I had the opportunity to have a chat with store owner Erin Wetzel and her amazing store Orleans + Winder.
BGB: Tell me a little about yourself
Erin: I love design in all it’s incarnations, and I love to travel and explore cities solo. I am an only child and have always had a big independent streak and a vivid imagination. Being involved in fashion and design at this point in my life made perfect sense, I’ve come full circle in a way. I have a son who is eleven, and I love introducing him to the beauty of the artisanal object and also how important it is to support that way of creating.
BGB: What was your catalyst for opening Orleans & Winder?
Erin: A need to give the designers that I was coming across a presence here in Detroit. I knew that I wanted to open a store, but it had to be a very special store, with a very particular curation.
BGB: The name of the store is unique. Is there a reason for it?
Erin: Yes! We have lived here in the Eastern Market for almost 7 years and our loft is at the crossroads of Orleans and Winder. It was where our idea for a concept store was born and we liked the name, so it stuck!
BGB: Who is your target customer? What would make me stop into your store?
Erin: Our target customer is someone who loves well designed, timeless pieces with a unique twist. They are individuals with an artistic sensibility and a desire to seek out one of a kind, artisanal pieces, whether that piece is avant garde or more utilitarian.
BGB: When you decided to open a store was Detroit your first choice?
Erin: Absolutely. We live here and have set down roots in the Eastern Market. It was essential for us to be in the city and to create a platform for independent design in a way that hasn't been presented yet here in Detroit.
BGB: How long have you been in the retail market?
Erin: I am fairly new to the retail game, but I have found that it is a true passion of mine. My background is in the arts, and in particular, theater. When we decided to open Orleans + Winder, I dove into research and spoke with designers that we admired. They, and our clientele, have helped me tremendously on this path.
Orleans + Winder is located at 2501 Russell St. Ste. 200 Detroit, Mi 313-409-6343.