On Small Business Saturday in 2012, Nora was born. The brainchild of Toby Barlow and Liz Boone, Nora is Detroit’s modern design store for thoughtful décor, housewares, books and gifts.
“We opened Nora to celebrate Detroit’s design legacy and heritage, but also to bring global design to the people and keep Detroit relevant in the ever-evolving discussion of modern design,” Boone said.
Located in Midtown Detroit on Cass Avenue, Nora carries a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian modern home goods, personal accessories, kitchenwares, apothecary, books and stationery. “We source most of our products from all over the world,” Boone said. “We travel a lot and bring home treasure from near and far.”
Locally printed apparel is a strong seller at Nora. “We designed and have some of our own Nora T-shirts in baby onesies, kids and adult sizes printed locally from SMPLFD Detroit,” Boone said. They feature sayings such as, Detroit Loves Everybody, Love You Too, and Good Grief.
The store is a one-stop gift shop where customers can find something for everyone that is a fan of modern design. They sell mostly tabletop, textiles, ceramics and other gifty items. When asked what her favorite part of owning a store is, Boone replied, “Our store seems to make people happy. What could be better than that?”
The Midtown retail neighborhood is a vibrant, walkable community that continues to grow. Boone describes Detroit as a blend of grit and grace. “We are humble survivors. Our spirit fuels our progress,” she added.