As chief marketing officer for VSCO, a photo editing and sharing app that encourages users to focus on fostering their creativity rather than racking up likes, Tesa Aragones is a proponent of imaginative ideas — especially in her hometown. “The creativity of Detroit comes alive in so many ways,” says the Rochester native, who travels between her home in the San Francisco Bay area and metro Detroit on a monthly basis. “I try to give back as much as I can.” An advisory board member at the Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Academy of Art and former teacher at the College for Creative Studies, Aragones is eager to share what she’s learned leading marketing and digital innovation at Nike and Volkswagen, and, of course, VSCO. Locally, an ideal day includes spending time with loved ones, indulging in good food, and advocating for creators of the future at a myriad of art events.
Brunch with Friends
“On weekends, I often catch brunch with my friend Ann Delisi before her show, Ann Delisi’s Essential Music, on WDET. We like Selden Standard — it’s close to the station. They have something called ‘This Morning’s Pastry’ — we always split one as part of our breakfast appetizer. Then, I usually get the frittata, but I’ll try new things, too. Sometimes, we’ll meet at Clique on Jefferson. It’s old-school Detroit with a great mix of people.”
“I go downtown with my 14-year-old niece, Kylie, who is a big VSCO user. You can take great photos in the city, and it’s a fun way for us to spend time together. There are so many iconic buildings, like the Fisher. I love to watch her explore. We usually stop at Avalon Café and Bakery to get a sea salt chocolate chip cookie. Another favorite is Sister Pie. It’s small, has a friendly environment, and it feels like home. I enjoy their classics but they are creative so if they switch things up, I try what’s new.”
Supporting the creative community is important to me so if there’s anything going
on with … students or alum I try to attend.
— Tesa Aragones
“In the evening, I like to go to Lady of the House in Corktown. I met Chef Kate Williams at an event a couple of years ago, and it’s nice to have a talented female chef doing great things in Detroit. It’s nice to sit at the bar and have a bourbon before dinner. There is also a place in Hazel Park where I like to hang out called Joe Bar. It has a cool vibe and an awesome vintage sign. And, if you can, check out Frame. The owner, photographer Joe Vaughn, hosts pop-up dinners featuring different chefs. I enjoy the storytelling from the guest chefs.”
“I like to go downtown to see art, music, and to catch up with friends. For many years, I have worked with the Cranbrook Academy of Art and College for Creative Studies. Supporting the creative community is important to me so if there’s anything going on with any Cranbrook or CCS students or alum I try to attend. Whether there’s something at the Detroit Institute of Arts, or Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, or even at my friend Simone DeSousa’s gallery on Willis, I enjoy seeing the amazing creativity in our home town. I’m also a huge music fan. One of the highlights for me last year was seeing my nephew, Izaak — who is a jazz drummer — play at Cliff Bell’s. I was proud to see him playing in a venue that has been part of the Detroit music scene for decades.”