Naka is a tiny shop in the midst of trendy Ferndale, Michigan -- full of cool, original, affordable hand-crafted accessories. Naka means "beautiful" in Shona, a language spoken in Zimbabwe, where proprietor Kelly Pettibone studied during college. Kelly runs the shop with the help of Ava, her friendly black lab mix. Some of the interesting items available are jewelry (some rings reminding me of Pewabic tiles, another Michigan special), "Day-twa" t-shirts for the upwardly mobile, funky purses, etc.
What to pay: Items run from about $10.00 up, except for cards which are in the $2.50-$3.95 range
Show your Detroit pride or your indulge your funky self with some apparel from Pure Detroit. They sell the coolest shirts every to bear a city's name, hand bags, art, VINYL, and other specialty items from the heart and SOUL of Detroit. P.S. They help support the Detroit music Scene.
What to buy: Techno gear, pewabic pottery, Vernors Ginger Ale, Faygo, Sander's sweet stuff, Better Made potatoe chips, and while you're at it, how about a new car!
Royal Oak has plenty of restaurants and bars, which makes it look something like a urban area, but it is actually something of a shopping desert (unless you are interested in visiting one of several fetish stores). Last time I was here, I tried to find somewhere in downtown Royal Oak to buy a replacement battery for my camera - no luck.
As such, it's good to see a big retailer like Barnes & Noble investing in the place. They've recently opened one of their box stores here - with ample parking nearby. I hope it eventually attracts more shoppers - and shopping - to the area.
Visit Showtime and conjure up that inner rock star. You'll find a good variety of clothes and other goodies to help you live life on the wild side. Even if you're happy with your image, it's fun to look around. It looks like a place Madonna would have shopped during her Desperately Seeking Susan days. Stop in if you're in the Wayne State area.
What to buy: Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
SOMERSET COLLECTION IN TROY: Upscale mall, Tiffany, Cartier, BCBG, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Crate and Barrel, etc.
DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM: Upscale specialty shops, boutiques, home furnishings, art galleries, etc. Nice outdoor shopping town. Dining, movie theaters, cafes.
GREAT LAKES CROSSING: Super-Mega-Huge shopping entertainment complex. Discount retailers, Saks 5th outlet, Rainforest Cafe, Gameworks, Bass Pro shops Outdoor World, etc. Its way up I-75 In Auburn Hills - home of the Detroit Pistons. http://www.shopgreatlakescrossing.com/
DOWNTOWN ROYAL OAK: Trendy Boutiques, Antique shops, the infamous Noir Leather, restaurants, entertainment, cafes, farmers and antique market.
FERNDALE: Funky, Fabulous Ferndale. Funky clothing boutiques, Record Time for Vinyl/ Indie music, vintage clothing shops, coffee houses, restaurants, Old Navy outlet, used bookstores, chachki shops, art galleries.
OTHER: Oakland Mall; nice, average mall and lots of stores aroud it. What you need. Westland Mall - the same. Lakeside Mall; Large, avg mall, what you need. H&M OPENS HERE IN 2006! WHOOPIE!!!! 12 Oaks Mall, Novi; Nice, big mall. Somerset without some of the upper end stores.
SPORTING/HUNTING ENTHUSIASTS: CABELLA'S OUTDOOR WORLD near Monroe, MI. Huge store with a dead (taxidermied) zoo.
IKEA COMING TO CANTON.
ROCHESTER: Great town but hard to get to. Cool downtown and a new outdoor mall.
ANN ARBOR: Wonderful college town with lots of artsy shops.
What to buy: S.E Michigan has just about every retail store you find in bigger cities, from low to high end. If you are looking for bargains here's where to go:
Mikasa at Greatlakes crossing for china.
Caviar taste on a Fast Food budget: Saks off 5th @ Great lakes crossing, Loehmanns for womens & mens clothing. Nordstrom Rack is not that great.
Tuesday mornings for high end department store close-outs on home decor, linens, cookware.
Value City is great for Big & Tall Men's bargains esp. suits, hip-hop styles like Shady, nice brands like Kenneth Cole. Kids clothes, too. Sometimes you can find some high end womens clothes but you have to look.
Arts & Crafts style Pewabic Pottery was founded in 1903 and has been in the same building since 1907. In the early 1900’s it was often used in public buildings throughout the U.S. and upscale private residences locally.
