6 LGBTQ companies to try this Pride Month

There are tons of fun ways to celebrate Pride in June through parades, alternative proms, donating to your favorite LGBTQ+ organizations or reading LGBTQ+ literature.

Another option is to shop locally and support your city’s LGBTQ+ community. Lansing has a wide variety of LGBTQ-owned small businesses.

Subway retro

Owned by Ted Stewart, Metro Retro is a fun and funky vintage store stocked with new-girl dresses, fun knick-knacks, vintage costume jewelry and more. Aside from being the favorite vintage store for hundreds in Lansing, Metro Retro holds an important place in the local LGBTQ+ community.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to do this is just to have a place where queer and trans people can feel welcome to try on clothes,” Stewart said.

Since opening six years ago, Stewart has seen several transgender customers come through its doors to experiment with clothes, including one of its customers buying his first prom dress.

“It’s a nice thing, a greater honor than any kind of reward you would give me,” Stewart said. “That’s more important to me than money.”

lesbian connection

Lesbian Connection, also known as Elsie Publishing, is a grassroots forum magazine that has been published regularly since 1974. The magazine was created in a lesbian center to provide information about local events.

Today, readers can learn about lesbian events, travel information, and lesbian businesses to support. Lesbians can also write letters and columns to send in, and about 12,000 copies are sent out every other week. Although the magazine is based in Lansing, women across the country and around the world read Lesbian Connection.

“I would say that we are a big part of the local lesbian community in that. For women to find context here to find out what’s going on in the area,” said Elise Harmon, a contributor to the magazine. “It’s a job like no other, you know, to get the opportunity to do things like that. It was just amazing.”

Thrifty witch

Thrift Witch, owned by Tiesha King, is a “gothic pop culture thrift store” in Old Town. There are all sorts of fascinating things to buy, from adorably creepy paintings to creepy black dresses and t-shirts to adorably disfigured stuffed animals.

Thrift Witch is a sanctuary for anyone into the macabre, and King felt it was important to create a place where all customers felt welcome to enjoy their interest in all things spooky.

As an LGBTQ-led company, King said that “no matter what your job, it’s important to create a safe space.”

As Thrift Witch began to grow into an established company, King said, “It was really important for me to get other people involved.”

As a wonderful example of community, King notes that Metro Retro’s Ted Stuart encouraged them to open Thrift Witch.

“I owe everything to Ted,” King said. “Because without him as a gay mentor, which I needed at the time, I couldn’t pass that on to others.”

Bradly Home and Garden and Birch Rak Clothier

Bradly Rakowski, an Institute of Merchandising and Design graduate, owns both Bradly HG and Birch Rak Clothier.

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Bradly Home and Garden, also in Old Town, stocks quality design items and updated classics for your home. Upon entering the store, customers are treated to an aesthetically pleasing selection of everything Bradly’s HG has to offer. Full of bright and cozy neutrals and bold statement pieces, there really is something for every style.

Rakovsky also owns Birch Rak Clothiers within Bradlys HG. Birch Rak offers menswear from sturdy leather boots to handsome suits in a variety of colors and patterns and literally feathers for your hat! In addition, they have a selection of men’s grooming products such as beard oils, combs, and lotions. To top it all off they also have fun snacks making this a one stop shop for all things style and design.

Rainbow Riot

Part of Dark Arts Market, Rainbow Riot sells queer art and treasures and is owned by Tiesha King and Ryan Cooke.

“We’ve always talked about how important it is for people to be in a place that’s goth or you know, some subculture or whatever, and to be represented,” King said.

Thrift Witch has a handful of Pride products scattered throughout the store, and King described them as top sellers, giving them the idea of ​​opening an LGBTQ+ store.

Among other things, local artist Eden Behr creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces to decorate your home. Customers can find unique Pride merch items to represent themselves with and rainbow candles, rainbow scarves and just about anything!

Rainbow Riot is the perfect place to get LGBTQ related gifts and a great way to celebrate and support local LGBTQ+ artists.

Craft hair salon

“We have an idea that positive creative energy can change you, your life and the world.”

That’s the philosophy behind The Artisan Company Hair Salon, an LGBTQ-owned, gender- and age-sensitive salon and spa.

Proprietor Jason Frank is a fashion icon and hair color and lengthening expert, and a graduate of the Douglas J. Aveda salon in Lansing. Frank founded the Artisan Company to give Lansing creatives “a home that allows them not only to create and thrive, but also to be surrounded by like-minded people who want to push boundaries.”

From rainbow ombre to a trending bob, the Artisan Company can do it all. Using only cruelty-free and environmentally responsible products, their salon is a totally comfortable and safe place to get your hair done!

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