Locally Made

Detroit Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide!

100 Places in the D 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hi, guys! I am excited about today’s post because it is [DRUM ROLL]: a Detroit Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide!!! WA-HOO!

After seeing so many holiday gift guides cropping up on other blogs, I thought it would be fun to feature a Detroit-centric one here on 100 Places in the D. I got excited when I started perusing Amazon and seeing all of the amazing Detroit-y gift options on it: apparel, books, home and entertaining-focused items, and beauty products either showcasing the D and/or created by entrepreneurs in this area. Some of these products are ones I’ve used and adore; others are ones I’m just discovering and wanting to chuck into my shopping cart.

Around the subject of gift-buying, let’s face it: it’s crunch-time, people! Hannukah starts today, Christmas is 13 days away, Kwanzaa starts the day after that, and Festivus (“for the rest of us!”) is December 23 (though I’ve read that holiday aims to be a non-commercial one, I’m sure George Costanza would’ve preferred a good ol’-fashioned gift exchange over the Feats of Strength any day. Seinfield 4 Liiiife!)

OK, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my holiday music going to set the ambiance (*NSync’s Home for Christmas – a classic!), and I’m ready to get this party started. Let the gift-showcasing bonanza begin!

*Note: the links to products on Amazon given in this post are affiliate links.*

Apparel:

A Cool Retro T-Shirt:

Detroit swagger! Love the ’70s vibe of this shirt. To check this out on Amazon, click here.

Another Sweet Retro T-Shirt:

How fun is this vintage-esque Tigers shirt? It’s got me wondering, “How long until Opening Day?” (Answer: 107 days to go until that first home game on March 29 at Comerica Park as of the date of this posting, in case you’re wondering.)  To check this out on Amazon, click here.

Books:

A Tome Testifying to the Beauty of the City:

Detroit: The Dream is Now: The Design, Art, and Resurgence of an American City by Michel Arnaud is packed with stunning photography of local architecture and art, capturing the vibrancy of the city. To check this out on Amazon, click here.

An Engrossing Novel with Interesting Characters:

I read The Turner House by Angela Flournoy the summer before last and loved it. It follows the history of one big Detroit family (with 13 kids!), the Turners, from the parents’ migration to the city from Arkansas to their life on the fictional Yarrow street to their present-day struggles with illness, finances, relationships, and the family haint (a ghost some of the kids claim to have first spotted in childhood). A National Book Award Finalist and garnerer of other honorable distinctions! To check this out on Amazon, click here.

A Thoughtful Showcase of Neighborhoods in the D:

The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook is a collection of 33 fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces penned by various contributors, with each focusing on a different area of Detroit. It aims to offer a more nuanced and complete view of the city than is typically portrayed in the media. Amen to that! To check this out on Amazon, click here.

Food and Home:

A Bag of Locally Roasted Beans:

I heart The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company’s brews! (I recounted my visit to its Woodward Ave. location in this post.) So I was excited to see that it’s selling its beans on Amazon. Pictured above is the Whole Bean Columbian Medium Roast Gourmet Coffee Motor City Blend – YUM. To check this out on Amazon, click here.

A Serving Board Modeled as a Map of the D:

What’s a better backdrop for holiday apps than this Totally Bamboo City Life Serving Board rendition of Detroit? Loving the intricate detailing! To check this out on Amazon, click here.

A Badass Pint Glass:

Made in Detroit! The pint glass you’ll want to steal back from the friend you gifted it to. To check this out on Amazon, click here.

A Set of Colorful Coasters Repping the Home Teams:

I love, love, love this set of four coasters, each depicting a vintage ticket stub for each of Detroit’s four major professional sports teams: the Lions, Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings. To check this out on Amazon, click here.

Delightfully Scented, Locally Handcrafted Soy Candles:

Mitten Candle Co. 2

My friends are the local entrepreneurs behind Mitten Candle Co. and these wonderful handcrafted soy candles scented with essential oils and other natural fragrance oils. So you could say I’m biased – but not really, because these candles are on POINT! I light candles daily and appreciate the good clean burn of Mitten Candle Co.’s products and the variety of scents offered, including holiday scents such as Pine Tree (sooo good) and Peppermint Mocha.  To check this out on Etsy, click here.

Health and Beauty:

For the Dude in Your Life Who’s Got Growing a Beard on His List of 2018 Resolutions:

Ferndale-based Detroit Grooming Co.’s Corktown Grooming Oil will keep those chin hairs soft and lustrous! To check this out on Amazon, click here.

For Anyone Who Wants to Make Relaxing and Feeling Good a Priority:

Who does this category not cover? I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but I’d like to make relaxing and feeling good a REAL priority in 2018. And I know goodies from the Chelsea, MI-based Little Flower Soap Co. will help me do just that. I’ve been using its Muscle Rescue Balm with soothing arnica, St. John’s wort oil, cinnamon, lavender, and peppermint since discovering it in 2016. I love using it as a natural pain-reliever for sore muscles; it’s soothing and smells AMAZING.

