Why we started SEEN
Kevin Browett grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh. It was the kind of town where everyone helped everyone. When people fell on hard times, it was the community that pitched in and helped keep them going. That kind of hometown love and support stuck with him throughout his career in operations, merchandising, finance, technology, and business development across national and global organizations.
As Chief Operating Officer of Renaissance Media, he had the idea of creating a local publication that highlighted all the good things that people do, local business stories, and events and trends that people care about right in their own backyard.
SEEN Magazine was launched in 2014 as a 52-page lifestyle magazine and has since grown into one of the largest monthly lifestyle magazine publications in Michigan.
While both the digital platform and magazine were growing, during the summer of 2016 Browett, Rachel Schostak and Amy Gill started discussing the opportunity of merging SEEN with Schostak and Gill’s company, Styleshack.com.
Never wanting to stand still, all agreed that print (Neighborhood SEEN magazine) with digital (Styleshack.com) and the ability to buy online with various delivery options was the wave of the future. By merging the companies, suddenly their vision could become a reality – turning SEEN into a “smart print” media company, connecting local individualized experiences through content and commerce.
At SEEN, our mission is to help everyone live their best life, LOCAL.
Humans are shaped by and crave connection with others. In our fast-paced world of mobile technology, filters, and instant gratification, we are focused on telling the deeper stories about the real people making our neighborhoods and community so special. The same people that are willing to pitch in and help their neighbors when they fall on hard times.
We believe that to live a richer and fuller life, you need to make meaningful connections with the people, places, and businesses in your neighborhood. So we tell those stories, leveraging technology and our Smart Print magazine to make it easier to discover, shop and support local.
Our hope is that by telling the story of the person who started that local coffee shop–how they grew up, why they started their business, how they choose and roast their beans, and their favorite places in their community, readers will make a conscious effort to invest in those businesses as often as possible.
Instead of hopping in the drive-thru line at the big box coffee place by default, they’ll choose to stop in the local place more often and have a conversation with the owner. You walk away feeling great about how you spend your money, enjoy a really good cup of coffee and made a personal connection with someone living and working in your neighborhood.
Our technology and the future
SEEN Magazine is at the forefront of “Smart Print”, combining the print magazine with a variety of digital channels leveraging image recognition technology. We are one of the few publications in the country, who literally go beyond the pages, allowing readers can connect to videos, web articles, and shopping by scanning a page in the magazine with an app.
We also make it easy for readers to discover, search and shop from local retailers through our own Marketplace integrated into neighborhoodseen.com. So now, you can read an article in the magazine, scan it with our app and add it to your cart. Or, browse an article on our website and add something to your cart without having to leave the page.
Our next step is to expand SEEN beyond Metro Detroit, spreading our mission to other areas in Michigan and the Midwest.
F. Kevin Browett
Founder and Publisher
Beyond his business roles at SEEN as well as Renaissance Media, the most important parts Kevin’s life surround three aspects: family, being with his wife Tillie (just going for their daily walks when weather permits is always the highlight of his day) and giving back. His children are the biggest blessing he has, from oldest Nicole, the mother of his first grandchild Owen, son Chris, a Navy officer serving our country, to his youngest Bella, whose strength in character and in her work as a gymnast makes him deeply proud. He feels as a family they are fortunate, and personally and as TEAM BROWETT, helping other matters. Serving on the Cranbrook Board of Governors, coaching the girl’s lacrosse team, teaching karate at Birmingham Martial Arts or as a martial arts therapist at Kids Kicking Cancer, plus ushering and volunteering in our church — all of these “give backs” give him a purpose in life beyond what he has.
Kevin also loves to improve himself. Keeping healthy (he gets up at 3 a.m. to work out every day and loves it), and learning new things excites and challenges him to be a better person. He also loves to walk in the door each day to be greeted by the his four-legged family members, Dozer the Pug and Lighting the Coton de Tulear!
Amy was born the youngest of four children, to an English literature loving father and a teacher-turned-social worker mother, in a small town outside of Americus, Georgia. She moved to Detroit at the age of five where she spent an idyllic childhood playing outside, creating stuff, dancing, reading and riding horses.
She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and spent her early career building corporate curriculum and training programs at Rock Financial and Quicken Loans. In 2008, she jumped at the chance to help build Dan Gilbert’s startup accelerator Bizdom, in Detroit. The program provided funding, mentorship and space for technology startups and Amy loved working closely with the entrepreneurs to break down their ideas, prioritize goals and then build them from the ground up. She assisted in the development of more than 40 startup companies before leaving to partner with Rachel Schostak and take on the CEO role at Styleshack.com.
