Storefronts along Woodward Avenue in New Center are starting to fill up. Ferne Boutique—which has been doing pop-ups in Detroit through the holiday market and 1441 Woodward—is set for an official opening on September 4.
The store sells women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, and some fun gifts. The store will be open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m and Sundays 12-5 p.m.
Owner Laura Horwath, originally from Northville, knew she wanted to open a store in Detroit. She knew if she didn’t do it, she’d regret it. She opened her first store in Bay City in 2015, and kept looking in Detroit. She worked with Sue Mosey of Midtown Detroit Inc. to try to find the right space, and was awarded a $10,000 grant from Motor City Match to help open the Detroit storefront. Midtown Detroit owns many storefronts on this block, and the timing finally worked out for Ferne to open its doors.
Andrew Lucco of Motor City Match tells us, “Businesses are most successful when they’re surrounded by other businesses.” We can see that happening on this block, as many are poised to open soon.
Next door, Cooking with Que has a sign in the window and is currently in build-out. Down the block, Urbanum, a furniture store, has a sign up. Across the street, Baobab Fare will soon open. New Center Eatery will move to a new space nearby. The North End Collective currently hosts a space for writers. On the corner of Woodward and the Boulevard, we could see redevelopment of the Woolworth Building.
Horwath says Motor City Match has been a great connector to help set up shop in Detroit, with assistance in finding resources and employees. In 12 rounds, Motor City Match has granted $6 million to small businesses, and 41 businesses have opened storefronts around Detroit.
New Center has seen an influx of development in recent years. Multiple residential developments are in the works (including Baltimore Station on Woodward set to open its first phase later this year), as well as the Pistons Training Facility. The Fisher Building has added many new retail options in the last two years, but like many neighborhoods, storefronts in the major corridor have been slow to open. Hopefully this signifies a turning point.