Other goodies offered from the Little Flower Soap Co.: the Essential Oil Aromatherapy Gift Box (pictured above); the Set of 5 – Essential Oil Soap Set (I’ve used the soap, too – it’s good stuff!); the Bourbon Lip Balm (intriguing!), and the Beard Care Gift Set Kit (Practical-Yet-Cool Gift Alert!) Check out its wares, support a local company, and help your loved one’s kick off 2018 lookin’ and feelin’ fanstastic!

To check Little Flower Soap Co.’s Muscle Rescue Balm out on Amazon, click here.

To see it’s Essential Oil Aromatherapy Gift Box for her, click here.

The Set of 5 – Essential Oil Soap Set can found here.

The Bourbon Lip Balm can be purchased here.

And the Beard Care Gift Set Kit can be bought here.

~Happy shopping and HAPPY HOLIDAYS, all!~

*Note: the links to products on Amazon given in this post are affiliate links.*

181. Eldorado General Store – July 17, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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Hello, all! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and braved the heat wave OK if you are here in the D. I was surprised to discover that there was a nice breeze blowing at the outdoor bridal shower I went to Saturday and that the 90-something-degree weather was pleasantly bearable. I’m all for soaking up as much of this summer clime as I possibly can.

After brunching at the fantastic Bobcat Bonnie’s the Sunday before last, I got to cross off another local establishment from my 100 Places bucket list with a stroll just down Michigan Ave. to Eldorado General Store, a charming little shop that sells vintage wares and handmade goods, many of them locally made.

Detroit Candle Company sells its wares here! Its lavender candles, the wax sprinkled with actual whole lavender petals, as well as a pipe tobacco-scented variety were available on my visit. And one of the popular local shaving companies, Detroit Grooming Co., peddles its goods at Eldorado, as well.

Adding interest to the vintage items for sale are tags saying where they were found; the shop owner has a penchant for picking up beautiful vintage clothing, leather handbags, and other items on her travels.

I was excited to be in this store. I had wanted to visit Eldorado for a very long time, and I convinced my not-as-enthusiastic friends to pop in with me. It did not disappoint me. I purchased the birthday card, black tourmaline stone (touted as warding off negative energies – yes, please!), and the handmade teakwood-and-tobacco-scented candle from P.F. Candle Co. shown in the photo above. I was bummed to later discover that duh, it says right on that candle that it was made in California rather than Michigan, but in my eager state at purchase, I hadn’t noticed. I would’ve loved to support a local candle purveyor, but this one smells AMAZING, so I’m happy to aid P.F. Candle Co. instead.

1700 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

www.eldoradogeneralstore.com

172. Avalon International Breads – April 17, 2016 – Detroit, MI

20160417_10395920160417_10410420160417_10421320160417_104347Hello, all! Happy Thursday to you! The weekend – and time for more exploring – is within our sights!!!

Two weekends ago, on an incredibly gorgeous Sunday morning (remember that fantastic weekend where temps got into the 70s, my fellow locals, and we could actually turn our heat off for a few days? It was glorious, right?), I decided it was time for another jaunt down to the D. This time it was to visit The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company’s Midtown location and Avalon International Breads. While I was scouting for parking near Great Lakes Coffee (which abuts ol’ construction-tattered Woodward), I stumbled upon Avalon and a plum slot within the small row of free parking spots in front of it. Sweet Lady Luck! I knew the two were super-close in proximity (about a third of a mile), but damn, that worked out perfectly! I made the bakery my first visit.

Stepping across Avalon’s threshold, I got that familiar rush of excitement and local pride I get when I enter a bustling, gorgeously hipster-y Detroit establishment. Look at all these cool people and cool stuff! Locally made jams! Handmade breads and baked goods made with only organic flour! I joined the long line flanking the front counter, which moved surprisingly quickly; the Avalon staff works like a well-oiled machine! A loaf of Farnsworth Family Farm sourdough and a slab of frosted carrot cake made it into my bag, both of which proved to be quite delicious. I especially enjoyed slathering the slices of sourdough with butter and the locally made Gus & Grey Southern Lovin’ Blackberry Bourbon Vanilla Jam I picked up during my visit to Parker Street Market back in February (OBSESSED with that jam – it’s phenomenal – out of it and need to grab more!).

422 W. Willis St.

Detroit, MI 48201

www.avalonbreads.net

166. Parker Street Market – February 27, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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My purchase from Parker Street Market.

I’d been craving a visit to Detroit all week, which is how I ended up at the corner of Parker and Kercheval earlier this afternoon. A jaunt into our lovely city is the perfect antidote to the residual effects of a week of soul-sucking corporate office drudgery (someday I will get out!). And Parker Street Market is the antidote to soul-sucking, disconnected corporate grocers and convenience stores. There it rests, at the helm of a quiet residential area, a beacon of organic and artisan goods. Doing the good work! That’s the phase that ran through my head after my visit.

I’d read about Parker Street Market in Hour Detroit and added it to my long and ever-expanding list of places I want to visit in the city. I liked the sound of it, how the owner (who I believe was the friendly guy helming the front counter when I was there) curated the items of this tiny store with care, how he featured locally-made items such as the lovely-looking Gus and Grey handcrafted Blackberry Bourban Vanilla Jam I purchased. (I’d read about Gus and Grey’s exquisite-sounding jams when the founder was featured in an issue of Hour, as well. So excited to try this stuff!)

