By Mary Meldrum


Rochelle Robinson is the owner of this vibrant business, and she has a lot to say about her industry.

Robinson started beauty work about the age of nine. She became licensed at 16. To say that she is qualified is an understatement.

“I decided that it was my calling.”

Even though she didn’t get paid in her childhood, she learned most of what she does on her own. She has been licensed as a chromatologist and makeup artist. All the other services came out of necessity and need.

A NEW SERVICE SHE OFFERS is Bemer therapy, which is a device that opens the vascular system and allows the body to heal itself. Natural healing is a big focus for Rochelle and she institutes it every chance she gets.

Rochelle works with people with hair loss, such as people who have had chemo or other drugs, or whatever the reason they have lost their hair.

She used to work with the Look-Good Feel-Better program, working with the patients at Henry Ford and Sinai Grace hospitals. That used to be a free service, but the program has been discontinued. Cosmetic companies used to donate cosmetics to patients and volunteers like Rochelle would teach them in the early ‘20s before the pandemic.

Rochelle also has a history of working as a volunteer at Gilda’s Place in Royal Oak.

PERMANENT MAKEUP IS A COSMETIC TATTOO PROCESS. Once you have it done, it will be there forever but it fades and get lighter, and you can have a touch-up done. Rochelle has had two touch-ups done on her eyebrows in the 17 years that she has had them. It’s a relatively expensive service. After you have it done, you have to take care of it the right way so that it lasts. It doesn’t cover up the gray and requires maintenance. The technician should explain to the client how to take care of it.

Rochelle does custom blending as well. She has an extensive background in color, skin care, and as a makeup artist. She got involved with custom blending for women of color who cannot find the proper shade of foundation. She has been custom blending for about 20 years and uses a water-based foundation because it is lightweight and as close to nothing as you can get.

Jameel Cosmetics offers a wide variety of services, and whatever the client needs Rochelle is prepared to serve them. As an artist, Rochelle is very diligent about making the client happy with their choices and her work.

“What I want most is a happy customer.” She proclaims.

Aqua detox is a process of putting your feet in water with an electrical array, it opens the pores and releases toxins into the water.

NUTRITION IS A BIG PART OF HUMAN HEALTH ISSUES. Your body needs the proper blood flow, the right chemicals, and nutrients. Especially for people who have hair loss and other obvious issues. She will ask her clients about their diets and life habits to see if she can pinpoint the root of their problems.

Many of her clients have been coming to her for several years.

“I have people that I have become affiliated with who are almost like family.”

What Rochelle wants everyone to know is this:

“If I can’t help you, I will be honest with you and not waste your time. The goal is to see you satisfied as a customer.” | 313-863-1930 | Walk-ins welcome
Ferndale Professional Bldg, 641 W 9 Mile Ste E, at Livernois

By Jenn Goeddeke


Petts originally came from a salon background in Birmingham: “I wanted to create a unique experience for all and especially to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable.” As the name suggests, Flip Salon has an entertaining, vintage-themed vibe with music playing in the background to enhance the friendly ambiance.

The salon offers many beauty services including hair, makeup/skin, massage, and typically nails too (a new nail tech is coming soon). Check their website for updates and pricing.

The staff at Flip are experienced professionals, who work with all ages and any hair type and styling needs. Whether you’re considering a hip or “edgy” new hairstyle or simply a trim, the Flip stylists will welcome you!

Walk-in appointments for hair styling are available, plus there is a Wi-Fi connection, and wheelchair access if needed.

Flip carries a diverse array of skin and hair care products, including the all-natural ‘Davines’, plus ‘Cult & King’ selections. The current product giveaway on offer is proving to be popular: buy two items and get one free.

PETTS SAID SHE CONSTANTLY DRAWS INSPIRATION from her stylists, and that they are “super-talented, investing considerable time into each client’s appointment.”

A special shout-out goes to her masseuse- Jane Andrews, who Petts described as, “truly amazing and intuitive.” Andrews combines different types of massage techniques, depending on the client. She is available by appointment only. Additionally, two of the salon’s stylists – Adrienne and Levon – are both established local artists.

Pett emphasized that the best part of her job is, “meeting new people all the time, and helping others feel good about themselves.” She added, “There have been a lot of changes over the last few years in the salon business, in general. I feel like Flip has been consistent throughout in giving our clients the best experience possible when they come here. I am very grateful to have a team of people and a unique space to make that happen!”

