It’s hard to get excited about ice skating, gingerbread houses and all that razzmatazz this year. Many of us prepared for Thanksgiving by doing a grim calculus, weighing the need to see our loved ones with the desire to keep them safe; it seems likely that normal December festivities will be canceled or radically altered by similar math. And of course, many more of us than usual are struggling to make ends meet.
But if you’re still buying gifts this year — even last-minute — it’s more crucial than ever to support one particular group: the local, independent business owners who are struggling, too. Mega retailers (cough, Amazon) may be convenient — but finding unique gifts curated and made by Detroiters, while spending your dollars where they’ll be put back into our community, is invaluable.
Plus: it’s way more fun. Find ideas for loved ones (and yourself) in our curated gift guides. Even if you’re shopping locally, the CDC recommends shopping online whenever possible — especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Another great option? Curbside or doorside pick-up from spots like Source Booksellers. If you are heading into a store, wear a mask and consider shops like Boro Resale that offer appointments. Use contactless payment whenever possible, and remember to sanitize your hands before and after entering a store.
This year, let’s step up for Detroit’s businesses, and commit to putting our money where it matters. Here are a handful of Detroit-centric guides so you can cross everyone off your list:
From Kente face masks to award-winning makeup and calming houseplants, find special gifts while shopping at the stores that make Detroit one-of-a-kind. Holiday shopping might not be the festive, carefree activity it’s been in the past. But if you’re buying for loved ones this year, here are some places to pick out meaningful gifts, sold by Black Detroiters who care about their community.
When it comes time to share your love with family and friends, nothing means more than the gift of nourishing food or drink handcrafted by a local farmer, chef, vintner, or crafter. Fortunately, Detroit has abundant options — whether you’re shopping for a chocolate fanatic or wine connoisseur, lover of fine meats or dedicated vegan. (Or if you’re putting together a sumptuous holiday spread.)
There’s a special kind of joy in a great vintage find, and even more in sharing one with a friend or family member. And during COVID times, why not dress up your home lounge act with unique styles and vintage accessories while sparing your wallet the full impact of an off-the-rack shopping spree? Bonus: shopping for holiday gifts at vintage shops is sustainable, too.
In case you hadn’t noticed… Detour is all about shopping small and supporting our local businesses in Detroit. But if you’re not keen on heading to a store right now, we totally get it. There are plenty of great shops around town selling handmade gifts, beautiful clothing and sweet treats that you can purchase with a click of a button.
Fortunately for us, Detroit’s independent bookstore proprietors and writing center founders know our city and region as well as they understand their customers. They’re knowledgeable and passionate about the volumes we want and need to read — and the ones our friends and neighbors write! Though they’ve been hit especially hard by the pandemic, they remain a vital part of our local economy. And they continue to find ways to bring us what we crave — good reads that are relevant to who we are as Detroiters.
This gift-giving season, we checked in with four local bookstore owners and two other writing experts to get their recommendations for the best reads written by native Detroiters (and Michiganders) in 2020. We added some favorites of our own and a few bonus picks from past years.
These Detroit nonprofits stepped up to meet extraordinary need this year, and they deserve your donations
Detour checked in with leaders at six Detroit nonprofits, who shared how they’ve been stretching and adapting their services to support their communities during COVID-19. Donation dollars are currently holding steady, many said, and in a few cases rising, but Detroiters’ needs have increased exponentially, and it’s hard to know what 2021 will bring. Support given now will help these organizations continue to serve Detroiters in new and familiar ways. Want to give the gift of your time? Check out these ways to volunteer to support Detroiters during December and beyond.
To help Detroit’s small businesses get the recognition and love they deserve, the Detour Detroit team launched our Keep Detroit Local program this year, which donated dozens of free newsletter ads to entrepreneurs in need. We’re back this holiday season with our first Keep Detroit Local Virtual Holiday Market. Our promotional partners are some of the most hard-working local business owners, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals you can find in this city — and they are hustling especially hard this holiday season. Check out their fantastic featured items and discounts and surprise someone on your list this holiday season with a local gift that can’t be found in a big-box store.