It was a Thursday evening and my father invited me on a bike ride with him through the depths of Detroit city. We rode through the Dequindre Cut, around northeast downtown, through Bricktown and back home.
I grew up in Detroit during my adolescence and moved away at ten. So as my father was leading our trail, he looks back and asks, “Do you recognize where you are?”
I began scanning the area looking for some recognizable figure as I pedal forward.
Next thing I know, I realize I’m in the Eastern Market District where wholesalers and food processors have developed an important hub there for the wholesale food distribution industry.
Aside the constructional changes were additional businesses built across from the district on Russell Street.
I observe the buildings and note the, “Detroit Vs. Everybody” logo on the outside of one. I had to stop.
A flyer on the window read, “opening day Friday, July 24th,” so I returned the next day to fulfill my interest in exploring the positive transformations of Detroit businesses and city life.
The next day, having the opportunity to speak with creator Tommey Walker (pictured in the middle), he explained, “This is a representation of pride and unity for Detroit.”
He continued, this newest location amidst the Eastern Market area was just the beginning for the brand and its mission to embody the pride and unapologetic spirit of Detroit.
With that said, be on the look out for his next designs and apparel items! His supporters already include notable artists like Big Sean, Dej Loaf, Wale, and Future to name just a few, and of course many Detroit natives and lovers of the city.
The recognition of Tommey Walker’s brand beyond his first store in Greektown is another very important highlight on the list of Detroit black-owned businesses opening markets in popular areas who are promoting uplifting messages like unity and rebuilding the image of Detroit.
Young Detroit professionals like Tommey should be celebrated more often for the positive and transformative things they are doing for their hometown, especially in this period of resurgence.
The store is aesthetically pleasing with a graffiti decorated staircase that directs you down to an urban setting with apparel hung upon bars suspended from the ceiling, and complimented with photos and inner-city features like brick walls and more art. But don’t let me tell it all! Go check them out and their wide selection of merchandise.
2501 Russell Street
Detroit, MI, 48226
(Originally written July 2015)
Peace and blessings,
– P. Blessman