It's a pretty cool day when you meet folks who know what they want.
First, you'll walk away buzzing from a really great gabfest. Then,
you'll begin to start to putting a face to the mad energy that's
helping change Detroit. So naturally, after a sit-down with two Detroit
residents and entrepreneurs who know that they want beautiful flowers
and a new and better Detroit, you'll walk away supporting the exact
same things they do.
Self-proclaimed workaholics, Robbin
Yelverton and Jerome Raska, joined creative forces six years ago after
realizing that they both had the same love of the bloom that they did
of the city of Detroit. The result was a little flower shop that could
simply named: Blumz
. "We're not your typical mom and pop flower shop,"
says Yelverton. "We can do traditional flower work, but we like the weird,
fun stuff." Raska adds, "If someone wants florals that make a
statement, we're the ones they need to call. The bottom line is this,
in today's marketplace you can buy flowers in a lot of places, it's
what we can do with the flowers that sets us apart."
starting out in an interior space within the First National Building
that was no bigger than a walk-in cooler, Blumz now has a spacier
location inside the Tobin Building in Harmonie Park. The new Blumz
space has become just one of the gang in the resurging area and now
proudly boasts an art gallery and networking space, home accent pieces
for loft-dwellers and of course, the pretty flowers.
to be a part of the city and everything that's going on. We're lovin'
it,' says Yelverton. "You know, I'm originally from rural Mississippi so
you can't beat watching things unfurl from a storefront downtown. We
also came to find out that our corner of the Tobin used to be a flower
shop so we're sort of bringing the flowers back to Broadway and
Gratiot. Sort of karmic, really."
Blumz also opened a location
on Eight Mile right on the border of Detroit and Ferndale. Originally
leased out to be a studio/warehouse space, the two quickly decided that
that area needed some love and some flowers, too. Their quick decision
to open up shop has translated into a thriving business and the Eight
Mile Beautification Award three years running. "We like to take ugly
things and make them pretty," Raska says.
Even though Raska
and Yelverton have been Detroiters for just shy of a decade, they pimp
their University District neighborhood and the live/work in the city
thing like lifelong residents. "I personally came to Detroit because of
the architecture and stayed because of the people," says Raska. "You
can have a big sports event and people will converge on the city and
that's fabulous, but they come and then they go. The thing that we like
most about the city right now is that we're seeing a lot of residents
moving back in. To us that's key. And, we want the residents of the
city of Detroit to be our customers," he finishes.
Thanks, Blumz guys. With you two in our midst, Detroit has never looked (and smelled) so darn good.
Flowers at Blumz
Jerome Raska and Robbin
Flowers at Blumz
Blumz in the Tobin Building in Harmonie Park
All Photographs Copyright Dave Krieger