This Saturday, Lawrence Technological University’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology (DCDT) is celebrating Noel Night 2018 with a Pop-Up Shop. Featuring sustainable designers and retailers from around the city, DCDT invites you to stroll their gallery after hours while shopping for vintage clothing, home goods, men’s care products, locally-crafted chocolates and more.
We caught up with three of these participating shop owners to talk origin, ethos and what to expect on Noel Night.
OWNER: Lana Rodriguez
LOCATION: 1701 Trumbull Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
Mama Coos started as a pop-up. As the Community Outreach Director of a non-profit art gallery, founder Alana Rodriguez and the other fellows were each given a space to curate. She turned hers into a boutique. The experiment was so successful that she quit her day job to take witnessing and bartending gigs that allowed her the flexibly to take business courses and write her business plan.
Open a little over two years, the shop specializes in handmade, vintage and imported clothing, accessories and home goods. While many Detroit retailers focus on a suburban audience, Rodriquez says “the model of the store is to keep things affordable and inclusive for everybody.” Which is “a little more work for Alana” who handpicks all the vintage and makes most of the handcrafted items in the store.
Rodriguez was raised in Southwest Detroit. In fact, her grandparents lived in the shop’s building when they first came to Detroit from Texas and Mexico.
What to expect on Noel Night? Jewelry, handmade ornaments and, possibly, a sweater rack.
OWNER: Miriam Pranschke
LOCATION: 1440 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
Miriam Pranschke grew up thrifting. What started as a childhood necessity soon became a passion and a form of self expression. More than fashion, it’s the “story of things” that interests her—whether it be the story of a brand, a garment, or an individual.
After four years in Grand Rapids earning a degree in Art History, Pranschke knew she wanted to be in Detroit. It’s where she’s from, but more than that, it was the cultural scene that drew her here—one that’s proved to be good for business. “It’s a big city that functions like a small town. It’s relational.”
Relationships are important when your business depends on consignment, as Boro’s does. The Eastern Market shop offers designer and vintage accessories and apparel for men and women and accepts consignment items on a walk-in basis seven days a week.
What to expect on Noel Night? A good sampling of their offerings with a focus on winter wear and statement coats.
OWNERS: Jessica Minnick, Dy-Min Johnson
Founders Jessica Minnick and Dy-Min Johnson were tired of apologizing, so they did something about it. They started a brand, Not Sorry Apparel (NSA).
The idea, says co-founder, Jessica Minnick, was “to create a brand that encouraged other people and ourselves to be true to ourselves.”
Not Sorry Apparel specializes in up-cycling. To put it bluntly, they take old garments and make them new.
Like Mama Coos, part of their mission is to keep their line affordable—and thus accessible. It was also their inspiration, The two started as a cut and sew operation. When their prices put their offerings out of reach, they looked for an alternative.
An avid thrifter, Johnson picked up some vintage tees to print on. The move was a success. Further research showed them that the fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant in the world. Up-cycling is not only profitable, but, says Minnick, it allows them “to be creative and help save the planet.”
The two work out of their Corktown studio. Items may be purchased online or by appointment.
What to expect on Noel Night? Sustainable stocking stuffers, including patches and two types of fanny packs made of recycled jeans and scrap fabric from car interiors.
NOEL NIGHT POP-UP @ DCDT
Saturday 1 December 2018, 5-10pm
DCDT Woodward Gallery at 4219 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, MI.
Boro, Cheryl Labes, Detroit Barbers, Detroit Wick, Jo Caputo Photography, Mama Coos, Not Sorry Apparel, Western Market