Three seasons in, Detroit's "Start Up" has itself become an established commodity on public television.
The show, produced by the Corktown Creative duo of Jenny Feterovich and Gary Bredow, kicks off a new season on Sunday, Oct. 4, of chronicling adventurous, independent businesses and entrepreneurs around the country, telling their stories and probing the inspirations and philosophies that have made them successful. The show is visits 16 different cities this year, spotlighting five operations in the Detroit area.
And, as Feterovich says, "There's no lack of interesting stories to choose from around the country."
The trick, she adds, is making those tales entertaining. "It's about finding interesting and compelling stories and human beings and telling those stories in a compelling way," Feterovich, 40, explains. "There's nothing scripted about our shows, but there's always something going on in the world of entrepreneurs that's interesting, and that we can make interesting."
"Start Up" was born several years back when the Moscow-born Feterovich, an internationally traveling DJ with a background in adverting and marketing who came to Detroit in 1989, joined forces with Bredlow, who logged time in the radio industry and filming commercials as well as making the Electronic Dance Music documentary "Hi-Tech Soul." The idea for the show came from being a start-up themselves and noticing that while some were bemoaning the challenges of Detroit's economic downturn, others discovered opportunity.
"Being in Detroit, being in Corktown, there wasn't a lot going on like there is now," Bredow, 39, recalls. "When mass layoffs are happening, you turn to yourself, so what could we do to start showing people how to create their own destiny? We wanted to teach people how to truly start a business, not on the glossy surface level but how do you get the money and put things together the right way.
"Selfishly," Bredow adds with a laugh, "I wanted that information in the beginning for myself. Then we turned it into a TV show."
The first episode of "Start Up's" third season includes the Social Grooming Company barber shop on Third Avenue near Wayne State University. Future shows will include segments on: The Home Store, a full-service real estate company in Ferndale; the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck, which combines football, bowling and horseshoes into a new game; the Drought Juice drink manufacturer; and the Detroit Maid cleaning service.
"Start Up" also heads east this season visiting business in Buffalo, Connecticut and Rhode Island. One particular favorite find was the Matunuck Oyster Bar in the latter, where Bredow, an oyster aficionado, put on waders and helped harvest the day's catch -- sampling at least one on the spot. "The place was slammed from 10 a.m. until we left," Bredow says. "It was just packed with people. It was really cool".
Bredow says he and Feterovich hope to keep "Start Up" going "for another 20 years." That will depend on sponsorship, of course, but the duo is confident it won't run out of subjects for as long as their show stays on the air.
"It's a lot more poplar and stylish to be an entrepreneur now," Feterovich says. "There's always been people going into business, but it's become a very hip thing to do now, and there's usually a story to go along with each one of them."
The third season of "Start Up" premieres at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, on WTVS, Detroit Public Television.
Visit startup-usa.com for more details.
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