Cathy and Tom Bateman are ready to retire and move south. It means they will soon close EnCore 118 Custom Furnishings & Boutique in downtown Howell. The shop at 118 W. Grand River Ave. will close July 27.
The repurposed furniture, home decor and gift shop is the only retailer in Howell that carries Michigan rocker Kid Rock's Made in Detroit brand apparel and other gear, according to the company. Concrete Roots in Brighton carries the brand.
The Batemans have been selling Made in Detroit merchandise for several years, even before they opened their Howell shop in 2014. They previously sold the items at their Holly store My Sweet Holly, which they closed before moving inventory to Howell.
"I never got to meet Kid Rock, but we always got free tickets and backstage passes when he was at DTE (Energy Music Theater)," Cathy Bateman said. She said sales increased at EnCore 118 once she hung a Made in Detroit banner outside.
"It increased my sales big time, but then the city made me take it down," she said. "So, the Made in Detroit people made us the decals" seen in the windows.
Before opening their former shop in Holly, Cathy Bateman was repurposing furniture as a home-based and online business.
"It got to the point there was too much stuff in my husband's pole barn," she said. "That's when I got the (Holly) store. ...Then the store was so big, I had to fill it up and started buying decor, adding other things."
She said one of the top selling product lines in her Howell show has been Beyond Paint brand cabinet and furniture paint. The Batemans offered furniture painting workshops. "I think half of Howell has painted their kitchen cabinets with it," she said.
The store also sells household items, jewelry, seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, and other products. Everything in the store is on sale.
Photo credits to Livingston Daily