Shop Local For 2021 Holidays

By: Mark H. Stowers

Boats are stuck offshore unable to unload billions of dollars’ worth of goods. Supply chains around the United States are all janked up. Christmas is coming and if you haven’t stocked up on gifts, that ship has sailed or is stuck in the harbor. It’s time to think local – even hyper local. It’s time to think outside the shipping container, so to speak. Southeast Oakland County actually has a gold mine of creative opportunity and not just a gift card from 7/11. Here are some of our ideas for those who want to shop local for 2021 holidays.


Think of gifts that are not so ordinary. Gift cards to a favorite local store are a twofold gift of sorts. You spend money with your favorite local store and then your giftee goes back in and probably maxes out the gift card and more. Here are some stores and organizations to think about patronizing for the Christmas season.

The revitalization of Detroit has spawned distinctive shopping up and down Woodward Avenue. Detroit is the New Black is clothing store with men’s and women’s fashion inspired by the street. The Eldorado General Store on Michigan Avenue helps you spell funky with vintage clothing, bohemian jewelry and incredible handcrafted gifts.

There are watches and then there’s Shinola watches. Oh, and bicycles and leather goods as well as curated gift items. Located on Canfield Street, there’s something for everyone. Moving up Woodward, there’s plenty of shopping adventure in every town and every corner.

Royal Oak and Ferndale are home to plenty of funky shopping favorites that cover a gamut of fashion taste and food flavor. Made in the Mitten on Washington is a Royal Oak favorite. From men’s beard butter to saltwater taffy and cherry products and all things Detroit and Michigan. Gift baskets galore and corporate gifts from 100 plus vendors scattered across Michigan, Made in the Mitten has the perfect gift, even for he pickiest giftee. Open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 706 Washington brick and mortar location may look small on the outside but huge on the inside with a gift waiting for you.

Check out Poesy in Royal Oak as well. The “happy retail store” has plenty of hand made works from many local and national artists. This just might be the year to shop local and go handmade and original with your gifts. Poesy is a definite stop on your shopping trail. Christmas decoration, holiday candles, ornaments, calendars, fresh flowers and even art classes. With more than 300 artists represented, Poesy has something creative for anyone on your list. They feature handcrafted creative works from local and national artists including functional art, fine art and photography. Poesy is a great place to find the perfect gift or something special for yourself. They are located On The East Side Of Woodward Between 13 And 14 Mile Roads.

Jim Shaffer and Associates

The Royal Oak Leprechauns, a member of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, has their own unique swag and tickets to a game or even a season ticket. And who doesn’t need a bit of luck of the Irish throughout the year? Check them out at

If you’re headed for Berkley, there’s plenty of shopping options and adventures. Check out Tootie and Tallulah’s on Twelve Mile. The unique gift, art and home consignment boutique takes a fresh and lively approach to reusing, renewing and restyling your home decor and environment. Their Fair Trade collection consisting of recycled/repurposed gift items, has a gift idea for everyone. You’ll also find products make in the USA and Made In Michigan too. Turn your items into someone else’s treasures and make a little cash through consignment. They also provide delivery and pick-up upon request.

Keep strolling downtown Berkley for gift treasures at such shops as Vitrine, Peninsulas, June and December, Catching Fireflies, Sum Girls Boutique, Reduex, Annabelle’s and much more. Unique gifts and ideas as unique as Berkley itself. For those who enjoy being a foodie, check out Mongers’ Provisions. Don’t count the calories but do count the endless styles and flavors of cheeses if you dare. Tempesta Wagyu Pastrami will make any charcuterie board a hit. Mongers’ is bound to please and no one leaves thirsty as their wine, beer and ciders span the globe. Over 100 Chocolates, jams and jellies and all foods with a story – take a culinary journey for gift ideas that will have you and the giftee hungry for more. There’s so much flavor at Mongers,’ you may have to expand your gift list.

Stopping in Ferndale is always a must for Christmas shopping. Whether it’s the Rust Belt Market with over 40 boutiques, craft vendors, vintage resellers and oh – a full bar. There literally is something for everyone. Check them out at Nine Mile and Woodward. The “funky” city has an eclectic offering of shopping outlets such as the Whimsical Wit for “interesting and moderately priced items” including bath and body, candles, décor, kitchen items, pets, pillows and even workshops to be part of.

Be sure and check out the Green Daffodil for soy candles, and honest, handmade daily body and bath items. Rocket Candy Novelties Shop is sure to please the pickiest giftee. Vogue Vintage will keep you busy for hours on end exploring their treasures and Inner Sage: The Shop has plenty of unique gift ideas. For clothing, check out Margaux and Max and The Collective for “serious cool” clothes. Bridal shops, baby stores and even a shoe store demand shopping attention with their treasures as well.

Everybody by Dutton Farm is a social enterprise that has a mission to supply natural and high-quality body products while removing barriers to employment and community access for people with disabilities. That being said, hit them up for cedar, cinnamon apple, driftwood or any of the other dozen scents. There’s also bath and body products (body butter? – wow!) soaps and scrubs and more. Hats, hoodies and more as well as corporate gifts. They offer bundles and holiday collections and for that picky giftee – gift cards. Hit them up at Questions? (248) 955-9952. They’re located at 64 N Saginaw Street in Pontiac.

Clawson, the little city with a big heart, offers off the beaten path shopping with the perfect gift in mind. Located just west of downtown on 14 Mile, Leon and LuLu offers an eclectic mix of furniture and design, clothing and accessories and much more. One-of-a-kind furniture as well as heirloom quality custom upholstery create the gift that says you’re special. Rugs, artwork, crystal chandeliers and even vintage tin mirrors are some of what you’ll find. Coffee, dining and accent tables, buffets, consoles and sideboards, dining chairs, pillows and throws await your perusal. Head on down to Clawson and check out the former movie theatre and find just what you’re looking for.

Jim Shaffer and Associates

Cultivate Art also calls Clawson home. The Retail space is filled with makers and artists who showcase their handmade gifts and products. Exciting spices, mulled wine, hot cocoa and chai tea can be found in one artists space. Vegan desserts, repurposed art, inspiring photos and more can be found in this unique community. Homemade jewelry from layered glass and Petoskey stones, earrings, bracelets and necklaces and more distinctive pieces can be found. A little bit of everything to stuff a stocking or put under your tree.

Hihi, in downtown Royal Oak on 4th Street, has a mix of concept toys and gifts for all ages. Aggretsuko, Gudetama, Unicornos, squishys, llamas, Pusheen, Pokémon, Totoro and more can be found. With Michigan’s largest selection of Hello Kitty products, there’s still room for dozens more. Plenty of parking available but don’t dawdle and get to Royal Oak for these out of the ordinary gift ideas.

Just about every suburb has its niche of specialized shopping and gifts the big box stores and malls don’t have a clue about. Rochester’s Main Street offers The Urban Merchant – home goods store, Janet Varner’s Inc – women’s clothing, B2 Outlet Store for all types of clothing and much more. Stroll and shop and understand what unique really means.

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