Flip has new stylists on board, Gary and Janine, both with years of experience. And Tonie is the new nail specialist. She is highly skilled and specializes in pedicures.

PETTS PARTICIPATES IN VARIOUS LOCAL FUNDRAISERS, including the Locks of Love charity events. In the past, (pre-Covid19) Flip has hosted some art shows and held art openings.

Petts remains proud to offer a full-service salon, offering nails, brows, hair and massage all under the same roof, with a receptionist to makes things easy for the client.

Petts concluded with a smile that it’s good to see a few newer businesses open up in Ferndale, such as Olive’s Bloombox on 9 Mile, and Quix Chocolate on Troy St.

Flip Salon is located at 251 W.9 Mile Rd., Ferndale. Call them at: 248.544.1400.
Email inquiries can be sent to:
Visit their website:
Open hours: Sun, Mon, Closed; Tues, 9am-2pm; Weds, Thurs, 10am-9pm; Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 9am-5pm.
Flip Salon is currently hiring – contact Irene Petts for application details.

By Jill Hurst


But he had his head under the hood of a red Corvette the day I met up with him at S & J Auto, his repair shop in Hazel Park. As a non-driver, my curiosity about cars ends with “what color is it?” but my time with Johnny gave me a little window into the romance people have with cars.

Over a late lunch (best onion rings I’ve ever had) at House of Shamrocks in Hazel Park, Johnny talked about the business, his family of amazing women and his lifelong passion for driving. He was born in Tucson, Arizona. His family moved to Michigan when he was young.

RAISED IN HAZEL PARK, he (like a lot of other boys back in the day) was driving way before he was legal. At age 13, Detroit Dragway was the setting for the beginning of his life as a professional drag racer. He was hooked, traveling the country during the spring-to-fall racing season, often with first wife Sherrie and their two daughters.

He spoke fondly of life on the road, special events like July’s “Night Under Fire” and the end of season “Halloween Classics” which just happened to coincide with his birthday.

Has the racing world changed much over the years? Well, there are a lot more women driving these days. Johnny: “I’ll tell you what. They’re damn good, too.”

Johnny knows his cars. He went to Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis for an applied science degree in automotive service management and a masters in automotive and diesel truck technology. He would love to see more kids get into auto mechanics. He laughs, “Kids are in no hurry to get a driver’s license these days, much less a mechanic’s license.”

HE TALKS ABOUT ALL OF THE GREAT JOBS HE HAD AS A KID, including “the coolest one” at Vette Shop East in Roseville. His dad told him “you’re only as good as your word and your credit” and he carried that with him going into the business of auto repair.

The key to success? Good work and good relationships. Word of mouth keeps a business going. And a great staff.

At S & J, Bob, Sam and Anthony keep things rolling, making it possible for Johnny to work on his own projects. He laughs. “I can leave and things get done.”

One of his projects right now includes working on a 36 Chevy. And then there’s the Dream Cruise. This August he’ll probably be driving a 98 Camaro or a 57 Chevy. He’ll also be enjoying the annual BBQ with wife Cheryl, friends and family in the parking lot behind his old friends Lou and Gus’ law firm at 12 and Woodward.

JOHNNY CERVANTES FOUND WHAT HE LOVED DOING AT A YOUNG AGE and made a life for himself. There have been ups and downs, of course, but he’s happy. He loves looking back, and forward. His dream is to build a car and get back on the race track. “I want to feel it one more time.” But no matter what the next chapter, Johnny Cervantes is a happy guy. “I’ve got no complaints”. He smiles. “It’s been a blast.”

S & J Auto Service is located at 311 W. 9 Mile Rd in Hazel Park. 248-439-9119. Open Mon-Fri 8-5, Sat 8-12. Closed Sundays.


By Sara E Teller


Before settling into her current space located at 395 W. Marshall St., she owned a studio in Hamtramck, as well as a storefront off of Main St. in downtown Royal Oak for 25 years. Then, after relocating out of state for a short time, she eventually came back to Michigan and settled into Ferndale.

“I was driving by my current space on Marshall one day and spotted the studio for rent,” she said, adding that she just knew it would be a perfect fit. She had been looking at a location in Oak Park, too, but Marshall instantly drew her in.

Cameron considers herself to be a serious artist, but she’s scaled back quite a bit in recent years. At one time she was doing many large, socially driven installations. These days, she prefers to work on smaller, more modest pieces. The last installation Cameron created was for the Flint water crisis.

