Pot and Box
Pot and Box founder Lisa Waud seems to be at the intersection of everything floral and cool and beautiful in Detroit. For starters, she was the mastermind behind the Fall 2015 project, Flower House, which brought together thirty-seven florists and designers from Michigan and across the country to decorate an abandoned house (which Waud purchased) in neighboring Hamtramck with American-grown flowers. Waud is now at work turning this surrounding land into a flower farm, where she hopes to welcome more visitors (the house drew more than three thousands in a few days), and host workshops and events. (Waud's already started a few market series and a flower week elsewhere in Detroit.) Until then—and before her forthcoming brick and mortar opens—you can shop her adorable flower truck a few weekday afternoons: Wednesday by The Red Hook in West Village, Thursday by Astro Coffee in Corktown, and Friday by Citybird in Midtown. Oh, and Pot and Box also does weddings, weekly flower deliveries, and other events.
1500 Woodward Ave., Downtown
Native son John Varvatos returns to his roots with this downtown location, his first in the Midwest, inspired by the his flagship menswear store on the Bowery in New York City. Music—a little bit Motown, a little bit of rock ’n’ roll—undoubtedly influences the store’s design, which sells rare vinyl records and vintage audio equipment alongside his minimalist designs and custom Chuck Taylors. And like his store on the Bowery, the space also features a stage for performances. (The store celebrated its opening with a show by Varvatos’s friend and fellow Detroit native, Alice Cooper.)
Third Man Records Cass Corridor
441 W. Canfield St., Midtown
With neighbors like Shinola and Filson, Jack Black felt right at home when he set up shop in his hometown, just blocks from the Gold Dollar where the White Stripes played their first gig. Here, the sprawling 4,000 square foot warehouse is boldly colored in—what else—yellow and black, and there’s an edited assortment of vinyl, listening and recording booths as well as the requisite Third Man Records branded ephemera. Also of note: a performance space decorated with photos of local rock bands who have played in the Cass Corridor, and a soon-to-be-opened vinyl record pressing plant—one of less than two dozen left in the United States.
Signal Return Press
1345 Division St., Eastern Market
Signal Return Press specializes in gorgeous letterpress, doing their part to preserve the increasingly obscure art by offering workshops and open studio programs, and hosting visiting artists. If you're not in town during one of their events, it's still fun to stop by their shop, which has great cards, posters, and prints. It's a great place for picking up souvenirs.
Détroit is the New Black
1426 Woodward Ave., Downtown
Roslyn Karamoko started gifting T-shirts that said "Détroit is the New Black" to friends and family before turning it into her full-time job—and a retail concept. (The accent over the “e” is a nod to Detroit’s French origins.) She opened the hybrid boutique and art gallery on a rapidly developing stretch of Downtown in July 2016, selling everything from DITNB emblazoned T-shirts, tote bags, and sweatshirts, plus dresses from Tracey Reese, leather goods from Douglas & Co., and cotton T-shirts from Lazlo. There’s artwork too—an installation by local artist Leon Dickey is currently on view, and the space hosts a rotating roster of cultural events like poetry night and group art exhibitions meant for visitors and the local community alike.
441 W. Canfield St., Midtown
The Seattle-based outfitter, which has been churning out durable camping gear and wares since 1897, maintains its cabin-in-the-woods aesthetic (think buffalo plaid blankets, leather club chairs, and timeworn wooden tables) with the opening of its first Michigan storefront. (In colder months, they’ll fire up with wood burning Ziegler stove for shoppers, too.) For now, the store predominately carries men’s clothing—wool vests, beanies, and leather goods—but they’re planning on carrying more women’s items down the line. There’s also the complete assortment of iconic bags, like the original twill briefcase, for which the brand is probably best known.
2135 Michigan Ave., Corktown
Owner Gail Kaye and her husband John work with local artisans and dealers to fill their vintage store with a variety of Detroit-based gifts, décor, and furniture. You’ll find a great selection of jewelry and delightful repurposed items, such as lamps made from old speakers. Wood paneling and paned garage doors warm up the industrial space, which is located in the revitalized Corktown next to Mercury Bar and across the street from Slow’s and Sugar House.
Eldorado General Store
1700 Michigan Ave., Corktown
When Erin Gavle quit her advertising job in L.A., she purchased a van named Betsy and drove to Detroit. Along her journey, she stopped at garage sales, Indian reservations, craft fairs, and thrift stores to amass a collection of clothing, home goods, and jewelry that soon became stock at this beautifully curated new vintage shop. The store’s offerings range from cowboy boots to suede jackets to a truly impressive crystal collection.
4240 Cass Ave., Midtown
Just looking around this carefully curated shop will put you at ease: beautiful Japanese and Scandinavian-inspired housewares and accessories line the walls of the small, bright space. Perfect for finding gifts, Nora stocks a selection of items—from local to international designers alike—meant for everyday use. Furniture, leather goods, and contemporary wall art accompany an impressive selection of modern tableware, including glasses and utensils from Iittala and Hasami porcelain.
460 W. Canfield St., Midtown
Nestled in the Cass Corridor (neighbor to Shinola and sister store, Nest), this boutique occupies an adorably revamped industrial space and is full of independent and locally made artisanal housewares, jewelry (generally affordable, chic, and perfect for wearing everyday, like moon phase stud earrings), paper goods (screen-printed greeting cards), apparel, accessories, and home decor. Opened in 2009 by siblings and seventh-generation Detroiters, Andy and Emily Linn, this is a great place to pick up gifts or souvenirs anyone would love.
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