Home furnishings and design source Leon and Lulu of Clawson has been named one of Home Accent Today’s 50 Retail Stars for 2017 by editors of the trade magazine. The Retail Stars list, now in its 14th year, recognizes independent brick-and-mortar retailers of home accents that merchandise creatively, have a positive presence in their local communities, and stand out from the competition.
“Home Accents Today’s 2018 Retail Stars list showcases some of the best independent home décor and home furnishings retailers in the country,” says Thomas Lester, business editor of Home Accent Today. “They are rising above the challenges of an ever-changing retail environment and are raising the bar for their innovations in marketing and merchandising strategies, customer service, and community contributions. This annual honor recognizes their skills, hard work, and dedication, and should serve as a reminder to us all to support local businesses.”
Co-owner of Leon and Lulu Mary Liz Curtin was also named Oakland County’s Super Heroes of Main Street Business Owner of the Year. She was previously the chair of Gift for Life and currently sits on the retail advisory boards for both the Dallas Market Center and the Gift and Home Channel. She chairs the Downtown Development Authority in Clawson. Curtin writes the “Penny Pinching Retailer” column for Giftware News Magazine and has given her small-business advice to publications such as The Wall Street Journal.
She has advised companies including eBay, Yankee Candle, Western Home Furnishings Association, and Beaumont Health. Curtin has nearly 40 years of hands-on experience in the gift and home industries, advising manufacturers with her brand of sales and marketing therapy. She’s also the author of A Shopkeeper’s Manual, a comprehensive and upbeat guide to running an independent business.
“You don’t just get an idea, gather a few friends and set aside a weekend to work and voila, you have a viable downtown,” says L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive. “Creating the kind of downtowns that attract businesses, residents, and visitors while preserving a community’s heritage takes sustained effort and commitment.”
Curtin lives in Michigan with her husband, her two children, and their dogs Spot and Bertie Wooster, all of whom work in the store. Curtin and her husband purchased both the Ambassador roller rink and Clawson Theatre, where Leon and Lulu is located. The store opened in 2006 and occupies more than 20,000 square feet of shopping, offering high-end furniture, décor, clothing, gifts, Michigan-made products, books, and a bistro-style restaurant.
Leon and Lulu is located at 94 W. 14 Mile Road.