Here's a riddle for you: what do handmade soap, solar panels, and paint catalogues all have in common? Hint: They were all featured in the first annual Metro Detroit Home Expo.
On May 21, for the first time in Detroit, hundreds of homeowners, vendors, contractors, and designers came together under one roof to showcase what the local home improvement market really has to offer.
The event was held at the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse off Eight Mile Boulevard, a long stretch of highway with businesses catering to every home improvement service imaginable. Gardening? Window repair? Antiques and furniture? Eight Mile is a one-stop shop for it all.
In fact, it was her work with the Eight Mile Boulevard Association as a Detroit Revitalization Fellow that gave lead organizer, Trish White, the idea that a home expo could be the sort of thing Detroiters needed.
"I saw that nothing like this had been done before," she explained.
Trish's mission was to invite local vendors and community organizations to share their services while encouraging Detroiters to shop local.
One glance at the long list of participating vendors suggests the expo accomplished what it set out to do. Renters, homeowners, and rehabbers were all impressed by the packed schedule featuring DIY and seminars workshops on topics like energy efficiency, window restoration, painting, and solar installations.
"I definitely hope to see more of this kind of event soon," one attendee looking to renovate her rental property commented. Many homeowners agreed that events like this make it easier to discover amazing resources just down the block.
Like EcoGranite, for example, a Michigan-based granite recycler offering beautiful products made from 100% post-industrial recycled granite slabs.
Or Detroit Future City’s stunning new publication featuring step-by-step instructions for transferring your new home's side lot into one of 16 lush gardens.
Or Rehabbed and Ready, the Detroit Land Bank's recent partnership with Quicken Loans and Home Depot to renovate and auction off homes in great neighborhoods while connecting buyers to those homes online.
Photo of Brick + Beam-ers holding court at the Metro Detroit Home Expo by M.Rock Photography
Brick + Beam Detroit joined other community-oriented organizations in a section of the venue dubbed "the Neighborhood Toolbox." Here, non-profits shared tips and resources for Detroiters to get to know their neighborhoods. From advocating for historic preservation to volunteering for urban gardens and attending real estate investment course series, the options for getting "plugged in" were endless!
If you’re curious to see who and what you missed at the event, be sure to check out the event page and browse through the amazing list of vendors and organizations. Or better yet, stay tuned for next year's Expo!
A native of the South, Sarah Mostafa currently works in Detroit as a consultant for residential energy efficiency programs. She loves learning and writing about the great things restoration can do for people's homes and communities. Feel free to hit her up with comments or questions!
Ask a question in our Q&A forum. Experts are standing by.Ask now