How the Winter Blast in Downtown Detroit is helping spur small businesses

Businesses prepare for trip to Downtown Detroit this weekend

DETROIT – The Winter Blast is set to take over Campus Martius in Downtown Detroit this weekend, and anyone who shows up to shop will help revitalize the city’s neighborhoods.

Crews are working to get Campus Martius ready as three businesses from the Grandmont-Rosedale area of Detroit prepare to head downtown for the weekend.

Between I-96 and Eight Mile Road, you’ll find a clothing boutique, a bakery and a body and fragrance shop.

“If you want something sporty or if you want something, (we’re) here every day,” Natalie Bien-Aime, the creative director of Voluptuous Bien, said.

Bien-Aime is working to select items from the store to sell this weekend.

“Why do you have to go out to the suburbs to look for an outfit?” she asked. “Come right here to the inner city and look for something beautiful.”

TCF Bank has sponsored the three shops to bring their products to the event.

“You know, sometimes it’s a little pricey for these small businesses to go down and be a part of these big events, so we came down and we decided it was a great idea to bring businesses from the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood,” said Latrice McClendon, vice president of corporate community relations for TCF Bank.

You’ll also see Crummies, Sweets and Treats selling baked goods. They’re homemade by Charlita Knox.

“Well, one thing: We get our name out there,” Knox said. “People find out about us and we get repeat customers.”

Body Zseal Natural Products offers homemade soaps, scrubs and bubble bath bars.

“Go home, take a nice, hot shower,” owner Jocelyn Moss said. “Use our shower gel or soaps and just enjoy themselves. Get out feeling wonderful, like they hadn’t even been out in the winter all day.”

The Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend presented by Soaring Eagle starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Admission is free, but there will be plenty of shopping available.

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