By Amelia Kanan, CBS Detroit Blogger

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m a wild child, my spirit is free and my dance definitely has its own little rhythm going on. However, I am not alone. Detroit is filled with people just like that. The thing about free spirits is they tend to live life with their hearts and do things a little differently than the norm.

I know this because each week I hear a new story about a lone venture that has sprung from innovative design, DIY ambition and pure sweat to meet some sort of need within this community. I wanted to share with you some of these young people who aren’t in it for fame (it’s easy to be famous in Detroit) nor are they in it for money (no one comes to Detroit to ‘get rich’).

Not only do that have brains, vision and foresight but they have hearts that seem to be in the right place and shouldn’t that be the most important thing of all? Google them, click on their links, ‘like’ their pages on Facebook, donate $5 or $50 to whomever or just be aware that these things are happening right under your nose.

*Andy Didorosi: From organizing Detroit’s Lawnmower Gang to creating The Detroit Bus Company (launching April 2012), Didorosi has at least 4 LLC’s under his belt and isn’t afraid of making more notches. Didorosi is a a prime example of someone who sees a need that is not being provided within the community and not only finds the solution but logistically plans out all the steps in between and then BAM! — executes and implements them.

*Veronika Scott: While still a student at the Center for Creative Studies, this fashion designer not only designed an innovative coat that turns into a sleeping bag for the homeless but also began the Empowerment Plan, a non-profit organization based around the coat. Empowerment Plan trains and employs people who need jobs to manufacture the coat and provide coats to those that need them (without a cost attached).

*Tunde Wey: Detroit Big F Deal is a platform for financing local ventures. The best part? When you donate, you get a coupon for a local business. So, not only does Wey’s Big F Deal generate funds for new business’s/organizations but also stimulates small business consumerism within Detroit. Win/Win

*Justin Jacbos: Come Play Detroit organizes leagues of intramural sports (softball, basketball, dodge ball, kickball, flag football, tennis, yoga and Pilate’s) to create a a fun and healthy social meeting ground for people.

As I said before, this is just a small number compared to the amount of ambition, creativity, people, ideas and heart that’s working hard to make Detroit proud, beautiful and strong. I’ll keep you posted. Let me know: Who are some of your favorite innovative Detroiters?

Amelia Kanan is freelance writer/photographer and a returning native of Detroit. A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, she wrote for an Emmy nominated sketch comedy show and pursued her passion for documentary filmmaking in Los Angeles. An incomplete list of her loves: books, human rights, improv, the smell of new shoes, talking to strangers, libraries, France, yoga, furniture, music, sociology and pushing the limits. 


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