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Lifestyle Guides

Shopping

Rust Belt Market

Burn Rubber

Incognito

P2 Exchange

In metro Detroit you will find a surprising number of independently-owned clothing boutiques, record shops, sneaker stores, rare book stores, home goods stores, and stores of eccentricity. Below are some of the highlights of metro Detroit's most retail-rich neighborhoods. 
Rust Belt Market
The Rust Belt Market is an eclectic artists' market featuring local artisans selling hand-made items ranging from rockabilly metalworkers to jewelry makers that use reclaimed materials. The Rust Belt, open weekends in downtown Ferndale, is one of the premier shopping destinations in metro Detroit.
 
Pink Pump, P2, P2 Exchange
Pink Pump is the brainchild of Tawny Thieu, an ambitious entrepreneur who is building an empire throughout southeastern Michigan that has grown from the original Pink Pump flagship store to two spin-off concepts, the more youth-oriented and affordable P2 and the accessories and candy store P2 Exchange. There are now four Pink Pump locations (Royal Oak, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, and Ann Arbor), two P2 locations (Royal Oak and West Bloomfield) and a P2 Exchange (Royal Oak).
 
Burn Rubber
Burn Rubber is a sneaker boutique located in downtown Royal Oak that has such a strong following it even spawned its own Eminem-produced cable show, Detroit Rubber.
 
two/eighteen
two/eighteen is a concept by the owners of Burn Rubber that expands beyond sneakers into clothing, other footwear, and leather goods like belts and wallets.
 
Twisted Shamrock
At the Twisted Shamrock in downtown Ferndale, it's St. Patrick's Day every day. Check them out for a wide variety of fine Celtic jewelry, Celtic tile art, clothing, crystals, and gifts.
 
Incognito
Incognito is a Royal Oak institution, specializing in goth, punk, fetish and rock clothing, footwear, eyewear and accessories.
 
UHF
The golden era of the independent record store may be behind us, but that doesn't mean they're gone. UHF is located in downtown Royal Oak and specializes in hard-to-find vinyl. They also sell new and used CDs.
 
Boston Tea Room
For spiritualists, the Boston Tea Room (with locations in Ferndale and Wyandotte) carries a large selection of spiritual items and also offers a host of readings including tarot and palmistry.
 
The Book Beat
The Book Beat in Oak Park is an independent bookstore that also hosts author events. The Book Beat specializes in rare and limited items in special interest categories and also sells music and movies.
 
Shapes
Shapes in downtown Royal Oak is a well-curated women's clothing and accessories boutique.
 
Caruso Caruso
Caruso Caruso in downtown Birmingham is a fashion-forward women's clothing store that specializes in designer denim in a variety of price points.
 
Bright Ideas
For contemporary home furnishings, look no further than Bright Ideas. Their showroom on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak has been offering some of the best opportunities for window shopping for years. If you drool over the pages of Dwell, this is the home furnishings store for you.
 
The Dirt Label
The Dirt Label is a clothing brand and a way of life. Their flagship store is located in downtown Royal Oak, where you can shop their T-shirt collection featuring all of their own unique designs.
 
John King Books
Sister store to the celebrated John King Books downtown, this Ferndale location is smaller but still packed full of used books covering a wide range of subjects.
 
Revive
Revive in downtown Birmingham carries exclusive high-end streetwear, edgy men's fashions at the top of current trends.
 
Off the Beaten Path Books
The recently-reopened Off the Beaten Path Books in downtown Farmington specializes in all things steampunk, from literature to elaborate costume pieces. They also host steampunk and fantasy events with programming for both adults and children.
 
Dearborn Music
Though they recently located to a new storefront just down Michigan Avenue from their original store, Dearborn Music is still alive and strong. Serving the Detroit area since 1956, Dearborn Music sells vinyl, new and used CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, rock T-shirts and more. They have over 50,000 titles in stock.
 
COMPLEX Boutique
This two-story fashion mall/maze in downtown Birmingham houses several different concepts under one roof, including furniture, clothing, gifts, gadgets and accessories.
 
DETROIT
 
Pure Detroit
With three locations in the Fisher Building, the Guardian Building, and the Renaissance Center
If you really want to show your Detroit, wear it. Pure Detroit first opened in 1998 and has grown into three retail locations along with three cafes (Stella Good Coffee in both the Fisher and the Guardian and the Rowland Café in the Guardian) and a women's specialty store (Vera Jane in the Fisher). Pure Detroit is more than just a clothing store: it is a lifestyle brand, and it has come to represent the city itself. Their goal is the amp up local culture through concerts, book readings, cultural events, mini-scholarships, event sponsorships, and art exhibits and commissions. Check out one of their retail spots for a collection of Detroit lovers' goods.
 
Nest
Selling housewares, sundries and gift items in the emerging shopping and design district at Cass and Canfield in Midtown, Nest stocks an eclectic mix of items (many locally-made) including linen napkins, dishware, aprons from Detroit Denim Co., soaps, beeswax candles, French glassware, Mrs. Meyers hand and dish soap, and so much more.
 
City Bird
Owned by the same siblings who own Nest, City Bird (located right next door to Nest) also offers a variety of gift items and housewares, but all with a distinctly Detroit flair. City Bird is a store, gallery and studio that carries a full line of Detroit-themed housewares, accessories, jewelry, and paper goods designed and manufactured in-house. They also carry items from more than 200 area designers.
 
Hugh
As Detroit's original pop-up, Hugh takes its name and inspiration from one Hugh Hefner, paying homage to the classic bachelor pad style of the Mad Men-era 1960s. Carrying a carefully-selection collection of both new and vintage items (which includes everything from crystal barware to vintage Playboy magazines and furniture), Hugh elevates Detroit's home décor shopping options to a whole new level.
 
Nora
Better known as the girl next door (to Hugh, that is), Nora – located in the Auburn Building in Midtown next to Hugh, and with a shared owner to the modern man's store – Nora takes a more design-centric approach to its inventory, featuring Scandinavian housewares, Japanese pottery, Detroit jewelry, and more.
 
John King Books
John K. King Used & Rare Books is a Detroit institution. It is Michigan largest used and rare books store, and one of the largest in the country. You can easily spend hours pouring over their tens of thousands of titles. Serious book lovers need to check out their rare book room, filled with roughly 30,000 rare titles (by appointment only).
 
The Detroit Mercantile Co.
Part retail store and part de facto Detroit history museum, the Detroit Mercantile Co. stocks a collection of Detroit memorabilia which includes antique and vintage items as well as concert poster prints from local artists, clothing items from Carhatt, books, bicycle cruisers from Detroit Bicycle Co., records from Beehive Recording Co. It's like a general store of all Detroit goods.
 
Signal-Return
Another letterpress studio located in Eastern Market (the first of the independent letterpress studios that have recently opened in the city), Signal-Return is a 3,000-square-foot storefront that merges workshops, galleries, exhibition space, archives and retail operations. In addition to posters, prints, and paper goods designed and printed in-house, they also offer a number of different workshops on letterpress printing. 

For more information and stories about cities in Oakland County, check out Oakland County Prosper
 
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