Tomorrow, November 26, is Small Business Saturday. The annual event was started by American Express in 2010 as a marketing initiative to encourage the public to shop at local businesses instead of big brand stores. Every year, people flock to the streets of cities and towns across the country to help support the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that are the backbone of the U.S. economy. I recently took a trip to Detroit. By the way, a highly underrated city in my opinion, but I digress. I roamed the streets of the city for days to eat the incredible food, observe the architecture and to shop small. Let me tell you… Detroit delivered! From a culinary oasis to an all-in-one local barber shop and coffee shop, here are some of my favorite establishments for you to support this Small Business Saturday and beyond.
- Somerset Collection Studio – This museum-style shop is located on the first floor of The Metropolitan Building in downtown Detroit. It offers a local shopping experience carrying products such as books, prints and textiles made exclusively by Detroit-based artists and designers.
- B_KS@ – Am I the only one that still buys paper magazines? There is something about the smell and feel of the textured paper that I truly enjoy. It is almost nostalgic. This local magazine shop nestled in the lobby of the Siren Hotel carries rare magazine titles not commonly found at your local Barnes & Noble. Their curated selection satisfied the my desire for a printed piece and added to my coffee table book collection.
- Market at Cadillac Square Park – Right in the heart of downtown Detroit is Cadillac Square Park. Surrounded by skyscrapers and busy streets, this lot of green is home to a holiday pop-up where you can shop a litany of local shops offering jewelry, clothing, textiles and pet accessories. If you are looking for unique, handcrafted jewelry check out Halie and Co. If cooking is more your vibe, stop by Cookette. I don’t even cook all that much, yet I walked out with bags full of mini jars of jam, crackers, a cookbook and some cheese paper. Who needs cheese paper? Clearly, I do.
- George Gregory – This men’s shop is located in Corktown in a little strip across from the soon-to-arrive Godfrey Hotel. It is a must to visit whenever you are in town. They have a collection of men’s clothing, accessories and a curated selection of men’s grooming products. The type of items that they carry is vast which makes the experience even more satisfying. I walked out of there with floss in a glass jar, dryer sheets and face moisturizer. All of which I didn’t need until I brought them home.
- Detroit Barbers – Every time I travel, I try to get my hair cut in a local barber shop. I like to keep what little hair I have left looking nice and trim. I have been to their Corktown location a few times. The vibe is chill AND they make a mean latte at the coffee shop located on the second floor. A fade and a cup of Joe? What more does a guy need?
- XHIBITION – I almost felt not cool enough to be in this store. We popped in after grabbing dinner downtown. It reminded me of a much cooler version of Barney’s (R.I.P.) with a much nicer staff and a less pompous environment. The store offers a nice mix of art, style and culture with their selection of sneakers, fashion pieces and paper goods from B_KS@. Between the art and the Nike hightops that I was eyeing, I didn’t know where to focus my attention.
Whether you are shopping in-person this holiday season or you prefer to handle your purchases online to avoid the crowds, be sure to keep this list of local Detroit shops handy. This Saturday and every day, remember to shop local.