You may wonder why the executive director of a housing nonprofit is writing about shopping and fashion, but it’s quite simple: When I moved back to Lansing after over 20 years in Detroit, it appeared there were no great places to shop. The iconic Jacobson’s had long since shut its doors, Grand River Avenue had become a sea of fast-food restaurants and bars and even the once crowded malls became somewhat geared toward tweens and teens. It was only then that I began my search to feed my second love: shopping — my first love is my darling hubby, Jeff.
Dear readers, you should know: I learned to shop at the knee of my expert mother, the owner of the locally celebrated Maureen G, which was a small boutique in Okemos for over 10 years. We closed the store not long after mom’s early and unexpected death in 1998. For years when it was open, many women in our community made stopping at Maureen G a “must” on their weekly to-do list. Mom had her finger on the pulse of fashion, a trait passed down to two of her three daughters. Sorry, second daughter.
But back to present day and the dearth of shopping in the community. I soon found that I hadn’t looked hard enough for good shops. Distinctive and cool things were available in Old Town, and I was able to impress my Detroit friends with a candle purchased at October Moon for a friend’s “special birthday.”
The deeper I dug for not-so-hidden shopping treasures, the more I learned that talking to people is the best way to find the treasures that reside in our community. I was eventually invited to home-shopping parties — something I never did in Detroit — and instantly became hooked on cabi©. My stylist, Wesley, even convinced me to host an at-home event and I’ve been an enthusiast ever since.
All-in-all, there are fantastic, unique places to shop right here in our local community. They may not be as visible as Michigan Avenue in Chicago or Somerset Collection in Troy, but they are all around us: not just clothes and jewelry, mind you, but food, furniture, shoes — never forget the shoes — home goods and virtually anything else that’s out there.