Three Takeaways: Detroit Denim

Courtney Overbey

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Detroit entrepreneur Brenna Lane of Detroit Denim Company shares her “bottom line” advice for budding entrepreneurs looking to expand and grow their businesses in Michigan.

Headquartered in Detroit, Detroit Denim Company creates customizable and made-to-order jeans. The company was founded in 2010 by Lane’s husband, Eric Yelsma, after he noticed that denim was no longer being manufactured in the United States. Lane now co-owns the company with Yelsma.

When Yelsma was laid off during the 2008 Great Recession, he seized the opportunity to follow his dreams. The company that started in the couple’s garage now employs a team working out of an old metal fabrication shop.

In this edition of 3 Takeaways, Lane shares this advice for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their businesses in Michigan.

  1. Find a balance between work and life. Budding entrepreneurs often have a lot of energy. It’s important to take care of yourself in order to maintain that fire without burning out.
  2. Know your numbers. It’s easy to say things are going well, but the devil is in the details. When you know your numbers, you’re able to manage your finances and not get caught by surprise.
  3. Reach out. Collaboration and cooperation with other small businesses can really drive success. The MEDC hosts a number of in-person and virtual networking events that entrepreneurs should take advantage of when possible.

To learn more about how MEDC can help businesses of all sizes expand and grow in Michigan, go to

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