Before shifting her artistic direction more towards “happy, carefree” pieces, Cameron also spent many years focusing on what she calls “not somber art, but art focused on the state of the world, current times and head space.” She coined this era, “Paradise Lost.” It became difficult, however, to continually be immersed in societal issues, especially after the onset of the pandemic, so she decided to put out positive pieces instead. “It’s still there, of course,” Cameron explained. “I’m just not going there myself all the time.”

WORKING NOW ON COLLAGE, ASSEMBLAGE, AND PAINTINGS, Cameron enjoys being in the heart of Ferndale, where she lives nearby and is able to make friends with store patrons.

“The young people of Ferndale have been totally amazing,” she said, warmly. “They come into the store often and have bought quite a few of my paintings. There are many apartments close by, and I get a lot of walk-ins as a result.” Pausing briefly, Cameron added, “I also put out biscuits on the windowsills and have made many dog friends along the way. And, right now, I’m giving away Cracker Jack boxes with purchases.”

During the past year and a half that she’s been at Marshall, Cameron has done little in the way of advertising due largely to Ferndale’s tight-knit, welcoming community. “It’s been absolutely delicious,” she said of the traction she’s gotten, adding, “It’s about two miles from my home, which is perfect.”

Another important shift in focus for Cameron and her work has been on connection. “COVID created a sense of isolation,” she said. “Life was forever changed. But the decision to open this space has been wonderful – it’s worked out tremendously.” She often enjoys the company of visiting artist friends in addition to her customers.

WHEN ASKED FROM WHERE SHE DRAWS HER CREATIVE INSPIRATION, CAMERON EXPLAINED, “I’ve been a painter, and an artist in general, for so long, but I still search for inspiration everywhere. I have about 35 illustrated journals, and sometimes I’ll take a look at past entries and be inspired by ideas that never came to fruition.”

She has also long been collecting various odds and ends for her collage work and will sort through these periodically, seeing what she can create from her finds. Cameron said, “I like to pick up unusual, handmade stuff, and I search all over. I don’t order anything from catalogues.”

Cameron paints the most during the winter months and has recently sold some of her latest creations. She said, “My price point reflects my age. I don’t want to hold onto pieces; I want to share them.”

When she isn’t in the studio or greeting guests at her store, Cameron’s creativity comes out in her other passions and pastimes. She especially enjoys gardening and has a canvas of perennials lining her front yard. She also likes to travel, and recently took her first trip since the pandemic with a friend. “Just yesterday, I also looked up the film theater schedule in Detroit,” she shared, and is hoping to delve back into her love of movies.

For more information on Lulu Cameron and her art, call 573-535-9370 or stop by 395 W. Marshall St.
Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.

By Dave Cottrill


Since then the forest has seen giraffes (sculptures), soil remediation, a proposed development from Pinecrest Holdings LLC., and then the purchase of the 8 Mile section bought by Detroit Axle, followed by the midsection that contains the forest and the meadow, also bought by Axle Holdings.

The story became one of two stories; the stewardship of the land itself and also about Mike Musheinesh, his family and his company Detroit Axle.

The Musheinesh family are recent immigrants to the United States. Mike’s parents and six children were Palestinian refugees living in Syria. “We are not Syrians. We are Palestinian refugees; second class citizens. No country would welcome us except one, which happens to be the greatest one on earth. You are given the free market and liberty. All you have to do is work hard and everything is open to you.”

Detroit Axle, an auto parts manufacturing/rebuild company, started out in a room behind a transmission plant. The family lived on top of a party store in Southwest Detroit. Now the company has sales of $250 million a year. The company hires and trains enthusiastic applicants which includes formerly incarcerated people.

Back to the Land

THANKS TO MIKE’S PURCHASE OF THE PROPERTY, the forest still exists! Mike has also created a wild garden on the south side just inside the 8 Mile fence. His men took shovels, tilled the ground and then scattered the wild flower seeds for an acre sized garden to bring beauty and renew the land.

Mike Musheinesh has been a responsible steward of the land. He has spent half a million dollars in testing, wells and environmental remediation. The land is not as contaminated as was said. Nothing ever migrated to people’s houses. He put wells on the east side of Pinecrest to monitor the possibility of a leak into people’s homes. The tests have shown that the land is getting cleaner and cleaner. The bio-remediation is working. There are a lot of cotton wood trees in the forest which help with the natural remediation. The land clears itself, especially when the land and trees are not disturbed.

