”



Victoria Washington, Co-Owner, Detroit Dough

Her parents never thought Detroiters would buy edible cookie dough. They were wrong.



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