Journalist, Author & Detroit-Home Renovator

Photo by Craig LaCourt

Photo by Craig LaCourt

Greetings and salutations,

Three years ago my husband, Karl, and I moved ourselves, our life and 16 paws worth of critter to Detroit. We bought a historic house for $35,000 and have spent the intervening time fixing it up. (Well, our wonderful contractors had that pleasure.)

Now, that story is coming to a bookstore near you. In May 2016, Running Press is publishing my memoir, “Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life and Home,” about rebuilding a house and finding a home in this most magical and complicated of cities.

My bread and butter is covering small business in the country’s greatest city for innovation, entrepreneurship and community building. I come prepared with my own pair of Carhartt bibs, every grease stain earned in service to my father’s small excavating company.

I also know a fair amount about urban renewal and rural poverty.

I am currently an adjunct professor of journalism at Michigan State University, but I once bled blue as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, class of ’13, at the University of Michigan. I am an alum of Crain’s Detroit Business, CNNMoney, Fortune Small Business, Westword and USAA, where I helped military families make smarter choices about their money. I also have a background in enterprise and investigative reporting.

One of my proudest accomplishments?  Helping start the Jackson Free Press in Mississippi.

My career has taken many turns, but my guiding principle is this: Go where you can make a difference, whether it is guiding military families in preparing their finances for deployment or uncovering corruption in city government. In doing so, my teams have won the IRE, Loeb, John Bartlow Martin, Livingston and many more awards.

I decomplicate tough topics. I write. I edit. I do teevee and radio. I CMS like a madwoman. I especially SEO.

Also: I love cowboy boots, camouflage and pitbulls.

Contact me at amy.haimerl@gmail.com or @haimerlad on Twitter & Instagram.

16 Responses to “”

  1. Peter Korth

    I spent many happy times in this house, going back to the 1960’s…if you want to hear any stories of the former inhabitants, just let me know!

    Reply
  2. EHNYC

    Just read your article in this week’s Voice, which I enjoyed. I’m glad to see it’s possible to leave NYC and thrive in another town. I look forward to reading more by you.

    Reply
  3. Marianne Davies

    Loved your book Amy! I read this in 24 hours!! Your story makes me want to tackle the home renovation/ restoration but on a smaller scale.
    I do live in a nearby suburb and have lives in a few older homes that needed work, but not to the extent you did. I love the West Village location . Have been tk Sister Pie. Not yet to the eateries, hopefully soon. All the best to you and Karl! I truly believe Detroit has many gems and is definitlely on the upswing. I have waited 40 years to see this much change and enthusiasm!

    Reply
  4. Joyce Wiswell

    Enjoying the book very much, you are a terrific writer

    Reply
  5. Linda Wiley Heeringa

    I don’t think the Willard Library is in Grand Rapids where I live. It appears to be in Battle Creek, quite far from here. You could come to Schuler Books on 28 th st in GR. Loved your book. I would like to see total recent pictures of the house.

    Reply
  6. Robert

    Nice book. Plainspeak! Wyandotte’s Bacon Memorial Library has shelve for recent books. I read this right after reading book about Detroit bankruptcy process.

    Reply
    • haimerlad

      Thank you, Robert. I appreciate you reading — and that your library carries the book. My mother always said there’s nothing you can’t do after a trip to trip to the library.

      Reply
  7. Susan Stone

    Excellent book! I was filled with emotions reading what has happened to the city where I used to live. It’s fantastic that you were able to complete the house remodel of Matilda. I now live in Las Vegas and miss the urban community neighborhoods of Detroit that I spent a lot of my youth visiting.

    Reply
  8. Carol

    30 years ago I visited Detroit, and was driven through the oddest landscape. Between the suburbs and the city proper, there were blocks and blocks of empty lots where homes and neighborhoods had once stood. And every once in a while, a stunningly beautiful, but hauntingly neglected old home, still standing sentinel over the abandoned spaces. It was an urban plain, dotted with the occasional house, like lone trees on the prairie in films about expansionist homesteaders. And in the distance, like a mirage, was the cityscape of downtown Detroit, like The Emerald City. I wished I had the resources, or would win the lottery, so I could buy and save all those surviving houses, and turn them once again into homes, sprinkling pocket parks and neighborhood gardens around like wildflower seeds to restore a blighted prairie. Hoping to attract like minded souls, creative and welcoming, filled with a desire to build a community there again. Bravo, and thank you, to you and your husband, for doing it. I will find your book, and read your book, and quietly weep with joy.

    Reply
  9. Naomi Byrnes

    Looking at the comments, and loving that a past resident of the house has made contact. Intrigued to hear more as it unfolds …

    Reply
  10. theamericanfrau

    Congratulations on your house and book – I too have been through (to me) renovation hell in Royal Oak. We renovated a beautiful Arts and Crafts home complete with pewabic tile. Now we are living in Germany and all I want is modern – I vow never to paint woodwork again. Best of luck

    Reply
  11. lolalynwrites

    Wow! You’ve got such a fascinating life with a purpose and an illustrious career! I love vintage houses becoming alive again. I salute you, I’m now a fan.

    Reply
  12. Rachel

    Hi Amy,
    I just finished reading Detroit Hustle. What a wonderful book! Thank you for writing about your experience, and about our great city. I’m a born in Detroit, raised in Michigan girl. Currently in Eastpointe (formerly East Detroit) and raising my daughter to love it here just as much as I do! One of my favorite parts in your book was when you were smoking outside in Oakland and told the kids you were from Detroit, which does give you instant street cred! Love it. I’ll definitely be telling everyone I know that this is a must read book! Thanks again! 😊

    Reply

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