During Ferndale’s five-year Master Plan process of 2022, SWFNA discovered that the draft Master Plan had the land zoned as the dreaded “mixed-use” status for his undeveloped forested land. We contacted Mike and the Planning Steering Committee to have the page removed. The City subsequently sent Mike an email to discuss how he wanted his property to be zoned. Mike replied but no further discussion came from the City. Mike hopes that the City of Ferndale will talk to him regarding the zoning and regarding the already-contracted sidewalk along his private property.


AS WE ALL CAN REMEMBER, MARCH 2020 WAS A TIME OF GREAT STRESS and uncertainty when the supply chains shut down. Doctors and nurses could not get masks. Detroit Axle found a supply of two million masks and an air freight company that could take small parcels. Mike’s company packaged the masks and distributed them. Detroit Axle sent masks for free to the State, to hospitals, 10,000 to Ferndale, and 300,000 masks to Homeland Security.

April 2022, Import & Export were Shut Down

IN APRIL 2022 THERE WAS A MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO WHICH GOVERNMENT AGENCY had responsibility for which auto part. Was it DOT, CBP, or NHTSA? “They prohibited our importing and exporting. We had lawyers working for us. Everybody said, “Wait for the federal government to do its due diligence and we will get back to you.” I asked how long will it take and was told about 12 to 14 weeks. We only have four weeks worth of inventory in our facility.”

“There are certain auto parts that need NHTSA certification, such as seat belts and child seats. But none of our products are in that category. I make brakes, ball joints, wheel bearings and axles. But the customs agent didn’t know that. He thought that all auto parts needed to be certified. Going through the channels to get an appeal on this wrong ruling would, in reality, take ten months. Two hundred people here and 100 in Texas would have lost their jobs.”

“In the end, we had no one to turn to. The lawyers ran into road blocks at every turn. Then someone had the brilliant idea to call Senator Gary Peters. “Next thing we knew, they apologized to us for the misunderstanding.” We got a response in three weeks. We are very thankful to Senator Gary Peters and his staff.”

The Musheinesh family has worked hard to build a business, worked with citizens and the City, and donated two million masks. The people of the SWFNA really appreciate his efforts to preserve the land. We are glad that he is our neighbor.

You can read an earlier installment of the ongoing effort to preserve Ferndale’s last remaining forest in the 2021 Ferndale Friends Memorial Edition entitled The Last Natural Space, page 99.

By Jill Hurst


I recently grabbed Sam for a quick Q and A.

Jill: You opened almost seven years ago, right down the street. I was at the ribbon-cutting. You were a “Ferndale Family” from Day One. What I remember most was your mother’s delicious food!

Sam: Mmm…I just got hungry. The ribbon-cutting was a fun night. Definitely a memory we’ll forever cherish.

Tell me about the new space.

We moved into the new joint in late March of 2022. We are enjoying it and there is much more room to maneuver and explore new services. We understand the historical significance the building holds in town. We’re honored to operate out of “Joe’s” as many still refer to it.

FFP is a pharmacy that encourages healthy living, preventative medicine. Did you come in with that philosophy?

We opened in 2016 not knowing what to expect, but kept a positive attitude and excitement on ways our company would be able to assist the community. We sort of morphed our philosophy as we got a better understanding of what our clientele and community members appreciate.

Life during the pandemic?

We did not shut down during the pandemic. There were times when we actually brainstormed safety and access protocols late into the night and made adjustments throughout the following weeks. The pandemic experience was not easy. At the time, we were actually in our old location, and had just made the purchase of Joe’s, before the world was shaken. It was an exciting time to say the least! In all honesty, the appreciation and support displayed by the city and the wonderful people around definitely alleviated much of the burnout in such a distressing time. Reflecting back on it, we are proud that we were able to execute the adjustments we made and that many found comfort in using our services.

Are people more careful about health now?

Definitely. As a neighborhood pharmacy, an untold secret is that there is nothing we appreciate more than when someone pops in and inquires about the various ways to improve their health, whether through pharmaceuticals, preventive products, or just through daily activities…

Biggest challenge? Best thing?

The biggest challenge currently is inadequate staffing, identifying licensed professionals. Providing a quality experience is our highest priority that we will not deviate from, but we’re currently brainstorming new ideas and offerings. Our goal is to hire and train a few more amazing people prior to launching some super cool things. The best thing is when you get to sit back and reflect on the different stages of maturation. I am privileged to have watched Ferndale Family Pharmacy grow, and understand that all the community support, everlasting relationships and hard work have guided us throughout the highs and lows of our first seven years. We hope to be here for many more years.

