For as long as I can remember I have focused on my environment and how it makes people feel.
As a kid, I would cherish the Ethan Allen furniture catalog and pour over the pictures for hours. I was far more worried about what Barbie’s house looked like than about her outfits or hair. Barbie’s townhouse rocked!
At 13-years-old I made my very first “home” purchase, an antique, pink glass lamp with a muted, pink, paper shade. I loved it for decades.
Eclectic and Traditional with a side of Industry
My parents took my sister and I to antique shows throughout the Midwest. There I developed my love of the eclectic. Then on family vacations to Williamsburg, VA I developed an appreciation of traditional and classic design.
As a young adult I worked at The Henry Ford and spent hours exploring and researching historic furniture design.
My husband and I would spend weekends working on our homes or scavenging. We enjoyed discovering treasures and hidden historic places with our daughter.
We still tell the story of being attacked by bees while finding a Mission bookcase in an abandoned Farmhouse. It’s the stuff of family legend.
I worked for many years as a teacher and administrator in Detroit’s public and private schools - it’s why the “Principals” door is in the shop.
In the late 90’s my parents opened The Kindred Spirit, a home store in Wyandotte, MI. I LOVED helping my Mom with the store.
Some of my happiest memories are of going to merchandise shows with her, learning the ropes and planning the displays. We had so much fun and ate so many Cobb salads.
Award Winning Craft Beer - and a Design Project
In 2011 my husband and I opened 8º Plato Beer Company in Ferndale, and then a second location in Detroit in 2015. The craft-beer stores have been awarded multiple “Best of” awards in Hour, Metro Times, and WDIV. In 2017 U.S.A. Today named 8º Plato Beer Company in Detroit the third best beer bar in the country.
I designed both of these craft beer retail locations and quickly found that designing on a broader scale was so rewarding.
My desire to open a furniture and interior decor store was re-ignited.
One day, as I prepared our home’s guest room for visitors, I wanted the space to be warm and cozy and couldn’t think of one business in the city-limits of Detroit that had a selection of both sheets and lamps to make this happen.
I was frustrated that I would have to go outside the Detroit city-limits to find the home goods I needed.
That set the wheels in motion for Urbanum.