These days, Bethany Shorb is making more than just ties

You might already
know the brand name Cyberoptix Ties. You might even recognize the face of the business’ eccentric proprietress. Her asymmetrical, monochromatic ’do and geometric, black-and-white-only wardrobe are a dead giveaway, after all. But Bethany Shorb does a lot more than just stamping shiny neckties with high-concept designs to stunning effect. She’s also the mastermind behind a brand-new storefront in Eastern Market called Well Done Goods. 

Well Done Goods isn’t a new business venture for Shorb. It’s a name she adopted for a high-end line of accessories, but it morphed into the Gratiot Avenue boutique after a decade of tie-making. 

“‘Bored’ is a real bad word for it,” Shorb says when describing the boutique’s origin story. “But let’s say I was getting pretty antsy to make something else too.”

At Well Done Goods, the “something else” comes in the form of screen-printed pillows, aprons, tea towels, glassware, jewelry, handbags, wallets, socks, belts, clothing, and cowhide rugs — yes, cowhide rugs. They’re a steal at $300 a piece.

Modest price points were something Shorb kept in mind while crafting what would become Well Done Goods, and it has paid off. She says it’s the biggest compliment paid to the store so far. 

“Hearing comments like, ‘Oh my god, I have to have everything in this store!’ feels really good,” Shorb says. “I think people are greatly appreciating the not-outer-space price point and the mix of artisan handmade and just regular fun stuff. We don’t need anymore $3,500 alligator leather footballs. We just don’t. No.”

The store serves as a vessel for Shorb’s creative talents, whether they’re in the form of a necktie or an artfully created stock list. 

“I’ve had so many ideas up my sleeve for years,” Shorb says. “I’m also really drawn to making quick, grab-and-go products — and you just can’t make a business case for selling that kind of low-dollar item online, unless you’re Amazon and have robots doing it. It costs just as much to pay someone to do customer service on, pack, and ship a cute pencil as it does to consult on, pack, and ship a $45 silk tie. Having a retail store allows for the adding on of those impulse buys where online-only prohibits them with the high cost-per-item of shipping and labor.”

In short, Shorb has some serious business savvy. And that point is further proven by the choice to include non-Cyberoptix brands inside the store as well. 

“When presented with the opportunity to open up a retail location, the harsh reality is that a weird tie and scarf shop can perform very well online when it has every nerdy, niche corner of the internet to reach, but there might not be that much of a need to fill locally,” Shorb says.

But a case can clearly be made for a gift store that sells everything from wacky name plates that read, “What Would Beyoncé Do,” to gold necklaces that say, “Acid,” to barware that’s stamped with the kind of decades-old deadstock labels that will make your bar cart look like a mad scientist’s lab. 

As for her selection process for brands to include in the store? It wasn’t exactly scientific. 

“Thematically? I buy what I like and am making a bet that others will like it too,” Shorb says. “That advice works really well for building an art collection and I think it does for a gifting collection as well.”

So, that’s where those cowhide rugs come in — in case they were still on your mind — as well as hanging glass terrariums, tons of goat skulls, peacock feathers, wrought iron spider knickknacks, chunky rings, and laser-cut cat-eye sunglasses. 

The store still serves as a showroom for Shorb’s brands, which is a facet of her business that’s needed some organic growth for a while now, but it’s also a place to pick up some pretty rad gifts that are pleasing to both your eye and your wallet.

“We’ve always wanted to have a proper showroom for the ties and scarves and to branch out into other printed products,” Shorb says. “We [also] want to focus on fun, well designed things that are fun to gift and won’t destroy your bank account.

The shop is housed in a long-standing building in Eastern Market — it was Atlas Furniture Factory and Showroom’s address back in the 1960s. Well Done Goods is the first retail establishment to open in the space since Atlas shuttered, but Shorb’s tie lab has been on the building’s second story for the past 10 years, a location she came upon purely out of kismet. 

“The place came to us,” Shorb says. “I think we have one of the only good landlords in the entire city, and he’s been beyond supportive of artists of all types — from visual to music to product — and the creation of spaces for said artists to sell the goods they make, now that the market in Detroit can support it. 

“We have the whole second floor above for the Tie Lab for manufacturing; we’ve been making Cyberoptix ties and scarves upstairs for over a decade, and when we heard that the ground floor was being converted back to commercial retail we couldn’t not do it.”

Well Done Goods is located at 1440 Gratiot Ave., Detroit. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday throughout the holiday season.

About The Author

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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