Amy’s passion for building things, her love of small towns (and the charming people in them) and supporting local businesses led to a perfect partnership with Kevin Browett and SEEN magazine.
Amy currently lives in downtown Rochester with her husband (ER doctor) and kids Georgia and Sam. She loves going to the farmers market (Eastern Market will always be #1), eating tacos, practicing yoga, spending time outside with her family and daydreaming about the future farm she will own with four horses, a few goats, chickens, and bunnies.
Stephanie Steinberg has reporting ever since she was in second grade when she was a “cub reporter” on a local TV show called “Kidstuff.” The show didn’t last long, but Stephanie caught the journalism bug and knew from the young age of 8 that she wanted to interview people and tell stories the rest of her life. Stephanie is a diehard Wolverine (Go Blue!) and learned everything she needed to know about journalism at the University of Michigan’s student-run newspaper The Michigan Daily, where she was editor in chief in 2011. She spent several years as an editor at U.S. News & World Report in Washington D.C., where she enjoyed exploring all the museums and ice cream and cupcake shops in the city. (Baked + Wired is her favorite). She also spent many weekends in D.C. coffee shops editing her book “In the Name of Editorial Freedom: 125 Years at the Michigan Daily.” She returned to home to Michigan in 2016 to document the story of Detroit’s revitalization as a reporter for The Detroit News and enjoyed getting to know many amazing Detroiters through her stories. Now the managing editor of SEEN, she’s looking forward to filling the magazine and website with compelling lifestyle stories. When not editing with her signature purple pen, you’ll likely find her scoping out new restaurants and shops in Detroit.
Keith Farber grew up in Southfield, MI before heading to Arizona State University where he earned a degree in political science. After living in California, where he became an avid Oakland Raiders fan, he moved back to Michigan to work in advertising sales.
As Sales Director for Renaissance Media, he oversees all advertising sales and account representatives for SEEN Magazine and the Detroit Jewish News. He is passionate about meeting new people and helping their businesses grow.
When he’s not on the road selling, Keith enjoys watching sports, traveling and spending time with his wife, two kids and their two new pugs Oscar and Lola.
After years of working in New York fashion industry and studying Fashion Merchandising & Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Rachel’s career path took her to Chicago where she worked as a personal stylist and sales specialist at DNA 2050. Combining her passions for design and digital innovation, Rachel returned to her native, Detroit, as a Design Associate & Director of Media for Denise Ilitch Designs. In 2013, with the focus to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping, and making it easier to shop local, she founded Styleshack.com, marrying her knowledge of fashion retail, merchandising, E-commerce and creative approach toward digital strategy. Styleshack.com was recently acquired by Neighborhood SEEN and now operates under SEEN Media. Rachel has a strong passion for art, travel, Vernors and, of course, fashion. She also loves avocados — she’ll literally puts avocado on anything. She’s tried to master the art of cooking…it’s a work in progress. When not working, you can find Rachel at the DIA, collaging or working on her personal blog schostyle.com.
Client Relations Director
Andrea of the House Gusho, the First of Her Name, The Sarcastic, Queen of the Crafts, Dad Jokes and Too Many Clothes, Queen of Target Overspending, Andrea of the Midtown Dorms, Protector of Puppies, Lady Lover of Red Wine, Killer of House Plants and Mother of Pretty Terrible Dance Moves. For those who don’t watch “Game of Thrones,” Andrea is a huge fan. She grew up in Metro Detroit and spent a few years in Portland, Oregon and Oakland, California before returning to Metro Detroit three years ago. After years in retail management with national brands like Levi’s, she came to Renaissance Media to help manage our client experience from start to finish. She lives in Detroit, where she enjoys bar hopping, Belle Isle and sitting outside on a patio anytime she can.
Social Media Specialist
With a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing and management, Chelsie is a young fashion professional with a background in styling, digital content creation and management, and social media. With a devoted love for Detroit and a desire to elevate the city, Chelsie aims to reveal the beauty and charm that exists among Detroit’s vast and eclectic boundaries. If she’s not enjoying a Champagne brunch or Instagramming a cool mural in Eastern Market, Chelsie can be found planning her next travel adventure, scrolling through her favorite fashion blogs, taking a long bubble bath or playing with her new puppy, Peach.