Metro Detroit shop owners offer deals for Small Business Saturday

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Nov 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-26 15:11:30-05

DETROIT, Mich. — Shoppers across metro Detroit spent Saturday visiting local stores in honor of Small Business Saturday.

In Downtown Detroit, Hundreds of customers walked through Cadillac Square checking out local businesses.

"The small shops and the independent restaurants, those are the places we always go to," said Philip Mikolajewski who was downtown with his wife.

"It’s nice to give back and keep (small businesses) going and especially after the shutdown we’ve had for the last couple years," said Jody Mikolajewski as she stood next to her husband. "It’s best to support them and keep their business going.

Cadillac Square features all kinds of businesses. There's a harcuterie store, a book store, places where customers can find custom t-shirts and ornaments, a pet store, internationally imported goods and more.

Shop owners say Saturday couldn't come at a better time as small businesses come out of the pandemic and now deal with crushing inflation.

"The pandemic was really hard especially not being able to connect with people or having a real place to sell but actually having almost your own little store downtown is really cool for a small business," said Andrea Zelenak who is the owner of Ink Courage. "Just to be able to interact with customers is really great just to see what people like and to hear how they connect with every product."

Zelenak sells t-shirts, mugs and more with words of encouragement on them. She says sometimes she uses phrases customers suggest. Her goal is to uplift people wearing and viewing the merchandise.

"I started this when my friend was going through a difficult time. It was something where I didn’t know what to do or what to say but I thought if she could wear encouraging words throughout her day she’d know that I was rooting for her," said Zelenak.

A few shops down Naima Melonson, who is the owner of Young Socialites Clothier, says sunglasses were in high demand. Melonson says most of the pieces in her shop are custom designs.

"This is a great opportunity for local independent business owners just to show the city what they can bring into the city and hopefully this can go on for the next couple years," said Melonson.

Outside of downtown, small businesses remained the star of the show Saturday.

In Saint Clair Shores, in what appeared to just be an office building, several business owners gathered for a small business pop up shop called the Pray, Hustle, SlaySmall Business Saturday Market.

"Pray, Hustle, Slay is a platform for entrepreneurs," said Rodnesha Ross who organized the event. "We started out as an apparel brand but now we’re helping other entrepreneurs getting started with vending and also education."

The pop up shop featured a hand full of vendors selling desserts, hair care products, crystals, jewelry, vitamins and clothing. There was also a pair young sisters showcasing a book they wrote called The Fashion Sisters.

"It’s about two sisters, Christa and Camilla who have an idea to put on a fashion show. Our mom decided we should write a book because we did fashion shows around the house and she thought it was a great idea,” said Dalia Boone as she stood next to her sister Dalise.