What to buy: Currently the Pewabic Society has education programs and classes. They offer architectural tiles, gift tiles, vases, ornaments and jewelry with their trademark iridescent glazes.
This is a large and active mall in Southfield, just north of the border of Detroit. It is home to stores such as Marshall Field's, C'est La Vie, Kay Jewelers, etc.
A unique feature of Northland is its urban/city style. Stores such as Bhogalli Leather, Connektions, Hip Hop University, J. Bees, Max Green's, Sun's Clothing, and Van Dyke's Uptown, etc., all fit this category. Many people make the mistake of seeing "urban" clothes as lower-class, yet this mall tends to break whatever stereotypes there may be.
There are many stores that carry exotic Italian shoes, including City Slickers and Via Roma.
This mall also contains Afrocentric stores such as Truth Bookstore and Ethnic Expressions.
So for urban yet upscale clothes, as well as a number of other unique products, shop at Northland Center Mall!!!
What to buy: The most unique items I'm familiar with in this mall have to be the shoes. You can buy alligator shoes (authentic or imitation-leather) at Via Roma and City Slickers. In addition, City Slickers has shoes made from octopus, ostrich, crocodile, and calfskin.
What to pay: Imitation gator shoes should cost about $80, while the authentic ones cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Prices vary from store to store.
Great Lakes Crossing is a gigantic mall in suburban Detroit. The mall itself is a mile-long race-track-shaped structure, which is more like two or three miles long if you go through the stores. With a "food court the size of Utah" and over 200 stores, you definitely cannot go wrong.
While some Detroit malls such as Somerset may seem more like Niagara Falls (pretty to look at from a distance), Great Lakes Crossing is a fantastic, down-to-earth, interactive "Disney World" type megamall experience that is extremely lively and has something for just about everybody on the face of the earth. Stores include Rue 21, Love from Michigan, Rainforest Cafe, Burlington Coat Factory, Bass Pro Outdoor World, and a whole lot more.
What to buy: There is a lot of variety, and many of the stores here cannot be found at most other malls.
What to pay: Varies
Henry the Hatter has been hawking hats for over a hundred years!!! If you are a dignified gent or a young rocker, this store has your head covered. Kid rock buys hats here. You're never too young or old for a hat! Anything you want in terms of head gear!!! Check it out.
Deco Doug's is a great little Art Deco shop in the suburb of Royal Oak. When I say little, I mean little! But it is packed with tons of treasure! If you are a lover of Deco this is your place. Doug looks for the best and rarest items-NO JUNK! Not too much furniture here, though. And Doug is a cool guy, too. Stop in, look around and say hi.
This store is very cool. It is full of real Detroit clothes, products, just about anything you can think of. I think they have a website but I'm not sure. Last year for Christmas I bought my little cousins (ages 15 and 13) shirts from there and it was the best present of the night according to them. It's just a fun unique store.
What to buy: They have fun shirts that say Detroit or have the spirit of Detroit on them. They also have bags and hats. One very cool aspect is they also sell Sanders, Fago, and other Detroit based companies stuff.
What to pay: Well it might be considered a bit expenseive. T-shirts are about $20-25, sweatshirts run about $50, but over all it's worth it.
For people who like to shop till they get a frantic call from their partners about the limits on the credit card being breached, Detroit and its surroundings offer many options.
Here are a few....
1. Somerset Mall in Troy
2. The factory outlets at Monroe
3. The factory outlets at Kensington
4. The factory outlets at Birch Run
If you want to get some cool Detroit souvenirs this is a good place to check out. They have shirts, cards, music and food. One of the stores is located in Fisher Building. Getting to walk through and see the building is a good enough reason to make the trip!
Normally I wouldn't get very excited at the prospect of a new chain bookstore, but this is downtown Detroit, and all new investment in the urban core is to be welcomed and honored here. The Barnes & Noble here serves primarily as a campus bookstore for Wayne State University. It features textbooks, a small music department, and a limited selection of commercial titles, as well as tidy luncheon cafe (with wireless internet service available at a nominal charge). It's part of a new complex of buildings that includes the Alumni Association office for WSU, as well as Admissions and some Academic counseling.
Hot Sams in the Compuware building is the place for men that want to be noticed. Located in the compuware building. Also the nearby are Broadway and City Slickers. For Italian labels and alligator shoes. All the ladies will swoon on Sunday when they see those red gators!