Photos by Brian Rozman Photos by Brian Rozman

From toys to jewelry, these southeastern Michigan shops give you unique gifts for the holidays with an important message behind them.

FERNDALE, Mich.—The winter holidays are fast approaching and new opportunities to support local businesses. In an unprecedented year complete with a pandemic, civil unrest, and an economic crisis, Michigan shoppers are more mindful of the ways they spend their dollar.

In southeastern Michigan, business owners like Melannie Chard are proud to operate locally and serve her customers—ethically.

“I moved back to Michigan six years ago to see how my skills would translate to helping emerging and mid-level artists solidify their markets here,” Chard, who spent the first ten years of her career at the famed Sotheby’s auction and exited as its vice president, told The ‘Gander.

Her gallery, M Contemporary Art, prominently displays a Black Lives Matter sign in the front window that Chard said she considers a “no brainer.” 

“For me, it was about expressing my support for my friends and my community,” she said. 

And her support goes beyond the signage. Certain purchases through the gallery directly support Black Lives Matter and other local initiatives to see meaningful progress come to Black communities.

Half of the proceeds from sales of Rashun Rucker’s Reguget Cineribus series will be donated to the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit-based LGBTQ+ haven for Black queer people.

“I represent a lot of Black artists,” Chard said. “I have a lot of Black friends and live in Detroit. I never really considered not doing [my Black Lives Matter sign]. I have one on my house too.”

Michiganders can shop consciously as you shop small and local this season with these metro Detroit businesses. Each supports the local economy, practices social distancing, and believes that Black Lives Matter.

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Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry

Sum Girls Boutique

3015 Twelve Mile Rd. | Sustainable fashion for “teens, tweens, and ladies of all ages”


Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry

Margaux & Max

224 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Women’s clothing


23700 Woodward Ave. | New and used clothing


Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry

Bags & Beads

22750 Woodward Ave. | Handbags and accessories

Tooth & Nail

22801 Woodward Ave. | Jewelry and oddities

Food & Drink

Detroit Bubble Tea

22821 Woodward Ave. | Bubble tea, cafe

Drifter Coffee

770 Woodward Heights Ave. | Coffee shop, community space

Hair & Beauty


251 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Beauty salon

The Hi Hat

195 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Hat and barber shop

Lefty’s Barbershop

155 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Specializing in classic cuts

Lucky Star Salon

23333 Woodward Ave. | Unisex salon

Rouge Organic Beauty

23337 Woodward Ave. | Nails, brows, lashes, makeup

Socially Distanced Experiences

9 Lives Tattoos & Piercings

309 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Body modification

Found Sound

234 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Record store

M Contemporary Art

205 E. Nine Mile Rd. | Contemporary art gallery

Painting with a Twist

200 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Pro-guided painting (booze optional)


Nine Furniture and Design

22757 Woodward Ave. | Vintage and handmade furniture

BDT Smoke Shops

23420 Woodward Ave. | Smoke accessories, tobacco

The Rocket

200 W. Nine Mile Rd. | Toy, candy store

SEE MORE: Gander Green Wave: Michiganders Want More Weed Businesses in Their Towns—and Said So at the Polls



N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

52 E. Forest Ave. | Contemporary art gallery featuring artists of the African disapora

Hair & Beauty

The Social Club Grooming Co

1515 Broadway St. | Barber shop


Detroit Bikes

13639 Elmira St. | Bicycle shop


Novelties & Books

Book Suey

10345 Joseph Campau Ave. | Bookstore

Detroit Threads

10238 Joseph Campau Ave. | Vintage clothing, music, movies

Royal Oak



228 W. 4th St. | Art gallery, novelties

Why Shop on Small Business Saturday?

Small businesses Saturday is observed Nov. 28. The day immediately follows Black Friday, where large retailers like Amazon and Walmart offer deep discounts in an effort to garner a large portion of the holiday money spent. 

And just two days later, local businesses compete against Cyber Monday, a day traditionally reserved for even deeper discounts for shoppers at online retailers. It’s estimated that US shoppers spent more than $9 billion in online sales alone last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Small Business Saturday—initially started as a marketing and economic recovery stimulus tactic after the 2008 recession—brought in an estimated $19 billion nationally, according to a BusinessWire report.

All photos by Brian Rozman.

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