Corporations pulled out all the stops during this year's Pride Month, elevating and profiting from the rainbow mafia through witty slogans, gleeful commercials and social media campaigns. They outdid themselves, from Lil Nas X's UGG and Pacific Pride Foundation campaign to Levi's "respect all pronouns" collection. But, since that colorful month, there hasn't been much LGBTQ+ promotion. It's almost as if it was all a strategy — which is wild, right?
Well, we all know it's no coincidence. It's the nature of capitalism. Unfortunately, LGBTQ-owned spaces and businesses get swallowed up in the oversaturated, heteronormative media and market. However, the good news is that our community knows how to uplift one another, and this holiday season, we are continuing that notion.
So, here are six you should keep on your radar during the gift-giving season.
Hugh opened a pop-up retail store in 2009 and since then has gathered a tremendous amount of success, winning the Hatch Detroit retail prize along the way. Later, in 2012, it opened its brick and mortar in Midtown, Detroit, catering to all things domestic. You'll find a selection of housewares, personal accessories, crafted books, furniture and lighting in a classic modern aesthetic similar to "Mad Men." Experience the brand and shop at 4240 Cass Ave. in Detroit.
Blumz by JRDesigns
Blumz by JRDesigns is for all the flower-power babes out there. Located in Ferndale and Holly, this award-winning full-service floral, wedding and event planning company will help you with all your holiday festivities. As stated on their website, co-owners Jerome Raska and Robbin Yelverton make it their mission to provide "high-quality floral products, award-winning designs, and unsurpassed service at competitive prices." You can shop in person in or online 24/7 on their website.
Dare to be Yer'self
Self-empowerment is a lifestyle, and Dare to be Yer'self knows how to help you live that life. This Detroit-based inspirational brand was founded in 2019 and advocates for individualism and self-actualization. Through their apparel, they promote positive sentiments and messages. The brand's offerings can be found online, in selective boutiques and as part of pop-up store partnerships with companies like Neiman Marcus. Ty Davis, CEO of Dare to be Yer'self, says he comes up with a concept for their apparel each month. For November, their message is "Dare to be Thankful." On the brand, Davis says, "I feel like everyone is so scared to be, but if you dare to be, what more do you have to worry about?"
Not Sorry Goods
Not Sorry Goods wants you not only to look good but also to feel good while doing good. It's a sustainable, ethically-sourced shop based in Ferndale that focuses on future-focused inclusive and equitable products. Owners Jess Minnick and Dy-min Johnson provide a safe shopping space where you'll find apparel, clothing accessories, home goods and trinkets like key chains, charms and more. The style is vintage with a cutting-edge flair. Not Sorry Goods is located at 22963 Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.
Raffa Reuther, an interdisciplinary artist, started to create gender-neutral clothing in 2018 to fix the issues they were having as a non-binary person. "I was designing for myself, but it resonated with a lot of people," they said. "[Later], I realized how important it is to me to give people gender euphoria." Their self-titled brand Raffa features oversize work coats, overalls, button-downs, wrap sets and playsuits. All wearables are made by hand in Detroit using locally sourced, hand-dyed fabrics. In addition, Reuther works on commission and tailors to those looking to gift an original piece to their gender-neutral special someone. Check out the Raffa website or Instagram for more information.
The Copper House "Bud" and Breakfast
Copper House is a home away from home, tucked conveniently into northwest Detroit. You'll recognize the 1932 brick home by its copper awning and billowing Pride Flag. After traveling through Europe and experiencing houseboats, hostels and Airbnb rentals, owners Jess and Cara Jackson turned the Detroit home into a 420-friendly, "bud" and breakfast safe space. One night in this rustic-boho space is only $80 and includes continental breakfast and access to other arranged luxuries such as massages, sound meditation or a bud-tending excursion. According to their website, Copper House aims to create guest "experiences." For more information or to book your own experience, check out the Copper House website and Instagram.