New Guitar Lessons Pop Up!

learn to be a better guitaristsMusic is a big part of most American’s lives. We listen to the radio or CDs on the way to work, in the background while we are at a restaurant, and even while we are getting our teeth cleaned at the dentist. Music touches just about every part of our lives.

At least that is Alex Tort’s philosophy. He is a renowned guitarist who has toured with acts like Big and Rich, Eminem, Tom Petty, and even the Bark’s Thomomue Triage. Alex is a native of Detroit who has devoted his entire life to playing music and helping others learn the importance of music in their lives.

Being from Detroit, Alex wants to share his love and passion for both music and guitar with the community. In an effort to help rebuild our failing city, Alex has decided to pop up a guitar shop where he will be giving online electric guitar lessons as well as in person guitar training.

Alex offers classes for beginners, intermediates, and even advanced guitarists looking to expand their skills and grow as players. He specializes in teaching harmonies, voicing and even modular switching. This is a section in music where modes playing in one key modulate to a new key while maintaining the same modal structure.

Needless to say, this is a great addition to our city. Kids are welcome to come in the store and learn basic guitar riffs for free. Alex is more than happy just to sit and jam with aspiring musicians. He will even teach some of his favorite songs like “Master of Puppets” and Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Trilogy Suite. Op. 9” from his Rising Force album.

Alex said this about his new shop:

“I want people to be able to embrace the guitar as an instrument and learn how to play it well enough to express their feelings and emotions. In order to do that, you have to be comfortable with the instrument and know about its history. It’s just like going on a date. You need to get to know the person. Playing an instrument is the same way. You need to know what makes it tick and how old is it. I’ll show my students more about guitar than just simply playing old Metallica riffs. I’ll teach about guitar construction and even how to value guitar based on the fender stratocaster serial NUMBER decoder. If kids want to be a real guitarist when they grow up, they need to know all of these things—not just one.”

As you can see, Alex is extremely passionate about what he does and how he can influence our great city for good. Please go check out his new shop and sign up for some lessons today.

If you have more questions about guitars or what type of guitar is right for they style of music you want to play, you can go here for more information.

Custom Cupcake and Bakery Pop-Up

Custom Cupcake and Bakery Pop-Up

How to Start a Bakery

Have you been to any large city that has a custom cupcake shop? A lot of times you will find them in upper-income communities or a mall with lots of designer stores. These places are absolutely spectacular. The cupcakes are a bit pricey but they are well worth the price to treat yourself every once in awhile.

Some of these designer cupcake locations can cost upwards of $10 per cupcake because they use nothing but the finest German and Swiss chocolates along with some of the best French icings that money can buy.

The problem is, there aren’t many of these locations in the Detroit area, so many people in our community won’t ever get the opportunity to have a custom designer quality cupcake—until now. A new pop-up shop is coming to town that specializes in custom cupcakes and other boutique baking items. They will have pies, croissants, pastries, strudels, and short breads.

Another thing that makes this pop-shop unique is that the owner has states that he intends to donate all of her proceeds to help feed the homeless population in her community.

Lisa Montague is a woman with cause, and she said that it pains her to see her community suffering from hunger as it is today.

“I look all across our city and I see the homeless hungry, begging for something to eat every day. The people are veterans; they are schoolteachers; they are pastors; they are a part of our community. We need to treat these people with the respect that they deserve and that is my mission. I have had a calling to do this for some time, and I have always helped out my church groups during our bake sale in every way I could, but now I feel that I need to make a go at helping our community out in a bigger way.”

Lisa was recently interview by the Detroit News Daily about her project and where she plans on taking it. She said that she plans to use pop-up retail stores to visit five specifics areas in the Detroit metro area that she thinks will yield her a good return on her time and effort. After she has finished those areas, she said it is up in the air.

“I currently have enough funds to do two locations, and I hope that after those two I will be able to make enough money to go on with the other three. If this can turn into a full-time operation, all the better because hunger isn’t going away. It will always be a problem and we will always need people to fight on the front lines to help end it. Some day I hope we can make it so people are not hungry anymore.”

Lisa’s experience with pop-up shops is another example of how they can serve a community. They can serve as business opportunities for entrepreneurs, and they can also serve as locations for fledging charities that work to benefit the community. Make sure to check out Lisa’s new project once it start in May.

New Clothing Pop Up Downtown

New Clothing Pop Up Downtown

How to start a clothing retail store.

You may have heard the rumblings or seen the storefront being reworked, but we are getting a new clothing pop-up downtown next month, but you better check it out quick because it’s only open for one month!

