James Morris creates and crafts for Definitive Style Exclusive

Retail Detail

202 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-389-6178; dsedetroit.com
Open: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday

James Morris started Definitive Style Exclusive seven years ago. In May 2008, he opened up a retail spot where he offered customers access to myriad local and national brands, all the while growing his house brand, DSE. Four short years later, the shop saw a transformation. Rather than selling other companies' goods, Morris decided to focus on his own burgeoning brand. He repurposed the store into a flagship location for DSE.

Located just off Grand River Avenue on the outskirts of Greektown, a block or two from the Z Garage, DSE is in a prime spot to enjoy Detroit's ongoing rebirth. Punch Bowl Social is just across the street; a new music café is opening down the block. Henry the Hatter isn't too far away.

Large windows matched with a prime corner location make the shop easy to spot for both pedestrians and folks driving by. Morris' collection of screen-printed T-shirts hangs neatly from a rack that's visible from the street. Inside, you'll find more of Morris' original T-shirts emblazoned with sayings like "Show them another side of Detroit," "Support Detroit," "Respect the Bike," and "Art Lives." A similar collection of canvas tote bags is sold here too. Reasonably priced at $15, bags sport interesting designs or taglines like, "In a Betty Davis mood."

For the shop Morris also handcrafts a collection of soy blended candles. He creates scents like lavandula sage, cinnamon latte, ginseng guava, papaya patchouli, and perhaps our favorite scent, tonilla. The 6-ounce candles are $10 a pop, which is a steal when you consider that Morris pours each candle into its tin pot himself.

If you find yourself in the neighborhood, pop into DSE and browse the shop's goods, but you're not relegated to shopping in-person. Morris is conscious of his online presence, making sure that his wares are available for purchase via the Internet.

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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