Detroit (CBS Detroit) – Down in Parker’s Alley, right behind The Shinola Hotel, there is a major “alley activation” going on. Here, you’ll find unique businesses like Drought, The Velvet Tower and The Lip Bar…all three establishments owned and operated by women, right here in Detroit.


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“Two of my sisters and myself were actually living in New York City at the time, I was a hair stylist, and they were kind of transitioning out of college and looking for something to do,” recalls Jessie James, President & Co-Founder of Drought. “Then my other sister was back in Michigan looking for a new path as well.”


“We had this idea and really wanted to create a product that we could stand behind,” adds James. “We wanted it to be something where when we drank it, we felt really good, and then pass that on to the consumer.”

“I’ve been collecting for 2 years, this is just the tip of the iceberg of my collection,” explains Emily Bernstein, Owner of The Velvet Tower. “I started selling clothes about 2 years ago, pretty much everything is vintage, everything is going to be a statement piece.”

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“This is one of the most exciting retail areas to come up in Detroit,” adds Bernstein, “and everyone’s talking about it and everyone’s excited.”

“I came back to a city that didn’t necessarily have the best reputation,” recalls Melissa Butler, President & CEO of The Lip Bar, “but I saw the changes happening. So I moved my company from New York back to my hometown of Detroit.

“The day we opened the store, we had a line of 70 women waiting in the freezing cold to get into this place,” says Butler. “That’s amazing to have such close connectivity with the owners in this city.”

Watch for “Eye on Detroit” segments weekdays during “CBS This Morning” at 7 a.m. featuring unique and positive stories from the Motor City.

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