Maker of the Month | 6th + Detroit
I wandered into 6th + Detroit a few weeks back + am so unbelievably happy I did. As a newer resident to Long Beach I've been delving into new neighborhoods every weekend in hopes of finding some treasures, 6th + Detroit is just that, a true treasure in the heart of the East Village. You'll find home goods both old + new, midcentury finds + one of the greatest collections of tropical plants I've ever seen. Owner, visionary + curator, Michelle Qazi, is a truly talented shop owner, a lover of all things vintage, + 70's bohemia.
I'm so excited to share our latest Maker of the Month
One of my favorite parts about living in Long Beach is the supportive community of people + businesses. They seem to support one another + encourage each other to keep expanding + growing, without a doubt you can feel the love in this amazing store. You walk in to a light + bright space with vintage brick walls + greens lining the way, you can't help but start wandering around. It's like my dream jungle that I wish I could live in. I also couldn't help but pick up a super green tropical palm for my own space : )
As I shot photos around the brick + mortar, Michelle + I talked about her plans for the shop, the joys of bohemian home design + how to find the balance between multiple businesses + everyday life. Chatting with her is beyond inspirational, you can feel the love she has for her shop + it's truly rewarding. You can find the entire Q + A below!
MEET THE MAKER | 6TH + DETROIT
F+K | Can you give a little background on you + how you founded 6th + Detroit?
Michelle | 6th + Detroit started in April 2015 on Etsy when I saw it as a fun little hobby to do from home with the kids. I always had a deep love for vintage so I started accumulating a pretty large collection of finds that wouldn’t fit in our home, so the only logical thing to do was to sell them. I’ll never forget when I made my first sale + the rush that came over me. It was so exciting + exhilarating! But even after that, I always told myself, that this was just a hobby + for fun so keep it light + don’t stress over it.
F+K |What drew you to owning a store front?
Michelle | Months went on with Etsy + I started to sell the bigger pieces + ship furniture to the east coast. It wasn’t easy or fun, but I was getting the hang of it, so I went out + bought more bigger pieces to add to the Etsy shop. The biggest problem with this was the lack of storage. Our home was beginning to become a massive warehouse of vintage furniture.
When I started making some decent sales + had a few successful pop ups in Long Beach, the idea of a brick and mortar came about mostly as a storage solution. But when I was presented with the East Village space for rent, it was a match made in heaven. I was hooked + had to have it immediately. I couldn’t see 6th + Detroit anywhere else. I have Shop Anniese + Peacock & Co. to thank for bringing me there. And now, Kimberly + Stephanie are my very close friends whom I adore + cherish and will always be forever grateful they invited me to their neighborhood.
f+k | What all does 6th + Detroit offer?
Michelle | Vintage home decor accessories, vintage furniture, + new home items from local or small businesses. I’ve recently announced rental services for photo shoots + events which I am currently working on to have on the website. Other services I strive to provide in the near future is interior design, prop styling, staging + event styling. All things I’d like to tie into the brand someday.
f+k | How did you come up with the name?
Michelle | 6th + Detroit are the cross streets in LA of my first apartment where I first fell in love with vintage furniture. I remember having it empty for so long when I first got it because I couldn’t afford any furniture. Goodwill + Salvation Army saved me + it was an instant love affair with vintage.
f+k | How does your location inspire you?
Michelle | Long Beach is so eclectic + full of different walks of life. Every corner you turn can be completely new. Downtown is changing so much for the better + I really wanted to be a part of this movement in making East Village a real destination for visitors.
f+k | What did you do before you started 6th + Detroit?
Michelle | I was in the entertainment industry for a very long time. Right out of college I worked at a hair/makeup/styling agency in their art department laying out all the artists portfolios, which led me to meet a well known celebrity photographer Andrew Macpherson + become his in house producer. From there I worked as a locations agent booking locations for print + motion, then left the industry all together once I got pregnant because the commute from Long Beach was a bit much.
Bundling all that creative experience up, it’s pretty much paved the way for what I was meant to do, which is this right here. All of the mistakes I’ve made in my careers + failures have lead me to my dream job.
f+k | What’s your favorite piece in the shop right now?
Michelle | My favorite piece in the shop would be the pair of green tufted leather chairs. Hands down coolest chairs I’ve ever found. Green is my favorite color, but this particular shade of green is so rich + deep. I can’t even handle how beautiful they are! It kills me that I don’t have room for them even if I forced it.
f+k | What’s been a consistent best seller?
Michelle | The consistent best seller would definitely have to be bar carts + plant hangers. People are now starting to display beautiful barware on bar carts + I think it's great. With the whole plant movement happening, anything I sell plant related is always a winner.
f+k | What’s one piece of advice you’d give to female entrepreneurs?
Michelle | "Take the leap ... don’t let fear take over what you believe in ... you will never know until you try" These are all words by peers that inspired me to open up the shop.
f+k | How do you define beauty?
Michelle | Beauty is everywhere + in everything.
f+k | What’s your ideal Sunday morning look like?
Michelle | My typical Sunday morning is making the kids breakfast, staying in pjs just a tad longer + taking our time getting ready for the day. Tend to the outside plants, open up shop at 11am with the boys (my husband rides his bike Sundays) + grab a juice next door at Revive. When I am NOT working, I enjoy going to the beach, surfing, taking the boys to the skate park, camping + just being outdoors. The very few times when I am alone + can find the time, I love tennis + diving into a good book poolside at home.
f+k | Any special events/pop ups/collaborations coming up?
Michelle | We are festival participants with Music Tastes Good, 9.23-9.25, + are extending our hours + promoting a storewide sale. October 9th I'm collaborating with Peacock & Co for a West Elm Pop Up at South Coast Plaza. In November, the shop will have another pop up featuring a handful of local + small business owners to showcase their stuff for holiday shoppers.
f+k | Has 6th + Detroit changed much since you started?
Michelle | The biggest change that’s happened was incorporating plants into the shop. When I first opened, I used them more as accents to all the baskets + pots, but soon realized people wanted to buy the plants with the item. So I started accenting the shop with more plants making sure as to not overlap what my dear friend, Stephanie of Peacock & Co. My plant vibe is more on the larger scale, tropical side + anything heart shaped I’m drawn to.
f+k | Where has some of your work been featured?
Michelle | The shop has only been open for 5 months but we did get a rad write up in OC Weekly in May! There was one time one of the baskets that was listed on Etsy last year was featured on My Domaine + sold within minutes of it posting which was really cool.
f+k | What’s next for 6th + Detroit?
Michelle | Launching the rental service officially on the website + continuing to add to its inventory. Hopefully add online shopping to the website, while still running Etsy at the same time. Introduce prop styling, event styling + interior design in the near future!
There is so much goodness happening at 6th + Detroit I feel lucky to even have a glimpse into the world that Michelle has created. She is one of the sweetest + most inspirational women I've ever met, her shop + all it's success is a reflection of her spirit. If + when you make your way to Long Beach, her shop (along with her friends she mentioned above, Shop Anneise + Peacock + Co) should be at the top of your list! Thank you 6th + Detroit for simply existing + allowing me to share you on the blog!