• Creative Endeavors,  Design,  Local

    Q & A: On the map

    By R. Collins Entrepreneur Kelechi Uchendu’s fashion career began with a dream. Now the founder and owner of Kay Kay’s World LLC, Uchendu manages a blog concerning fashion, beauty, and travel known as Kay Kay’s Way; and a clothing line known as Kay Kay’s Fashion that would eventually lead the brand to being featured in British Vogue and Tatler Magazine, among others.  Based near Detroit, Uchendu utilizes the local talent of Detroit Sewn to craft her designs. Detroit Sewn provides Southeast Michigan with full-service, cut-and-sew manufacturing that includes sourcing, digitizing, and grading products.  Although Kay Kay’s Fashion is a Michigan-based brand, its reach is international, and Uchendu has traveled to…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Celebrate the Ride 

    There is something visceral and interactive between rider and landscape when positioned on a leather-wrapped seat of a well-designed machine, hands tightening across the handlebars. There is a freedom, a connectedness, and a thrill made distinctive to motorcycling; and a Goshen, Indiana-based designer and small-scale manufacturer is seeking to tap into the spirit of the ride with its lightweight, small-displacement motorcycles informed by traditions in classical architecture and timeless design. Janus Motorcycles is a small-displacement motorcycle company located in downtown Goshen, Indiana, surrounded by a thriving recreation vehicle industry and a network of fabrication, machining, and production shops in the northern Indiana region. Founded by Richard Worsham and Devin Biek…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Singularly dynamic

    By R.J. Weick   Van Dam Custom Boats continues to build upon a 40-year-legacy of crafting the finest wooden boats. Vast, powerful, and unpredictable, the Great Lakes are as captivating and dynamic as the watercraft navigating them. While often overlooked by those who have yet to lay eyes on the awe-inspiring expanse and depth of any one of the five freshwater lakes—often hiding sunken treasures just below the surface—the vessels and boats that traverse them require the same amount of craftsmanship and sturdiness as any of its salt-water brethren. The functionality and performance of the watercraft are as equally important as the aesthetic beauty and style, whether the vessel is a…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Composition artistry

    By R.J. Weick “Buick has a sense of well-being,” said Christopher Hilts, design director for Buick Interiors at General Motors. “What really compels me is this composition of artistry. There is sculptural beauty in every aspect of the Buick interiors.” Hilts was named the director of design for Buick Interiors in August 2016 and has assumed the helm of leading the creative direction for the Buick brands during a rather pivotal and exciting time at the automotive company. Buick’s line of luxury sedans and convertibles are once again drawing second-glances with its combination of refined style, seamless technology, and dynamic design. Not to mention, Buick’s award-winning Avista coupe concept prompted…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Sounds like music

    By R.J. Weick In South Detroit, where the notes of musical, architectural, and design history come together, there is a multi-disciplinary interiors studio of passionate artisans and visionaries immersed in the grit and glam that have come to define its globally renowned brand. Forged, honed, and molded for nearly two decades, Regina Andrew Design’s diverse portfolio is a cultivation and curation of modern and vintage, reclaimed and natural, and fashion and rock’n’roll. Creative forces in their own right, co-founders Carla Regina Zajac and James Andrew Slaven have continued to be deeply involved in the process even as the multi-disciplinary studio has grown to a team of more than 50 artisans…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Creative energy

    Text: R.J. Weick Whether public or private, noticed or overlooked, art can cause a shift in how one encounters space and contemplates the culture and history of its community; or in the very least, is an emotive and dynamic expression with the potential to disrupt thought. It can create a statement; which is what has come to define the work by the Nordin Brothers—Erik and Israel Nordin—who have been creating sculptural objects for space in and around Detroit for more than 20 years. The Nordin Brothers founded the Detroit Design Center in 1999 and have developed an intuitive and complementary style marrying metal and glass into a distinctive sculptural form.…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Rebuilding a brand 

    Text: R.J. Weick In celebration of its 45th anniversary milestone in 2017, Birchwood Construction Company invested in an extensive re-branding initiative to update the company’s logo and communication to accurately reflect its values and dedication to a relationship-based approach to the homebuilding process. The refreshed brand, which was unveiled and announced early 2018, not only incorporates a new crest-shaped logo inspired by the company’s emphasis on family and longevity—reminiscent of the heraldic coat of arms of old—but also a tagline and ongoing messaging that taps into the core of what drives the Birchwood Construction team: relationships. Tom Adams, chief business officer and partner at Birchwood Construction, said it is known…

  • Creative Endeavors

    The woven path

    By R.J. Weick Lloyd Flanders Inc. has become known as a premier outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer built upon a dedication to great design and craftsmanship. For more than 110 years, the Menominee-based company has cultivated a reputation on par with its innovative patented loom process; high-quality, durable materials; and timeless, handcrafted furniture. While its collections impart a sense of well-balanced function and style—integrating visual aesthetics with comfort-scale seating—it could be argued its position in the industry is based upon a single, interwoven cellulose strand. In the early 1900s, which was a time when cane-wrapped frames was a choice method for crafting furniture, Founder Marshall Burns Lloyd developed a rather…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Finished luxury

    Text: R.Collins The Minnesota-based company known for pushing the solid surface envelope continues its legacy by offering innovative finish options and expanded designs—and its Michigan-based partner is bringing it to the table. Since entering the quartz market in 2000, Cambria has been changing the functionality and style of kitchens worldwide. Founded by the Davis family and known for producing and engineering natural quartz in the United States, the company has recently introduced two additions to the kitchen design market: a new breakthrough surface finish option known as Cambria Matte and an expanded Marble Collection with five new designs. For years a glossy marble countertop—such as Cambria’s standard Cambria High Gloss—could be…