Leon & Lulu in Clawson, MI
"Most accommodating and friendly place" and "Live well. Laugh often. Shop much" and "Welcoming with a wow factor"
A true shopper’s delight, Leon and Lulu is much more than a retail outlet but a place where customers become community. Shoppers are treated to refreshments on the house as they peruse the store, which is often filled with people frequenting one of their many charity fashion shows, animal adoption events, and blood donation drives.
Welcome to Leon & Lulu, Metro Detroit’s own award-winning lifestyle store. Set in the historic Ambassador Roller Rink in downtown Clawson, Leon & Lulu offers one-of-a-kind, high-end custom furniture, as well as a spectacular selection of gifts, accessories, and women’s clothing. Leon & Lulu is serious about exceptional design, fabulous service, and great pricing, but has a great sense of humor about everything else! Stop in to shop, attend one of our many special events, or just to explore while you enjoy complimentary coffee and popcorn. Employees skate around and bring you coffee and brownies as you shop. Many of the store’s regular events support and promote local artists and authors, often giving profits to charities and letting those charities hold events in the story any night of the week.
The staff is always friendly and available to help, and will remember your name upon arrival. They’ll take the time to chat with you, and are genuinely interested in your questions and answers. The place is oozing with charm: whimsical artwork, comfortable furniture, Michigan-made items, books, jewelry, and clothing adorn the shelves, guaranteeing something for everyone. Cheery, bouncy music is always playing, and the store is pet-friendly too, so you can bring along a shopping companion.
They’re even becoming next door neighbors, with themselves! Leon & Lulu recently acquired the historic Clawson Theatre for plans of further expansion. Built in 1941 (the same year as Ambassador Roller Rink), the Clawson Theatre served as Clawson’s movie house for 21 years, showing it’s last film in 1962. Since then, the building has been used as a warehouse and cafe, but until recently had been vacant for several years. Embracing the spirit of The Show, as the locals called it, the 7,800 square-foot site required massive renovation and retrofitting to regain the appearance of a classic downtown Main Street theater. After replacing the original marquee and thoroughly restoring the building’s interior, The Show at Leon & Lulu is now open. The Show features a full Made in Michigan store, outrageous greeting cards, custom framing, and is home to Three Cats Cafe, which serves exquisite pastries, coffee drinks, and lunch daily.
In retrofitting the roller rink and movie theater, Leon & Lulu has preserved some Clawson history by becoming a combination museum and everything store, but still has a “Welcome, friend” feel that most retailers lack. It’s not so much a store as it is an experience. If more businesses conducted themselves the way Leon & Lulu does, we’d have much happier communities.
Stories About Leon & Lulu
Leon & Lulu works with countless organizations, regularly holds fundraisers, donates items for charity auctions, and features local Michigan businesses. They host charity fashion shows with a full runway and the employees, plus models, walk it. They’ll donate funds and space to any organization with a need to help others, such as the Barbara Ann Karamanos Cancer Institute, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build, as well as local Michigan schools. They frequently hold shop-ins, where 10% of the night’s proceeds are donated to a worthy cause. Mittens for Detroit holds knit-in gatherings at the store, where staff provide workshops and refreshments to make all feel welcome. Their generosity even goes far beyond Leon & Lulu’s four walls, as they travel to the AIDS Walk Detroit in Royal Oak to provides incentives and prizes, even filling one of their vehicles with ping-pong balls for participants to guess the amount.
They have local artists (painting, jewelry, woodworking, etc.) in areas all through the store in early December. Shopping indoors is cozy, you support local artists and get some great one-of-a-kind gifts! And they supply free hot dogs to everyone! You can get something to eat and drink at their food counter, sit on a soft sofa, and even take a nap. No one bothers you.
One of the local artists often featured at Leon & Lulu is the lovely, kind, and creative Kris Jezak, who sells adorable cards with her paintings on them so people can exchange pleasantries and greetings. She also gives out little kindness cards with encouraging words so her customers can spread joy and love after they leave. She is the kind of joy to do business with that you could only find at Leon & Lulu.
The owner, Mary Liz Curtin, goes far beyond just talking about helping entrepreneurs and artists, actually doing something about it. Instead of turning away local artists who wanted to sell in her store, she created a bi-annual event where any artist can set up a stall and sell in an old fashioned artist’s market. She did the same thing for local independent authors in creating Books & Authors, where they can sell our self-published or small press books directly to readers, as it can be difficult to get access to mainstream chain retailers. It’s that kind of thing that sets Leon & Lulu apart. A lot of people like to talk about building communities, but Mary Liz and her folks have really stepped up to just do it.