Every time I mention you guys, people’s faces light up. You provide comfort and continuity during these uncertain times. Ferndale loves you all so much.

We appreciate all the support!

733 West Nine Mile, Ferndale | 248-565-8031
Mon-Friday 9:30 AM-6PM. Sat 10AM-2PM. Closed on Sundays.

By Mary Meldrum


One of the first things she told me is that everything is connected. “All the people from the podcast are people I know. I do a lot of research and connecting and networking.” I happen to agree with her completely on this notion.

Jessica always wanted to be a therapist but it didn’t work for her. She dropped out and went to massage school. “I had become very transparent with my own mental health disorders. Created transparency in my business.” Being that open to her clients, helps them feel comfortable.

Breathe: Bodyworks & Beautification has won many awards for their massage, day spa, facial and skin care services. In addition, they offer party packages for your special event. Packages are available for Valentine’s Day, weddings, bachelorette parties, and private spa parties for sorority sisters and women who work together. They do them at the office and sometimes offer a mobile service too. Jessica can add on with other party packages, as well.

Meditation studies are also available. It is reserved for special occasions and events. Jessica started doing it about 20 years ago.

York’s expanding business required the recent addition of a second location, Breathe East, which opened in April, at the Greater Chiropractic Office in St. Clair Shores.

JESSICA WANTS TO HOLD SPACE OPEN for other people to allow them to tell their own stories. She has a wide variety of relevant topics in her library of podcasts. We spent some time discussing the podcasts:

Toxic & Taboo: “This is about things that guys are not supposed to talk about. It’s difficult to ask men about certain things. The Michigan Center for Mental Health has a men’s group. There are few men’s groups in the Metro area. AA and NA are the only places that they can go and open up to others.”

Infertility, Miscarriage & More: “With a local doula and meditation consultant, speaking about pregnancy, and the whole other side of it with miscarriage, infertility, and other terrible problems. Especially with miscarriage, there is a lack of communication about the tragedy. It’s disheartening, but the women who reached out were very happy to jump in and tell us that there needs to be more communication about this side of pregnancy. We are only shown the happy bubble. The C-section rate is typically extraordinary and unnecessary in America. A lot of traumas are associated with the C-section.”

#Notanalcoholic: “It is about the assumption that everyone is an alcoholic. Alcohol abuse disorder is the new term for ‘staging’ people who are problem drinkers. They have stages of alcoholism, and it fits better with describing some people who are suffering from the disorder. It’s about recognizing the signs and symbols that fit the description. It is a very layered disease. The cause, the reason people either give it up or don’t give it up, is unique for everyone. The alcohol industry is huge and it is not going away. We have to learn to temper our relationship with it. Not everyone has a reasonable rock bottom.”

“When I decided to establish my business in Ferndale, I wanted to be the spa that people recommend. I want people to see my business as a go-to location for keeping everyone successful. Hoping that continuing to do that, it is a positive impact on everyone with all the pillars of wellness. It makes me happy that I have been able to cultivate that in a short period of time.” | 248.301-8238

By Jill Hurst

“I WANT EVERYBODY TO HAVE A SHELF OF THEIR FAVORITE RECORDS,” says Raymond Hayosh, co-owner and manager of Found Sound.

Chances are you’ll find some of them at this gem of a record store in downtown Ferndale. And I’m pretty sure your first visit won’t be your last.

I dropped in on three consecutive Mondays and it wasn’t until my last visit that I found the binders full of patches and stickers and the shelf full of free mix cassettes. I have a cassette deck, how about you? Rumor has it kids come in looking for 8-tracks these days. Eight-tracks!

Found Sound has been a fixture in Ferndale for eleven years. Hayosh knew he wanted to be in the music business at an early age. He worked at many Detroit area record stores including Harmony House and Tower Records. “Some people are built for retail.”

Ray was at Record Time in Roseville when he met Dean Yeotis, a Flint-based attorney who was a regular customer at the store. In 2011, as Record Time was closing its doors, customer Yeotis told about-to-be-unemployed Hayosh he’d always wanted to open a record store and Found Sound was born.

Ray found the space on 9 Mile, previously occupied by a vintage store called Mother Fletcher’s. You can still see the faded name on the sign. Dr. Howard Crane of Crane Optical owns the building and rented them the space right next door to his optical clinic.

