Detroit in miniature … and celebrate Earth Day with eco-chic beauty.
New local businesses, boutiquesand brands you may not know — but should.
Just in time to cure spring-break doldrums, Detroit Kid City opened its doors last month to bring a bit of Detroit to the ’burbs. The custom-designed mini Detroit play city lets kids run the town as their imaginations run wild at the hands-on automotive factory, bank, barber shop, post office, pizzeria, music studio, art center, schoolhouse and Up North Story Time Center.
Husband-and-wife team Garrett and Laura Dixon, both 27 and the parents of three boys ages 3, 5 and 7, have run a successful daycare in their Southfield home for the past seven years, yet they still craved a bit more kid-time.
“We love the interaction with all the families, and we’re bringing a lot of our philosophies over to our new business,” says Garrett Dixon. Among them: healthy local organic foods and lots of space for imaginative play, free of electronics and other modern-day distractions. “We love seeing parents play with their children and have old-fashioned fun together, playing together, and we’re thrilled to create a place where parents can enjoy watching their child’s imagination run free.”
To emphasize the way things used to be, Detroit Kid City has been themed to resemble what a miniature kid-sized Detroit looked like in the 1930s and ’40s, bringing in bits of local history like old-fashioned lampposts, an antique typewriter and pedal cars, and a 1931 Detroit newspaper displaying original articles and ads throughout the facility “so the kids can understand what our Detroit community was built on,” says Dixon.
Need a little pick-me-up to keep up with the kids? The Dixons have parents covered, too: The cafe offers local Great Lakes Roasting Company coffee, fresh-fruit and wheat-grass smoothies, salads and more organic and vegan-friendly options. Daily admission (except Sundays, when they’re closed for private parties) is $10 (adults and infants under 12 months are free).
Detroit Kid City, 29115 Greenfield Road, Southfield. (248) 854-4464; detroitkidcity.com.
Red Flower is about simple, fresh and pure beauty, inside and out. We hear this often, but Yael Alkalay takes getting the most out of life, every day, very seriously. The founder of the part-bohemian yet clearly modern bath and body line — which launched in 1999 with a handful of petal-topped candles and flower teas at Barneys New York and now has its own LEEDS-certified boutique in Soho — can trace her Sephardic Jewish family’s history all the way to the 15th century, when they fled Spain, through eight generations of grand rabbis in Turkey, to Kiev musicians and farmers from the pampas of Argentina.
Her grandfather, the first dermatologist in Bulgaria, came to Israel in the 1950s, and Alkalay herself grew up in New Bedford, Mass., before serving three years in Tokyo as the creative director for Shiseido International.
Acutely aware of her cultural heritage, traveling extensively to maintain family ties and traditions, Alkalay learned from an early age how to use flowers, herbs and oils in everything from the preparation of violet liquors and rose jams to the boiling of tinctures to brighten the eyes and warm the lips. Perpetuating the medical, spiritual and agricultural roots she grew up with, she infuses botanical extracts in every product in her collection, which also is entirely free of all synthetics, parabens, dyes, petrochemicals and sulfates. The collection is also made with certified organic ingredients, not tested on animals — even the packaging is completely eco-friendly, and often reusable, and Red Flower partners are fair-trade and chemical-free environments.
Grown into a collection of more than 100 biodegradable body washes, scrubs, lotions, certified-organic perfumes, hair care, bath house-inspired home-spa collections and more, Red Flower is rooted in meticulously, sustainably sourced botanical ingredients that offer a deliciously scented heavenly experience. Its six-step Nature skincare line is packed with arctic berries — rich in Omega-3, Omega-6 and ellagic acid to improve moisture retention and reduce inflammation — and whole essential oils and the Flower line of body washes and lotions include blends of Moroccan Rose, Italian Blood Orange and Icelandic Moonflower. Labels are also laden with ingredients like rice bran (a humectant rich in vitamin E), salt crystals harvested in the islands on the South Atlantic coastline and apricot kernel oil, known for its ability to penetrate the skin without leaving an oily feel.
Look for Red Flower at Ecology, Birmingham (248) 792-6295; ecologybeauty.com.