It's been less than a year since Rachel Lutz opened her eclectic boutique in Detroit, but she's ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge again.
With the Peacock Room doing steady business in the Park Shelton, and an open rental in the highly visible Midtown building, Lutz decided to turn another retail idea, into reality. The apparel store owner signed a lease last week for the space on Woodward Avenue, which is now occupied by the soon-to-close Leopold's Books. The pop-up gift shop, Emerald, will open on Oct. 5 for six months, while business continues as usual at the Peacock Room.
"I've really been thrilled with how things have been going in the Peacock Room," Lutz said. "I really hope that this a statement about how confident I am in Detroit's small business scene, and I really encourage anybody who's considered doing this [to take note]. Detroit allowed me the opportunity to do it that I wouldn't have been able to have anywhere else."
At an announcement attended by friends and fans of her existing store, Lutz gave a nod to the owners of Leopold's, saying she was excited to see what they would do next. She explained she was in conversation with the Park Shelton team about how to fill the new space when she decided to take a stab at it herself. Lutz says she may continue Emerald beyond the six months, but will wait to see whether the venture is successful.
The opening dovetails with two major Midtown events: DLectricity, the festival that will fill Midtown with light art installations, and capitalizes on the holiday gift-buying season and Noel Night, which will bring hordes of metro Detroiters to the area for shopping and carousing.
Emerald will be stocked with vintage-inspired gifts and home goods, like stationary, grooming products, coffee table books, holiday decorations and other affordable items. Not surprisingly, some of the items will have nods to Detroit, like greeting cards decorated with historic images of the city or more subtle nods to its iconic designs.
Lutz said opening the business, especially in such a short time, will be a challenge, but as a veteran business owner these days, she seems ready.
"In this neighborhood you can never have too many [gift shops and items] for the holidays," Lutz said. "We have really, really wonderful customers in this area who try to do a lot of their shopping in Detroit."