Pop-up clothing realty spaces continue growing in the popularity both here in Detroit and across the globe. Some of the stores are official projects of major brands like Adidas and Nike, while many of them are independent clothing manufacturers looking for outlets for boutique designer clothing.

Consider this pop-up Adidas store in Latin America. It really is an interesting design for a building. The building is built, shapes, and colored exactly like an Adidas shoebox. This is another feature that is so common and refreshing about pop-up retail stores.

Pop-up retail stores bring an atmosphere and culture to them that just aren’t found in traditional outlet malls or department stores. If you go to one Macy’s you have been to them all, but every pop-up retailer is a completely unique experience. Some have crazy off-the-wall designs like this shoe box store in Latin America or some have a more traditional feel—but with a twist. You never know what to expect when you go to a pop-up retail store. And this is part of their draw. They offer unique clothes in a unique environment.

Back to the new clothing store downtown. We spoke briefly with the young woman opening the store last week. She said that the store opens first thing next month and offers custom made clothing that is Michigan and Detroit specific.

Holly: I have a lot of pride in where I come from, and traveling across the country I notice a lot of people look down on Michigan and Detroit especially. They view us as a dying city with nothing left to offer the county or even our communities. Well I am here to tell everyone that that is not the case. Detroit is still a vibrant city, and it is on the rough swing. Sure we have had some tough times recently, but we’ll bounce back; we always do. I started D-Town Clothing Designs a few years ago and have been selling shirts, and hoodies little by little online, but I’m hoping to expand my Detroit fan base by opening up a popshop next month.

71pop: So will you be open the entire month?

Holly: That’s right! The whole month, Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. I am a schoolteacher, so I have the summers off, and not working all summer long allows me to partake in other hobbies I have like this. So all during the school year I work to build up my inventory and then I try my hardest to sell it once we get out of school. This is my first year doing a popshop during the summer, however, so have really kicked it into full gear to make sure that my inventory is ready to rock.

71pop: Well, Holly thanks for talking with us. We’ll be sure to send our fans on over to your store once it opens.

Holly: Thank you so much! I really do appreciate it. I hope this year goes well.

Pop Up Art Store

Pop Up Art Store

Start and art store

Detroit’s newest pop-up store is an art gallery with around 50 pieces of original artwork for sale, and lucky for you, we got a hold of the couple working day and night to finally make their dream of having selling artwork to the community a reality. Here’s a 71pop exclusive.

Recently I interviewed Dave and Marla Raymond about their new project. They were excited beyond belief about their new venture and saw it as a real opportunity to become full-time community artists in the metro-Detroit area.

Q: What’s the name behind your venture?

A: We have an for sale art gallery called “D-Town Artistry.” It is a collection of mine and my wife’s work, plus around 10 or so pieces from other local Detroit artists.

Q: What spurred you to start your own pop-up location?

A: Well, Marla and I both enjoy dabbling in art, and over the years the hobby has gotten more serious. Ever since we first got married eight years ago we talked about selling it at local Detroit-wide art fairs, but we just never had the time or the right opportunity. We knew we couldn’t afford to open up a full retail store since we’re both still working and we couldn’t risk quitting or getting laid off at this point—especially in Detroit. But when we heard about pop-up retail, we thought it was the perfect fit for us. We can have an entire store all to ourselves for two full weeks. It’s like a test run, and will show us whether or not we really want to pursue this.

Q: So, you view this pop-up retail as giving you that one opportunity you needed to start selling art full time?

A: Perhaps. Obviously it depends on how we do our first crack at it. The important thing, and why pop-up retail is so great, is that it allows you to test certain ideas or concepts without a large amount of capital. Think about it, I would never be able to rent out a fill studio space to try and sell my art. That’s a full time job right there. I would have to quit my job and change careers immediately, and that’s just too risky right now. Pop-ups allow me to test the waters.

Q: So is this a trend you see continuing in the Detroit area?

A: I do see it becoming more popular and I think it is already. Detroit really is a city ripe for this kind of retail. There are tons and tons of young artists, clothes makers, designers, etc., who all have great ideas and concepts, but aren’t quite ready or able to break into making their dreams a full-time reality. These kinds of retailers give all of them, like they gave me and my wife, an opportunity.

Q: When does your store open?

A: It will open this summer for two weeks in August, right at the peak of art season, and we are really excited to see where it takes us.

Q: We’ll have to have you back once your store opens and we can talk about how business is going.

A: Sounds great. I look forward to it.

Dave and Marla’s shop is located downtown near, the old warehouse. We’ll keep you updated as new details arise.