We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Qazi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2015, I noticed a missing gap when I was shopping online for a specific macrame wall hanging for my home, there was very little 70s decor and an over abundance of antiques and mid century modern. Already spending quite some time thrifting, I started going to estate sales instead, and that’s where I found all my 70s treasures. After collecting more than my home could handle, I knew it was time to let some of it go and set up an Etsy shop. Once smalls started selling, I ventured into selling bigger furniture pieces by using Greyhound Buses to ship them at an economical cost. It was a daunting task to ship furniture, but it was worth it. This opened a whole new door for my little Etsy shop and I was now selling more furniture than smalls. It was then it became a legit small business. Running out of storage in my garage, I toyed with the idea of a storefront. Knowing the great risk and cost of a brick and mortar, I took a leap of faith and signed a lease on a beautiful location. This gave me the opportunity to showcase my finds locally and decrease shipping furniture. 6th And Detroit had its grand opening in April 2016 and has since lead to so many amazing working relationships. It’s opened the doors for styling, event rentals, interior home design consultations and branded items.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The part of the business I am most proud of is staying true to myself and honest since day one. It was important to me to make sure the business grew in an authentic and organic way, only putting out things that I truly loved or would put in my own home. I also made sure that I kept the collection accessible so that everyone could have a special 6th + D piece in their own home. I believe what sets me apart from others is having an early start in 2015 and keeping the brand personal. I wanted everyone to get to know who they were buying from. Getting to know 6th And Detroit on a personal level shows how much love and care that goes into the business, and how much my family is a part of it. The biggest challenges in the vintage industry is the unknown availability of inventory. Some days I’ll find a great big haul, and some weeks I won’t find a thing. The unpredictable nature is an emotional roller coaster. I’ve always believed that as long as I keep believing in the brand and love what I’m doing, that things will just work out in the end. There have been so many difficult bumps in the road along this journey, but having a solid support system has helped me to keep going.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eats: Wide Eyes Open Palms Salud Juice Seabirds Kitchen Amatoli Restauration
Sweets: Frosted Cupcakes Tantalum’s Chocolate Molten Cake
Drinks: The Hawk
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this shoutout to my sister, Melissa Hodge, who has been a constant encouragement to keep pushing forward during this journey.