THERE WERE A LOT OF LONG HOURS SPENT GETTING THE STORE SET UP. The music-filled space and knowledgeable staff quickly found a loyal customer base. My husband Tony says Found Sound is like “your best friend’s older brother’s room with cool records and a great stereo.” Once you’re in there, you kinda’ want to hang out.

Luckily the staff — Hayosh, Richard Henning, Laura Klein and Terence Cover — are smart, laid back and welcoming. They understand the emotional importance of finding the music you care about and walking out of the store with a piece of your history or taking a chance on something new that could become a part of your play list going forward.

During the pandemic, Found Sound was able to keep things going with online sales and appointment shopping at the store. Their business continued to grow steadily because long hours at home led to a lot of new hobbies, and starting or expanding a record collection was one of them. Ray: “It’s a cool hobby, and triggers the serotonin.”

The stores are open again. Time to step outside, see people, pick out some piece of merchandise and pay for it in person. No matter how fraught and scary the world seems, music has the power to lift us up and calm us down. Visit Found Sound in Ferndale to find your soundtrack.

234 West 9 Mile Road, Ferndale | 248-565-8775
Open Monday-Saturday 11AM till 8PM, Sunday Noon till 5PM.

By Ryan Ennis


When the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce went dormant at the start of the pandemic, he witnessed the void that it left in assisting small business owners make meaningful connections within their own community. This year, he decided the time was right to put strategies into place that would fill the need.

“When we lost our chamber, it was a personal loss for me,” says Carol Jackson, former interim director for the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce. She missed working with the friends she had made during the ten years she served on its board. When Renuatt approached her with some ideas for a new venture to publicize local retail, Jackson says she was excited to join him so that she could put “her boots back on the ground” and participate in “old- fashioned networking to the benefit of all.”

As Renuatt got the word out, many other commerce-minded individuals with professional ties to Ferndale were enthusiastic about teaming with him. Referring to themselves as ambassadors and advisors of the Ferndale Business Association (FBA), the other founders are Toly Ashkenazi,  Dan Martin,  Julia Music,  Mia Peroni,  Kate Reynolds,  Jennifer Seiler,  Juli Sigkris-Seymour, and Dale Vigliarolo.

According to Renuatt, he and the others have all been busy this Spring “rolling up their sleeves, as there is work to do and bridges to build.” One such task occupying them is determining how the association will be structured and operated, which includes forming an official board. They plan to have the board in place by the fall so that “there will be a clear definition of roles and responsibilities,” he says.

MOST RECENTLY, THE GROUP HAS ALSO BEEN MAKING FRIENDS AND CONTACTS in Ferndale’s business community who have expressed the need for a local networking business league. And their efforts have been paying off. “Approximately two dozen local businesses have already contacted us about the membership and a handful of others are interested in learning more,” Renuatt reports.

In smaller cities, many league-based organizations from the past struggled to stay afloat because their membership dues barely covered the overhead costs. “A modern organization should keep the operational costs reasonable but the availability and quality of resources and benefits for its members high,” he adds. Following that notion, he hopes, will ensure the FBA’s longevity.

During their preparation periods, the FBA founders have also been determining what their goals and
guiding principles should be. They intend to build up revenue through memberships and sponsorships. The funds will enable them to present grant programs for local businesses in need. To their members, they will be transparent about their financial status, which includes the issuing of frequent financial reports. To preserve the environment, they are committed to paperless forms of communication, reusing and recycling their materials, and utilizing sustainable vendors when possible.

ANOTHER PRECEPT OF THE FBA FOUNDERS IS UPHOLDING DIVERSITY.  “Our team believes that celebrating diversity, championing equity, and cultivating inclusion are key to creating an effective and vibrant association,” Renuatt emphasizes. “We support an environment that fosters and represents the talents, expertise, and knowledge of all backgrounds and perspectives.”

As part of getting to know the diverse merchants and establishments comprising the city’s business district, the FBA founders are eager to listen to the issues that impact the owners’ enterprises. Since growing a business can be overwhelming, owners often welcome help with “exposure, spotlighting, promotions, and traffic,” Renuatt says. In these instances, the FBA can step in and create net- working events for the community, “thus providing businesses with promotional opportunities.” At these same events, business owners who are feel- ing challenged by inflation and other matters can hear about where they can receive additional help and how they can access essential resources.

