I have to admit that getting yet again another invite to an event that touts anything with the shape of a mitten, which at this point is code for hand-to-cheek slap, almost made me eye roll Middle West.
But then I read Middle West's tag line of "hard-earned style." Now I sat up and took notice -- and so should you -- of this very unique pop-up shop happening the weekend before ArtPrizers invade the sidewalks with their camera phones at the ready.
For starters, Ted Velie of Globe Vise and Truck offers a few key points to encourage you to add a stop at the Division Avenue location of this Michigan-friendly store.
First off, the shop really came to be in a wholly different fashion than most often do. Instead of just choosing Michigan brands they could get easily, the team pooled their contact lists and reached for the stars both near and far.
The result is an eclectic mix of brands, from Haworth to Wolverine to the brand new tie maker from Grand Haven. There are more than 34 brands on offer in a shop that has been built to look like a modern urban apartment with a kitchen, a living room, and even a finely appointed closet.
Middle West has made space for brands like Detroit Wallpaper (last seen at UICA this summer), international artist Kelly Allen, and even Detroit Denim, who will be on site taking your measurements to make you a custom pair of jeans from their shop in Detroit – not some factory in China.
And that is the point: your acts of consumerism committed here do make an impact here. Michigan's history is built around the maker culture that spurred generations of growth, and that same maker spirit is on display here in a wonderful presentation meant to take the mystery out of selecting items for your residence or body.
Velie even laughed when he said that they assigned personalities to the rooms they were creating, often arguing that "he would never have THAT in his apartment" to "I bet she would actually have a Pinterest page to capture her design ideas."
All this banter between a very creative team of local designers points to one fact as they scramble to "move in" this week: this is going to be an event you can experience in person or read about later. There will be no middle ground.
You can support the home team by buying any number of the items on site or place an order for the more custom things to be delivered to your front door … no matter where you call home.