Khary Frazier turned his career as a hip-hop artist into a marketing firm, Creative Differences, where he helps his clients with everything from web design to videography. He also runs Detroit is Different, an online magazine that puts his range of talents to work telling some of the city’s untold stories. 

He started using Ponyride’s coworking space in 2015, and is partnering with them on designing a forthcoming retail, bar and event space that will be built in reused shipping containers on the Ponyride campus.

On Ponyride’s motivating atmosphere:
Sometimes it’s knowing that somebody else is out there working on turning their business into something more people can connect to, whether that be customers or employees or contractors or whatever, just getting more people involved in your organization. It’s just as simple as knowing that there’s somebody else out there putting in 16 to 18 hours a day everyday, working at something and maybe not getting to the point where they’re quote-unquote paying themselves, they’re investing everything back into their business.

I find that to be a healthy space and place because I can see people doing that same thing. The encouragement really comes from just seeing them take action, more so than words. 

How tenants and Ponyride leadership help each other, in and outside the space:
As a consultant-slash-artist myself, I believe that it can be as small as some of the Ponyride members often come to my shows when I have performances; it can be as large as [Ponyride founder] Phil Cooley having been a sponsor for some of the events that I’ve done. It can be as simple as running a flyer design by some of the artists that are there at Ponyride, or it can be as elaborate as this container space that we’re working on.

On a Ponyride example making him push himself and his business:
So much of the space that people see is engaging the Empowerment Plan. Whether subconsciously or overtly, that naturally has an effect on how you look at an operation, and I think as an entrepreneur it really does help. 

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to bring on this person or that person, and then you look up to see something operational with 20-plus people. It challenges you to take on some more of those assumed risks, to really get out here. Because nothing would be worse than to be conservative and end up not meeting the goals you set, and you feel like you didn’t reach your goals because you held back. The Empowerment Plan is inspirational to not hold back.