Since consistency is often linked with success, the FBA members intend to hold 24 base events annually. “One monthly event in the morning or lunchtime,” explains Renuatt, “and one monthly event in the evening. Our team also hopes to hold an annual gala to present grants and awards. We will choose new venues for our evening events, thereby providing needed traffic and exposure for our hosts.”

To give a taste of what the FBA has to offer, the founders invited local businesses, residents, along with city and community leaders to attend a launch party at 215 West Ferndale on May 18. At the event, the founders conducted a short program introducing their business model and operational plans, spotlighting how they can accommodate promoting merchants through a variety of economical means. The attendees also had an opportunity at the space to share their contact information with potential clients and offer referrals.

Jackson was pleased by the community’s warm reception to the FBA at the launch party: “Ferndale is a community that welcomes everyone and helps our neighbors, our local businesses, and government stayed attached and positive. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces.”

Renuatt was equally delighted by the large number of attendees: “We had over 100 guests and received very positive feedback from them.”

ONE OF THE GUESTS WHO REACTED POSITIVELY TO THE PRESENTATION that evening was Jessica York, co-founder of the Ferndale Wellness Fair and owner of Breathe: Bodywork & Beautification. “Ferndale has always been attractive for entrepreneurs,” she says, “but I see the FBA securing that desire for years to come.”

On the group’s Facebook Page, Renuatt later thanked 215 West for hosting the event as well as the Star of India restaurant and Western Market for helping to sponsor the evening.  Another networking event will take place sometime in June.

To entice retailers and other business owners to join the FBA, the founders are guaranteeing no member- ship fees in 2023 “as we are establishing ourselves and continuing to grow,” Renuatt says. A modest membership fee of $200 will be put into effect next year, with the members receiving their invoices in early 2024 simultaneously. “All newcomers will be billed on a prorated basis to keep our accounting simple, and non-profit organizations will enjoy free membership in our organization,” he further explains.

Asked about the qualifications for becoming a member, Renuatt says: “We welcome all local businesses to join our association; there are no limitations.” However, he stresses one requirement: “Please be respectful to others and don’t promote any divisive agenda.”

To learn more about the FBA and upcoming events, visit the website

By Michelle Mirowski


But before we even knew that we’d call our station Ferndale Radio, it was Ferndale Friends and Stephanie Loveless who helped shepherd us through the tough times. Those initial meetings inside the Ferndale Friends headquarters were the first time we realized that this actually had a chance to become reality. Members of the community showed up to provide support and learn how they could help. We learned that there was an interest in our idea and that it really would provide value to the community.

Just like that, we were on our way to obtaining a broadcast license from the Federal Communications Commission and sending our signal to the world (or at least Ferndale) on 100.7 FM.

Bit by bit, we’ve built Ferndale Radio up. In its infancy, the station ran on an old, cracked smartphone as we worked to get our studio space ready for a real operation. Since then, we’ve graduated from a fold-up table and a portable mixer to real, quality equipment, almost entirely through in-kind donations and community support.

TODAY, IT FEELS LIKE A REAL STUDIO, WITH ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES YOU’D EXPECT, and with a dedicated, rotating cast of DJs who provide the heartbeat and soul of the station. And we’re no longer limited to just four square miles. Thanks again to community support (see the theme here?), our Dream-to-Stream campaign was a success, and listeners can tune in anywhere in the world at and feel like they’re right there with us at 9 Mile and Woodward.

None of this was possible without the assistance of Stephanie and a small army of volunteers who kept the dream of local community radio alive when no one else thought it would be possible. Loveless was an outspoken low power FM advocate for decades, well before we found ourselves in the right place at the right time to make a station work right here in Ferndale.

WE HAVE A LIST OF COUNTLESS OTHERS TO THANK, but just to name a few: Chris and Tiffany Best, who helped our little radio station find the best home we could possibly imagine inside The Rust Belt Market; Rifino Valentine, whose Valentine Distilling has sponsored our studio space for four years now; the dozens of volunteers who have dedicated time to filling on-air shifts, participating in fund- raisers, finding new music and making our station better; and to you, the community, for your support of this project that has grown from an idea more than a decade ago into a steady platform for music and hyper-local content that you can’t hear anywhere else on the dial.

PLEASE KEEP LISTENING, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR, whether it’s on social media (@FerndaleRadio on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) via email ( or just by poking your head inside the studio at the Rust Belt. This is your radio station. Thank you for making it a reality.