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Everything You Want to Know About Detroit Artifactry in Corktown

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All photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Designers, out of town visitors, and collectors of all things Detroit are finding a new shop to search for antiques and gifts right in Corktown. Detroit Artifactry opened in late October of 2015 and attracts new shoppers—and inventory—every day.

Wandering around the 2,000-square-foot garage space, you'll find a variety of Detroit-based gifts, decor, and furniture for the home. On a winter afternoon, we saw old signs, toys, books, bottles, pictures, tiles, tables, chairs, wine racks, and lamps collected throughout the years. They also carry a nice selection of jewelry made by local artisans. You can find items you won't see anywhere else, including many industrial repurposed items, such as lamps made from old speakers.

Owner Gail Kaye retired from her high-stress job to open Detroit Artifactry last year and focus on what she loves: collecting. Gail and her husband John scour flea markets and work with local dealers and artisans to find items to sell at their store.

The garage was built in 1953 and served as a speedometer shop for years. It sits right next to Mercury Bar and across the street from Slow's and Sugar House (which their son Dave Kwiatkowski owns). Gail and John watched the building, which sat empty for years, and finally approached the owner to buy it. John did a lot of the work to make it into the space it is now, including changing the wooden garage doors with security gates into paned garage doors that will open in the spring. The interior was also paneled with wood on the ceiling and west wall to warm up the cinder block walls.

The business also has a strong community element; Gail plans on holding a fundraiser in May and an art fair in neighboring Roosevelt Park in September.

Detroit Artifactry