Leon & Lulu is more than your average boutique store. I asked owner Mary Liz Curtin some questions about it. Check it out here:
hip in detroit- Leon & Lulu is a unique store. How would you describe it to someone that has not been there before? What sets it apart from other shops?
Mary Liz- We are a destination lifestyle store, located in an historic roller rink. We sell furniture, gifts, clothing, housewares, toys and books. Basically, we have 5,000 square feet filled with great stuff, an upbeat and happy atmosphere and prices starting at 75 cents for a finger monster.
hip in detroit- Can you give us a little background on the store? How long has it been around?
Mary Liz- We opened on April 1, 2006
hip in detroit- What type of things do you sell at Leon & Lulu? There are so many hilarious books and toys in the store, it must be so fun picking everything out! How do you choose what to carry?
Mary Liz- We choose well designed, good quality product at all price points. I look for merchandise that will make our customers' homes more comfortable, that will be fun to give and to receive and we are always on the lookout for the unusual and interesting things you will find nowhere else.
hip in detroit- Do you have events at the store? If so, what type of events?
Mary Liz- We hold a wide range of events, from blood drives and pet adoptions to girls' nights out. In 2012 we held 86 special events, 75 of which benefited local charities.
hip in detroit- Whose adorable dog is it that hangs out in the store? I love him! What is it's name?
Mary Liz- Spot is our greeter. He is a triple purebred, pointer, lab and Australian shepherd. Lulu, for whom the store was named, was our first greeter. She was a very dainty 115 pound rottweiler. Leon, like most cats, was never employed.
hip in detroit- I believe the building used to be a roller skating rink. That's an unusual place to have a store. Some of the employees roller skate around and the floor is even there still, which is part of the reason the store is so unique. How did you choose this location?
Mary Liz- We needed a large space that was easily accessible from anywhere in the Detroit area, had proprietary parking and was affordable. This building had those qualities and the magic of its long history in the community. We have preserved as much of the history and flavor of the rink as we could...although it smells a lot better now.
hip in detroit- Do you have anything special going on for the last minute holiday shoppers or anything coming up you'd like people to know about?
Mary Liz- We are here at the ready with hot cookies and coffee all weekend. Our next big event (and my favorite) is Thank You Santa, held January 6. Santa will make one more stop before he leaves for the North Pole. This is a chance for children to give Santa thank you notes for the gifts they just received, help him fill his sack for next year and have a last ditch chance for a picture with him. 10% of our sales that day as well as all toys collected will benefit the Salvation Army. Naturally, we will serve tasty treats for children and adults.
hip in detroit- I saw that the building next to the store has a Leon & Lulu sign in the window now...Can you tell us what is going in there?
Mary Liz- That is the former Clawson Theater. We plan to recreate the marquee, making it look much as it did in 1941 when it was built, and add a coffee shop in the lobby and more retail in the back. We plan to open late spring 2013.
I for one can't wait to see what the Clawson Theater will look like in the spring! It'll be nice to have a local coffee shop close by finally. And trust me, Leon & Lulu is the perfect place to find a gift for anyone on your list. I have even bought the finger monsters she mentioned above. It's always one of my first stops! Plus who doesn't want a delicious cookie while shopping?