I knew as an early child. I remember my mother would speak about my grandparents running their own filling station in West Virginia. They had their own bees and grandma would sell the honey in the filling station. Grandma would get up early to start her day cooking for the filling station. Little did I know this story would not affect me until 2011 when I would have to leave my office job due to a major surgery that took over a year to rehabilitate. After rehabilitation I found myself asking what do I do now. I knew I didn’t want to go back to that office job. That’s when time was on my side and I starting crafting, something that came naturally since I grew up with a stay at home mom that taught me how to sew and craft. I started making Michigan Mitten Pillows and signed up with a booth in downtown Clinton then it evolved to making them for downtown storefronts like Bohemian Home in Plymouth, Crafted Modern Handmade in Belleville, Tamara Treasures in Belleville and all the way to Fair Haven for the Attic Finds where I would process more than 4 dozen for them.
After some success I started also doing seasonal markets. We had to pack up our truck, set up a tent and stage all the products then hopefully after a successful day pack up the truck and take it home and unpack again. It was physically exhausting. I knew the wear and tear on my body was not good. I had to find another way. That’s when it all came clear and the story about my grandparents came flooding back to me. It was time to search out a more permanent solution. I needed a store, but where would I go? I knew Ypsilanti was my home, but I always loved Milan’s downtown. The quaint cute historical feeling it gave me every time I visited. I knew it fit in perfect for my products. I started popping up in downtown Milan for there new event 3rd Thursday that Milan Main Street created to revitalize the downtown. I would pop up in a space every month and sell my products. It was a success and the town loved it. That’s when I knew it was time to lay down roots and finally live out that dream that was so implanted in me at such an early age. That’s when Northern Chicks was created.
People ask how did I come to the name Northern Chicks.
It was simple, since I was laying down roots I had to go back to my roots. My parents would take us to go south every memorial weekend to decorate our family’s grave. It is a tradition in the south to honor your loved ones that had perished in the war. My cousins and their friends would always tease me of course out of fun, your one of those Yankee’s, City Slickers and mostly one of those Northern Chicks. Yes, I was and proud of it! So, when it came time for a name well it just came natural and of course anyone that knows me, I’m an honest realist and so the name spoke to my upbringing. Northern roots but Southern traditions.
Since our opening the community has embraced shopping in downtown Milan. My customers have supported this dream and I am so grateful. Thank you to everyone who helped me find my dream job at Northern Chicks.