Girlie Gear for Urbane Living; Knock Back Some Liquid Candy

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Big Bag Theory

Sherrie Singer and Leslie Moskowitz have two great passions in common — they love crafting and they love shopping. As happenstance often does, both women were smitten with the same fantastic, handmade bags during a boutique excursion in Zionsville, Ind., last summer. And, just like practically everything else about their friendship, they knew it was serendipity.

For years, Singer had been telling Moskowitz, who knits and makes jewelry, that she should sell her own creations. When they came across the bags, Moskowitz knew it was time to start their own business; both have backgrounds in marketing and retail — as well as keen eyes for what’s unique.

Last fall, the friends launched Girlie Goodz, selling the bags they handpick from that Indiana artisan, along with Moskowitz’s jewels — necklaces, earrings, bracelets studded with one-of-a-kind beads, semi-precious stones, antique buttons and other vintage finds. “We found these handbags and fell in love,” says Singer. “They incorporate so many special details, and each one is truly a work of art.” Combining vintage fabrics and embellishments that have been “up-cycled” with new pieces, each bag is unique in its colors, textures and details.

Moskowitz and Singer work with the artist to invent new designs, as well as scour local rummage sales and resale shops and frequently haunt Troy’s Michigan Design Center for designer fabric samples, too; they package their booty up and send it to Indiana for use in future designs.

In a nod to their artisan, who began crafting the bags as a fundraiser for a friend with breast cancer, proceeds from each sale, with prices ranging from $25-$175, goes toward breast cancer research.

“We’ve already had such a fantastic response to the bags,” says Singer. “Everywhere we go, people ask us where we got our bags. Last week, I sold five bags out of my trunk at Target.”

Moskowitz recalls a funny story of when she and Singer were stopped at a linen store by a woman who loved the bag she was carrying so much, she was willing to buy it right off her back. “I dumped all of my stuff on the front seat of my car,” Moskowitz says.

Find your own at Todd’s Room in Birmingham (248-594-0003); girliegoodz.com.

SPIRITS OF DETROIT

Add this to the list of imported from Detroit.

Friends Mike Mouyianis, Chris George and Rob Nicholl were having a few drinks at the Hard Luck Lounge, the Grosse Pointe Park bar owned by Mouyianis’ wife, when they started kicking around the idea of creating their own flavored vodka.

The candy-flavored concoctions they developed were tested and approved by Hard Luck patrons — and the overwhelmingly positive response led to the creation of Hard Luck Candy, bottled, of course, in Temperance, Mich.

The 70-proof vodka debuted last summer with two sweet, old-fashioned treats made for grownup palates: Red Fish and Root Beer Barrel. Both taste like candy, tinged with vodka, rather than the other way around.

Says Mouyianis, “We hoped that sitting around drinking would lead to something.” (Amen and L’Chaim!)

Log onto hardluckcandy.com to find a bar or retailer in Michigan that carries Hard Luck Candy vodka.

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