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November 2, 2015


One of Many: The Fabric of the City

Featured: Mandisa Smith

November 2, 2015

One of Many is a monthly series of photo essays produced by our friend Wesley Verhoeve. The project features a different American city each month, telling the stories of makers and creative communities in twelve cities total. The hope is that these stories will inspire readers to become a part of the independent creative movement that is reshaping our economy and culture.

 View an excerpt from Wesley's photo essay on Detroit below, or visit to see more of his work. 


Mandisa Smith is the co-founder of Detroit Fiber Works, a store that offers beautiful, handmade home goods and clothing. Some of it is made by Mandisa, like the top worn here, some by her co-founder Najma, and some by mostly fellow Detroit artists. Mandisa holds an MBA, used to work in the automotive industry, and like many of her peers, followed a winding path to find her passion at the end of a long piece of string.

Taylor Hayes is a Michigan-born designer and stylist and she’s got next. The neoprene piece was designed and handmade by Taylor, who graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology. In the past, Taylor has styled local Detroit musicians on the come up, including Dej Loaf, and she will make her mark. I can just feel it.

Pictured: Taylor Hayes

In a past life, Charley Marcuse was known as “The Singing Hot Dog Man”, by many sports fans at the Tigers Stadium and Comerica Park. He took a stand by exclaiming “There is no ketchup in baseball!“ and refusing to sell the red substance which he deemed inferior to mustard, the hot dog’s natural companion in the wild. Eventually this led to a ban, and later a firing. But you can’t keep Charley down. He parlayed the attention into his own line of mustard sauce, Charley’s Ballpark Mustard, which is offered in 65 establishments throughout Michigan. Additionally, as you might infer from his distinguished appearance, Charley has taken an interest in fashion, helping men better themselves sartorially at the renowned Claymore Shop menswear store.

Eric Yelsma is the founder of Detroit Denim, which operates out of the Ponyride space. As a youngen, he taught himself how to use a sewing machine, and several decades later he found himself obsessing over the relationship between the customer and those who make his clothes. This led to his passion driven quest to make the highest quality American jeans, with an eye on both style and utility. There’s only one U.S. mill left which produced the kind of high end denim Eric swears by, Cone Mills in North Carolina,. His team of four ensures that 100% of all other materials used are also sourced from within the United States.





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