Best Of 2018

Best Local T-Shirt
Courtesy photo

1353 Division St., Detroit; 313-285-8887;

When Brendan Blumentritt and J.P. O'Grady started slinging T-shirts out of their backpacks more than 10 years ago, they had no idea they were embarking on careers. But it was a single slogan that sealed their fate: Detroit Hustles Harder, a phrase that has grown so ubiquitous it is often mistaken as the name of their company, Aptemal, and has become somewhat of an unofficial slogan for the city.

Also placing Aptemal a cut above the rest are its collaborations with various local artists, which began about three years ago. Detroit sculptor, painter, and designer Chris Turner has designed bold, pop-art-style images to grace the company's T-shirts, and Detroit artist Ouizi's signature flowers are embroidered on the back of its satin jackets. Aptemal began to shift from putting the Detroit Hustles Harder slogan front and center on its gear, in a move that lets the clothes speak for themselves. On the brand's newer windbreakers, jackets, hoodies, and sweats, you'll find the DHH logo in smaller text, placed tastefully on a breast or kangaroo pocket. —Violet Ikonomova

Retail and Services

Retail and Services
Best Attorney
19390 W. 10 Mile Rd., Southfield; 248-558-2315;
Best Auto Repair
242 W. Marshall St., Ferndale; 248-541-2500
Best Insurance Agent
Multiple locations; 313-530-1698;
Best Bicycle Shop
163 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-439-1892;
Best Bookstore
Marco Mancinelli

901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-0622;

While big box bookstores shutter by the numbers and mom-and-pop operations struggle to compete with Amazon and, well, the fact that most people these days seem to digest information in 140 characters or less, one iconic Detroit establishment is king — John K. King Used & Rare Books, that is.

If you're headed downtown on the freeway, it's hard to miss this literary giant. Since 1965, John K. King has become a labyrinthian treasure trove that houses a collection of 1 million books in more than 900 subjects. Upon entry, visitors are greeted with a map detailing the contents of each of the four stories. While you may go in with a list of must-find titles, the more seasoned bookworms will tell you that titles will find you.

More than the collection itself though, what John K. King offers is an experience. From the coveted old-book mustiness, and the charming handmade cardboard aisle descriptions and illustrations, to the walkie-talkie equipped staff who are ready to assist you in even the most impossible of searches, when you visit John K. King you are bound to leave with something special. —Jerilyn Jordan

Best Comic/Collectibles Shop
42727 Ford Rd., Canton; 734-981-3561;
Best Engagement or Wedding Ring
120 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-644-1651;
Best Eyewear
160 S. Old Woodard Ave., Birmingham; 248-723-1900;
Best Eyewear Boutique
247 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-646-6699;