At just 19 years old, apparel and textile design junior and Detroit-native Shelton Hawkins Jr. is the proud owner and creator of Étrange Studios, an almost fully in-house clothing line that works to combine the concepts of high-end and luxury streetwear in a personalized way.
Hawkins designs all of the store's inventory, sometimes even cutting and sewing fabrics by himself. He's been making clothes since he was in middle school, but didn't get into the business and investment side until he hit adulthood. Before Étrange Studios, he originally ran a small start-up T-shirt line called Kings Clothing.
"For me, it's always been sports and fashion. ... I've always been into ... being different than everybody else, having different stuff than everybody else," Hawkins said. "Coming up, I couldn't really afford necessarily the Gucci, the Louis Vuitton, all of that, ... but I still wanted to look nice in my own way."
With his brand, Hawkins emphasizes quality, originality and creativity in each and every garment.
"My biggest thing has always been being yourself," he said. "I want to make sure that the community knows, no matter how strange you think you may be, how weird you think you may be or how (you think) people may look at you, ... to always stay true to (themselves) no matter what. You should be comfortable in your skin."
"Étrange translates to 'strange' in French, so I'm taking the 'strange' stigma and making it okay, you could say," he said.
By being almost fully in-house, Hawkins sources his close friends as models, promoters and photographers.
"I like to keep stuff genuine," he said. "When I'm making my clothes and when I'm doing business, I like to have genuine relations with people. ... (That way) there's no problems, it's always fun, good vibes when we link up."
Hawkins has been watching his customer following grow over the last couple of months, ecstatic to see people he doesn't know personally, people in different cities and states, connecting with him on social media, paying attention to what he's doing and purchasing from his line.
"I remember (when) I couldn't even sell a couple $25 T-shirts," he said.
- Gregory's Inc., a bar and grill located at 2510 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., open Monday from 8 a.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Mo Wings, a chicken joint located at 424 S. Washington Square, open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
- The Smoke N' Pig, a barbecue restaurant and caterer located at 908 Elmwood Road, open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Krystal's Kitchen, a food truck that can be reached at 517-402-0045 to find their location and operation times each day.
- Kingston Kitchen, a Jamaican restaurant located at 4749 Central Park Drive, temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Takeout orders can be placed by calling 517-708-8322.
- 517 BBQ, a barbecue joint located at 427 E. Oakland Ave., open weekdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
- Soul Nutrition, a health food store located at 222 S. Washington Square, open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Altu's, an Ethiopian restaurant located at 1312 Michigan Ave., open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30-8 p.m.
- Sweet Encounter Bakery and Cafe, can be reached for orders at 517-763-2479 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Finger Lickin' Chicken and Fish, an American restaurant located at 2317 W. Michigan Ave., open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Berdie's Berries Amore, a dessert shop that can be reached for orders at 517-819-6400. According to their Facebook, they are not accepting orders until after July 18.
- Craving's Popcorn, a gourmet popcorn shop located at 1221 Turner Road, open Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m., Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
- Everything Is Cheesecake, a dessert shop located at 5443 S. Cedar St., open weekends from 1-4:30 p.m. or until they sell out.
- Iwacu SuperMarket, located at 3500 S. Cedar St., open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Zoë Life Spa and Salon, a yoga and wellness center located at 6452 Millennium Drive, Suite 170, open Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
- Just B Yoga, a donation based and community driven center located at 106 Island Ave., open Monday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register and secure your spot for a class, but drop-ins are also welcome.
- The Printing King, an embroidery and screen printing store located at 2722 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 101, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Coco's Off The Rack, a special occasions dress store located at 3320 E. Lake Lansing Road, open Monday noon to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Moneyball Sportswear, a customizable uniform store located at 603 N. Waverly Road, open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.