Celebrating 30 Years in Business

Under normal circumstances, business longevity and sustainability are challenges.  Now, consider starting a business in one of Detroit’s most economically-challenged neighborhoods, twenty years and exactly one mile removed from where the civil disturbances started in 1967.  Thirty years later, your business has grown and is still striving and expanding.
Meet Jesse R. Brown, N.D, founder, Detroit Wholistic Center (DWC), a health-focused facility focused on providing natural solutions for common health concerns such as weight loss, cleansing, improving diet to increase energy, stamina and reduce health risk factors.  He also promotes healthy eating habits for African Americans.  For 30 years, Brown’s DWC has assisted and educated clients and customers on how to find low-cost and safe ways to help themselves, family members and loved ones improve health and wellness.  In fact, he estimates 60,000 people, from Detroit and beyond, have been served by DWC’s consultants.
I recently talked to Brown about business sustainability, health challenges for African Americans and plans for the future.

Lee:  You’re celebrating thirty years of business this month.  What have been the keys to business sustainability and how have you remained relevant?

Brown:  We are celebrating 30 years in business because unlike many areas health never goes out of style and we have consistently helped people either with services, training, coaching and providing guidance and support to those who need it most.

When people are happy with what you do, the results they get and how they are treated they are glad to pay you, come back and refer others to you to boot. People are increasingly looking for alternative ways to remedy their health problems at all ages from the very young to the elderly. I am constantly looking for people who have a strong desire to help others, are committed to unselfish service and are ready, willing and able to learn how and what to do to support others to promote health and wellness.
For 18 years we have taught many across the country how to start careers in natural health through our State licensed school the Wholistic Training Institute. We say the Wholistic Training Institute teaches what Dr. Oz preaches.

Lee:  DWC started 20 years after the Detroit riot, not far from 12th and Clairmount.  What drove your decision to start your business at that location?

Brown:  Martin Luther King Jr. said that …”a riot is the language of the unheard”. People in Detroit and in particular in that neighborhood need attention and healing, I wanted to help bring light to a dark place. Against the better judgement of others I chose to start my business in Detroit and in an area that was economically challenged. In some ways the area also chose me, it was where I began my health journey and where I learned a great deal. I began training others in the first year and as we served the people there others started to come until we outgrew the space.
I felt early on that I needed to start at home in Detroit because that’s where the greatest need was and in some ways still is. In February 2017, Wallethub named Detroit the unhealthiest large city in the U.S. I want to make Detroit the healthiest and wealthiest. That’s the kind of evolution  we need to have 50 years after the Detroit “revolution”.

Lee:  What changes have you noticed in that particular neighborhood over the last three decades?

Brown:  Unfortunately, the building that housed our original location was razed years ago and the neighborhood has degraded with the loss of jobs and residents. We moved across town but still see people from that and all neighborhoods of Detroit. There are plans for a community garden at the very location where the building stood so in a way the healing continues just in a different form.

Lee:  You’ve been promoting healthy eating among African Americans long before it came popular.  How does DWC help AA’s address key health issues?

Brown:  African Americans respond to people who look like us and understand our challenges.Statistically we have some of the highest rates of many chronic diseases. However, the ability to resolve these problems will not come from hospitals and Doctors they will come from our homes and loved ones as they did in the past. The key to changing our diets and lifestyles is in our relationships, our family, loved ones, church and extended family.
It takes a village to raise a child but sick villages raise sick children. We are creating healthy villages and communities. I teach my audiences that “We have genius in our genes and diamonds in our DNA, we are more brilliant and resilient than we have been taught to believe”!
Lee:  What are your most populate products and services?
Brown:  Our most popular services are Colon Cleansing, Ionic foot bath, Far infra Red sauna and Body Wraps. We also use the best herbal formulas for the immune system, digestive health, chronic pain and inflammation that are available today.

Lee:  You just had your 30th anniversary celebration.  Please tell us about.

Brown:  We were glad to have speakers such as author, and internationally renowned lecturer Dr. Cass Ingram D.O. come to Detroit for the first time to teach us the secrets to reversing all kinds of infections and inflammation. A panel of hair experts shared how to identify health problems through the hair and it’s relationship to health, how to become Vegan or the best ways to adopt a health building, disease resistant plant based lifestyle and new trends and opportunities to make a living in wholistic health. People experienced yoga and movement, free health classes and took advantage of great information and specials.

Lee:  What are your future plans for DWC?

Brown:  After 30 plus years of doing this work, I am looking for those who will succeed me. I believe there are younger people who are as excited and eager to learn and serve as i was many years ago. My mentors Dick Gregory and others have passed away and it would be tragic for this work not to continue. I may sell but I would choose to leave a legacy that lasts for generations to come. My goal is to preserve, protect, promote, perpetuate our ancient and healing wisdom so that we never forget to heal people and the planet because they are reflections and dependent on each other.