David Merritt, Founder of I Miss You, INC.
High School: West Bloomfield High School
College: University of Michigan
Neighborhood/City: West Bloomfield
How he’s making his mark on the city of Detroit:
“In September of 2009, I started I Miss You, Inc. and The IMU Brand. The IMU mission is to spread happiness while appreciating the people and experiences that make us who we are. Every experience a customer has with our brand, we want them to feel special, appreciated, and valued. All feelings associated with hearing the words “I Miss You.” We work extremely hard to offer the highest quality product and design and believe we can facilitate these feelings through our clothing, our philosophies, and our innovative community service component.”
“Every IMU employee is required to give 8-10 hours of community service per month. It’s really about doing whatever we can to improve communities. In return, each t-shirt that we sell represents an hour of community service from our customers. Therefore, if you purchase an IMU t-shirt and then go out and do an hour of community service, you receive 20% off your next purchase”.
On why he chooses to stay in Metro Detroit:
“This is home. I’ve lived in Metro Detroit for 23 years now and I believe we can make drastic changes in this community for the better
if everyone does his/her own part. That’s why we are here and that’s why we plan on staying here. I believe IMU can truly broaden people’s perspective to realize that we must give back and help others. And there’s no reason not to look fresh while doing it!”
On how he accomplished his goals:
“A lot of research and a lot of planning. I don’t have much experience being an Entrepreneur so it was extremely important for me to learn as much as I could. I reached out to business owners and entrepreneurs who had already traveled down the path I wanted to travel. I researched about design trends and what it would take to start an apparel company, got connected to some wonderful designers and creative minds, and it all fell into place”.
On his favorite things about Detroit:
“Opportunity. I don’t see our current situation as a problem, I see it as a world of opportunity. An opportunity for each and every one of us to make a difference”.
On what he wishes you knew about Detroit:
“It’s not all that bad. I think Detroit is always seen in this negative light that’s not completely justified. There are a lot of good people
in the city of Detroit but their voices are hardly ever heard”.
On future plans:
“I will work to spread IMU’s mission of spreading happiness until it’s all over this state by coming out with more designs and expanding our community service component”.
On his hopes for the city of Detroit:
“I would really love to see us do more to improve the illiteracy rate in Detroit. It now stands at 47%. That is just unacceptable. We can’t expect kids to stay in school if they aren’t taught how to read and write properly”.
David’s words of wisdom:
“Keep pushing and stay with it. I truly believe hard work always pay off. If you are willing to go above and beyond to reach your dreams, they can become a reality.”