Buy Nearby Guide: Lansing


I’ve claimed Lansing as my home since checking into the dorms at MSU in 2004 and so much has changed in the last 12 years. Lots of new developments along Michigan Avenue, Reo Town, Old Town and other little pockets and neighborhoods.

One of my clients, Michigan Retailers Association, has launched a year-round shop local in Michigan campaign called Buy Nearby and naturally, I want to support this effort and dedicate a post to share my favorite places in Lansing.

I find myself spending the most time in Old Town since I gravitate to the shops and it’s also where I live. Read below for a breakdown of the local retailers including boutiques, salons, and restaurants I love and visit the most!


Favorite Salons & Spas

Laurel Salon: Located in Okemos, it’s such a gorgeous space and I’ve followed my favorite esthetician there and so glad it introduced me to such a beautiful, serene salon. Camilla has been waxing and now tinting my brows since my early 20’s–even when I lived in Chicago briefly, I’d come back to Lansing and have her fix the brows. Her room at Laurel has a giant window facing all things nature. This salon has a lot of great talent and experience, plus the salon is light and bright with a laidback luxe vibe. What I love about the salon is the focus on what’s good for your body–inside and out.DSC_8246

The Standard: The Standard focuses on hair, eyelash extensions and brows and it’s the cutest space in Old Town. The owner Michelle cuts and colors my hair now and I’ve had a handful of the girls handle my NovaLash extensions–and each time it’s amazing! They also style my hair with a braid for a great price–I’ll go in and get a quick crown braid to wear through the weekend. What I personally love so much about this salon is how Michelle hires new talent and personally trains and educates them and invests so much into each stylist. They’re on top of new trends and willing to do anything like take a walk-in braid appointment.
Vada’s Day Spa: This is where I go for any of my other waxing needs. Vada, the owner, makes you feel so incredibly comfortable and she has years of experience. Her spa is in an office park, so initially you may be like where the hell am I? But trust that inside those doors is the best brazilian wax you’ll find.

Favorite Shops & Boutiques


Retail Therapy: Retail Therapy is my most favorite place to shop in Lansing. I worked with Retail Therapy a couple years ago for a blog opportunity and I’ve been hooked ever since. Celeste, the owner, is everything I want to be when I grow up. She’s the most stylish woman on this planet with the biggest heart. She inspires me professionally and of course, her taste and aesthetic is bold and refined–also inspiring. She picks out such cool pieces that are mostly designed and produced in the U.S. with a small set of labels out of Europe that are impeccably made.DSC_0839

Belle Row: A bit off the beaten path in East Lansing, you’ll find a darling boutique carrying affordable contemporary lines of clothing and accessories. You can snag an affordable dress for an upcoming wedding or snag your basics like black leggings guilt-free.
Bradly’s Home and Garden: This store is the source of all home inspiration. From furniture to lighting to small decor pieces and gifty items, it’s large and carries so many amazing pieces. I walk James past the store almost daily and do a lot of window shopping–which is always stocked with new decor accents that I feel as if I need, like the ceramic cacti I bought recently.

Favorite Restaurants

The Creole: This New Orleans inspired bar and restaurant packs a punch to each dish and cocktail offered. I’ve experienced this place for breakfast, lunch and dinner–and it’s just a great place no matter what time of day, but this is definitely my favorite brunch spot. French press coffee, grapefruit mimosas and the best quiche–it’s a great way to start a weekend.DSC_0889Strange Matter: The best coffee shop in town hands down. Think hand brewed coffees, syrups made in-house and delicious treats (like donuts!) I’m not much of a coffee connoisseur, but I can taste when that shit is real good, plus they are priced well. Can’t. Beat. That. I love any of the sweet drinks like Β the iced nolas and cinnamon honey lattes.

Cheers: If you head downtown during the lunch hour, check out Cheers for a deliciously filling protein shake. This is where I go usually every day of the week for lunch. The hours are limited–10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays so it’s the perfect spot to grab lunch or a late breakfast. Birthday cake, skinny mint, brownie batter and peanut butter are a few flavors I have in my current rotation.

Thai Village: A place my co-workers crave daily and love to grab lunch downtown and a place I love to order delivery from during the weeknights. The spicy fried rice varieties blow my mind. Because I’m trying to eat much healthier, I order delivery not often and I can divide this order into plenty of meals!

Fitness Faves

FLEXcity Fitness: I’ve been a dedicated FLEXcitizen for just over two years now and this place has really helped me become physically fit, but transforming the way I look at health, fitness and eating right. When I think about what I love most in Lansing and what I would miss/couldn’t live without if I left, it’s this studio and the instructors (especially owners Jenny and Trista!)


[Desigual dress and Quay sunglasses from Retail Therapy, blow out by the Standard]

This is just a very short list of my favorites, but learn more about what’s going in different areas of town by visiting the Old Town Commercial Association, Β Downtown Lansing Inc. and Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. Also be sure to participate in the Buy Nearby photo contest on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Just use the hashtag #ibuynearby during the first weekend in October and you could win a $500 Discovery gift card!

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  • Marielle Temkin
    August 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Love this wrapup! I've never really thought of the Lansing area as a shopping/dining/beauty destination, but now I think I need to take a daytrip up from Royal Oak soon!

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    August 24, 2016 at 5:02 pm

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    August 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

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  • Frank
    September 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!