Besides locally-made food items, Parker Street Market sells a range of other items, such as healthy packaged snacks, environmentally-friendly cleaning products, craft beer, and wine. And according to its website, it will deliver your grocery order to anywhere within the city of Detroit for only $5 – a pretty sweet deal!

1814 Parker St.

Detroit, MI 48214

www.parkerstreetmarket.com

142. Detroit City Distillery – September 26, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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The last stop on my most recent Detroit Day (my simple term for a day where I spend a glorious chunk of time exploring new-to-me locales around the city) was another Eastern Market anchor, Detroit City Distillery. If you are a liquor drinker to any degree, you’ll pretty much swoon over its menu of craft cocktails featuring what it refers to on its website as “small batch artisanal whiskey, gin and vodka.”

The service was great, and the drinks were amazing. I am pretty much worthless for drink recommendations because I can’t remember the names of any of the drinks that we got at this point, and the menu on the website is different than the one featured when we were there. I had a rye whiskey cocktail with fig preserves in it; another friend got one containing pureed watermelon and vodka that was quite good, and my absolute favorite was some sort of concoction with chai tea or something along those lines in it. . . yeah. But check out the drink menu on its website to get an idea of the unique cocktail creations and to be entertained by the names alone (Drunk Yoga! Carpal Tinder Syndrome!).

2462 Riopelle St.

Detroit, MI 48207

detroitcitydistillery.com

140. Detroit vs. Everybody – September 26, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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Because a huge part of our love affair with Detroit is embracing its underdog mentality – in every color-combo of T-shirt options imaginable!

This is the new Eastern Market store. Check out the graffiti art gracing the entrance stairwell – amazing.

2501 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207 (also a Greektown location)

http://detroitvseverybody.com

135. Eastern Market’s Sunday Street Market – August 16, 2015 – Detroit, MI

Eastern Market's Sunday Street Market

So I can’t believe it, but it’s been almost a month since I visited Eastern Market’s Sunday Street Market! I vow that I will be more regularly updating this blog going forward! Fall is here now, and fall is a great time for writing and introspection – and of course, exploring! And one place you can still enjoy exploring through October is the Sunday Street Market. It’s different from the traditional Saturday market, which is more focused on produce – and which I hope to hit this fall. I haven’t visited the Saturday Eastern Market since childhood, about 20 years ago, and don’t remember much at all about it, so I figure this is a good place to declare that a statue of limitations has expired and that it’s indeed a new place for me! The Sunday Street Market, on the other hand, is packed full of vendors – a few selling produce, but it’s more focused on artisans and their various wares: jewelry; Detroit-centric T-shirts and artwork; hats; vintage clothes; gourmet popcorn – you name it! I bought a wrap dress made from recycled saris that can be wrapped in a zillion different ways. And when you are done shopping, you can grab lunch from one of the multiple food trucks clustered around the area. A perfect Sunday-afternoon-in-the-D destination.

2934 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

Held every Sunday, 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., from June to October

http://www.easternmarket.com/attend/sunday-street-market

85. Rust Belt Market – November 29, 2014 – Ferndale, MI

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After months and months and months of meaning to hit the Rust Belt Market on the weekend, I finally did last Saturday (on Small Business Saturday, appropriately enough). And I have to say, it’s pretty fantastic! If you love handmade stuff and antiques sold by local vendors like I do, then this place will be heaven for you.

This is just a great place to visit if you’re trying to avoid being generic in your holiday gift-giving. Uniquely flavored handmade chocolates, one-of-a-kind jewelry, handpainted mugs, and Michigan-themed T-shirts emblazoned with quips like “Bitch, please. I’m from Detroit” are just some of the many wares featured in a space referred to on its website as a “once defunct big-box store.” It makes me so happy to know that a formerly corporately owned space is now a market for artistically-minded independent entrepreneurs.

22801 Woodward Ave.

Ferndale, MI

(Open Saturdays and Sundays, with additional dates during the holiday season, plus a small boutique open Mondays thru Fridays; check the website for specific dates and times)

http://www.rustbeltmarket.com

62. Festival of the Senses – September 21, 2014 – Clinton Township, MI

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On a weekend in late September every year for the last five years, Clinton Township has held an event called the Festival of the Senses, with food, live music, activities for kids, and local vendors selling all kinds of cool wares (honey, rustic birdhouses, and handcrafted jewelry were just a few of the offerings I saw). I’ve wanted to go for the last few years but have always had work or something else going on. And this year I arrived in the late afternoon on Sunday just as it was starting to rain – so they weren’t exactly favorable conditions in which to visit. Still, it seemed pretty cool, and I’m always encouraged by any event that supports local vendors and gives them a chance to connect with a community.

Held at the Clinton Twp. Civic Center
40700 Romeo Plank Rd.
Clinton Twp., MI 48038

http://www.ctfestivalofthesenses.com