Shop Detroit this Holiday Season


Today was a beautiful day in Detroit. It was Shop Detroit Day, a day where people consciously purchase from local stores and businesses and a day where businesses celebrate their local customer base. It is one of the best ways to support the Detroit economy and to support Metro-Detroit entreprenueres in keeping their dreams going.

This event has been going on for 10 years, thanks to Detroit Synergy Group, but this year was epic with partners such as D:hive, Detroit Mom and Pop Shop and American Express. From downtown, to Corktown, to Livernois District and Eastern Market, Detroiters painted the town black by putting their money back into their city.

I can proudly (and snobbishly) say I shop local everyday. Here is my list of some of my favorite local locations:

  • Happy to Be Nappy is my location to go to take care of my natural locks.
  • University Foods is one of my favorite grocery stores. Before Whole Foods, This store provided an eclectic variety of product to Detroit as well as the staples.
  • Djenne Beads & Arts is a import store that I purchase body oils, jewelry, and every now and then, clothing.
  • Cafe Con Leche is a local cafe with robust coffee and a great atmosphere.
  • Utrecht Art Supplies  is a national chain, but the staff there is very local  and experts that help my creative process more smooth.
  • John King’s Book is a rare book store that I find art history and art instruction books for a pretty good price.
  • Food Farm is a grocery store that is across the street from my parent’s home. I go there at least twice a week.
  • Milano’s Bakery has one of the best pastrami sandwiches ever.
  • Detroit Artist Market, Detroit Institute of Arts, MOCAD, Dabl’s Bead Museum and so many other art galleries are my home for inspiration
  • Union Street and 1917 American Bistro are like my go-to places for dining whenever I want a good meal or I am not sure what the heck I want.
  • Sam’s Corner Store. It is on the corner of Porter and Vinewood. I go there for little odds and ends.

This list could go on and on. What is important is that shopping in the city of Detroit allows me a unique experience I could not get anywhere else and gives me access to products and services that connect with my personality and my lifestyle.  I know that everyone cannot make everyday commitments to local shopping, but you can make a holiday commitment right?

If you are reading this and live in the Metro-Detroit area, make a promise to yourself and your community that this holiday season you will spend at least 20% of your holiday budget locally. This is doable right? And just think how great you will feel this holiday, shopping in Detroit.

Happy Shop Detroit Day and Happy Holiday Shopping.


Clean Up

Saturday was a day of mixed emotions when I grew up. It was the day you could get up a little later and watch cartoons, but it was also the day that you did most of your cleaning. It may be cleaning up the your room but in most cases it was things like washing the walls, straightening up the living room and dining room or mopping the kitchen floor. The big one that none of my siblings enjoyed was cleaning the yard.  It wasn’t the hard work but the fact that you were outside…working. The sacred playground desecrated by chores.

When I got older and chose places to live, I usually picked places that did not have yards or, if they did, someone else was responsible for it.  But not yesterday. Yesterday, I took part in a clean up and this clean up is close to the heart for me. Number one, the clean up occurred in the neighborhood I grew up in and my parents still live in. The second reason is that this once abandoned lot will become a space of artistic expression. I intend, to take this piece of land and share artwork from different Detroiters. I know the power of art. It gathers, it starts discussions, it beautifies spaces and it has the power to change how people think and what people do.

BUT – before I can create I need a CLEAN CANVAS.  This week, Detroit Synergy Group and the neighborhoods of Central Detroit did just that.  Here are a few photos from the clean up. Next week, I hope to share the art that will reside in this space.




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