“The entrepreneurial life is one of challenge, work, dedication, perseverance, exhilaration, agony, accomplishment, failure, sacrifice, control, powerlessness … but ultimately, extraordinary satisfaction.”
— David S. Rose In this particular article, I’m going to introduce you to entrepreneurism in a new fashion. I’m going to profile one of our local small businesses.
Folks bemoan the loss of local businesses to us at the Chamber; often the back story is over looked. Local support is key, though so is succession planning and innovation. Kids sometimes don’t want the family business, someone retires or passes, a business model isn’t profitable, and “presto,” dismay ensues.
This is one of the reasons new and established businesses join the chamber; we are pro-local and pro-business, we can do it here with our anchors and entrepreneurs.
Tire Discount House has been a staple in Dearborn Heights for over 60 years (in the past on Warren Avenue) and a great example of longevity and innovation. After buying into the company, owner Rick Bixman purchased the business outright in 1992 and upgraded and maintained through some trying economic times.
Growing his staff and supporters, he is a past chamber board member and still a current member and volunteer at the chamber. Rick sees the value of being present and a supporter, after all “we all row this boat together.”
Now residing in a fabulous new facility at 20916 Van Born Road, between Pelham and Monroe, still in the Heights, Bixman and I chatted about what it takes to keep a business going. In the beginning Rick rehabbed the two buildings on Warren and expanded into custom wheels besides offering tires, alignments and other auto services.
Surviving a fire in 2018, the buildings again rehabbed, Rick coincidentally found a new facility (always on the lookout) that was sparkling and well suited for his vision of the future.
Keeping up with industry upgrades and market demands, he now services not only the “family ride” but also custom cars. Young families and all car enthusiasts turn to Bixman and Tire Discount House to upgrade their rides, for reliability and showmanship too. They continue to grow on a great tradition of personal service that goes back 60 years. That passion and grit are what drive many of our local success stories and we are here to help and applaud that ingenuity.
It’s November and we have so much to be thankful for in our corner of southeast Michigan. Shop Small is again upon us; see and download the passport to savings (and raffles) at www.downtowndearborn.org or our page www.dearbornareachamber.org. The fun continues for a couple of weeks so you can dine, shop, and enjoy both east and west businesses and get those passports stamped for prizes.
Gift Local is our own local gift certificate featuring over 40 chamber businesses, if you are stumped on holiday thank-yous this year. From food, flowers, boutiques (and yes, even tires) your gift gives the recipient the gift of choice.
Dinner out? A bouquet for your sweetie? A new ornament for the tree … there are these options and more when you buy a Gift Local Gift Certificate. It’s all on the front page of our website, or call the chamber, we’ll walk you through the options.
Small and large businesses are partnering with the Chamber on our second annual Ladies Night, hosted at Fairlane Town Center and presented by the woman-owned Dearborn Agency. Fashion show, food, drink, shopping, discounts, purse raffles, gift cards and more are on the ticket that’s just $30 at our website or call the chamber at 313-584-6100. The first 50 registered attendees will get an eye or lip makeover from MAC Cosmetics, too!
Evolution sometimes takes time and patience, though all this occurred in the short six years I’ve been with the chamber. Hope and optimism are cultivated, and in my next article, I’ll talk about some startups that are now nationwide and worldwide in this short time frame and some of their tips and tricks for success we can all utilize. Enjoy your families, our neighborhoods and our businesses this month, thank you for your ongoing and dedication to our area.