Stand Up and Tell ’em You’re from Detroit

Stand Up and Tell ’em You’re from Detroit

My name is Lish and I love Detroit, Michigan. I’m proud of it, but it wasn’t so long ago that a statement like that got me a lot of questions along the lines of, “Ugh, why?”
I’m a lifelong Michigander. I grew up here, I went to college here, and I’ve chosen to make my career, but crafty and non-crafty, here. A few years ago I wasn’t so sure if Michigan was going to keep me around. (And this was before recessions, before corporate bankruptcies, before holding the nation’s highest unemployment rate.) What kept me here? Crafting and the innovative spirit that rings true in Detroit.
I don’t know about you, but it definitely seems like the nation’s eyes are on my favorite city these days. Some for good reasons (Did you see “Youth in Revolt” this weekend? That’s Michigan!), some for not-so-good reasons (Thanks, underwear bomber). Living in the heart of the world’s automotive hub, the attention wasn’t so hot in 2009. But somewhere around the holidays and new year I noticed more positive blog posts and TV reports about the little guy trying to make a difference in Detroit.

  • The TIME Detroit blog is focusing on all aspects of Detroit
  • Just this past weekend The New York Times wrote about small-business owners making a difference in our tough economy

Slowly but surely, it’s starting to feel like the rest of the country is realizing, or at least listening to, what us Michigan folks have known for years: Detroit won’t be defeated, creative community included.
Crafting definitely kept me here five years ago when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I met a group of people looking to give crafters and artists a voice in Detroit and across our state. A few meetings lead to an idea, and that idea lead to bigger ideas. Slowly but surely a craft group formed (Handmade Detroit) and a series of regular craft fairs, along with renewed crafty mindsets, were born.
I think it’s safe to say crafters think Detroit and Michigan are pretty crafty. But to those unfamiliar with with our shared passions, people usually assume that craft fairs and successful crafters are reserved only for the east and west coasts. I’m here to say, “Not so fast!” Whether it’s picking up crafty supplies or wanting to support local businesses, Detroit is on track to be a bigger and better crafty city.
As a new blogger here at CRAFT, I’ll report in on all-things DIY, but I’ll give you a firsthand look at what’s going on here in the Motor City. We’ve got Maker Faire Detroit on the calendar for this summer in Dearborn (wahoo!) and I couldn’t be more excited. Michigan houses some of the most innovative minds around, so I can’t wait to see what the Maker weekend brings to the Mitten.
Remember, Detroit, and especially its crafters, won’t be defeated.
…But if you ask any of us here, we already knew that.

22 thoughts on “Stand Up and Tell ’em You’re from Detroit

  1. Coffeemomma says:

    Here’s another proud metro Detroit crafter. I hope Southeast Michigan comes back strong…especially the city. Really looking forward to some Metro Detroit craftyness.

  2. ramon says:

    because….i don’t think i’ve actually met anyone from Detroit. it’s always “well, a suburb of detroit. i’ve never actually stabbed anyone.”

  3. Jen says:

    another Michigander here, born and raised in Detroit (dad was a cop), and still living in the state. (and now I have that jingle you used for your headline running through my head…)

  4. RadicalRecycks says:

    Yeah Lish!!! I just heard on 97.1 them call us the Murder Mitten~ it sure does sound funny but I like to refer to us as the “Friendly Mitten State”!!! I am very excited to see you here as I am here everyday checking things out!
    Tracie Lampe

  5. Julie says:

    Another Mitten dweller here! I absolutely love this state, and I love that we’re getting more positive attention, our moral as a state (especially in Detroit) needs it! Thanks for this post, it really brightened my day. :D Can’t wait to hear more from you!

  6. anna says:

    Huh. Somebody didn’t really get the point of the entry.
    And, to answer your question, Detroit. And I’ve never stabbed anyone, either.
    Good luck, Lish! Glad to see another Michigander makin’ waves!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    being a Michigander, i really look forward to more of these posts! :)

  8. Jess says:

    Another Michigander here!! Southwest, tho. Thanks for your post– We have a beautiful state and we need to stand tall and be proud of it. MakerFaire Detroit?? I want to go!! :)

  9. Kyla says:

    I love my state and I think it is awesome that the Maker fair comes out to MI. It makes sense we are a state of makers and craftsman.
    As for Detroit it is like any other big city but with less people and easy to drive in.
    Michigan is the pleasant peninsula.

  10. Kyla says:

    I love my state and I think it is awesome that the Maker fair comes out to MI. It makes sense we are a state of makers and craftsman.
    As for Detroit it is like any other big city but with less people and easy to drive in.
    Michigan is the pleasant peninsula.

  11. Helgak says:

    i was born in Detroit, St. John’s Hospital.
    Yes, we do tend to say we live “north of Detroit” or a “suburb of”, if we’re out of town. Don’t know how that trend started.
    I love living in Michigan and “north of Detroit”, lots of things to do and definitely enjoy the art and craft fairs every weekend, all summer long.
    You always run into people that will share their skills in the various crafts. I learned how to knit when I was seven and still wear the first scarf I knitted when I was ten. I love to knit, crochet,and paper crafts, and sew and pick up new craft ideas from magazines and friends.
    And no, I’ve never stabbed anyone. :)

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