We don’t need the Farmer’s Almanac to tell us that we live in one of the top ten cloudiest states. Good news though! Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, so maybe an early spring? In the meantime, what about surrounding yourself with glitter as a way to add light and sparkle when the sun doesn’t shine?
Tiffany Merryfield sells her own line of glitter in the retail section of Ruby Blu Marketing, the shop she opened in November in the space formerly occupied by Sammi’s Hair Station (Sammi’s moved to the Peters Building around the corner on Michigan Ave. a couple years ago).
Merryfield stocks supplies for do-it-yourself glitter projects and decorates an array of products and promotional items including T-shirts, sweatshirts, seventy different shapes of cups, thermal cups, pens, straw toppers and key chains. A typical customer might be a small business owner who wants a bunch of customized keychains, or a teacher buying molds and glitter for a project.
Not everything she sells sparkles with glitter.
“We also sell personalized rhinestone logo shirts and do everything right here, in house,” says Merryfield, sitting at a workstation in a smaller room behind the retail floor. Merryfield’s glitter line adorns an entire wall there, over 400 different colors and types.
“It’s the good kind of glitter,” she says.
What makes glitter good or bad?
“It’s the polyester,” says Merryfield, explaining that her line is high quality and solvent resistant. She stocks holographic, iridescent, and metallic versions. Each has its own attributes, and glitter aficionados appreciate the subtle differences.
Merryfield says she gets inspiration from things that sparkle. That’s how she came up with the name for her business: Her birthstone is the ruby, and her nickname for her husband is Blu. “He has bright blue eyes.”
By investing in her own glitter line, Merryfield gets to name the colors.
“It’s my brand. I call it Sparkle City Treasures, and I give each color a positive name, something romantic or inspirational. I call this one Opportunity,” she says, pulling down a pink blend from the shelves of glistening glitter jars. Another jar is filled with a dazzling deep red–she calls that one Drive.
The retail space of the three-room shop is bare-bones but there’s a palpable warmth, especially when Merryfield is talking about glitter. There’s a sales counter, a few shelves that hold products, a round clothing rack with samples of the T-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, and a tall set of shelves stocked with shadow boxes and etched lanterns.
“We also do laser in-house,” says Merryfield as she reaches for a pair of etched wineglasses.
“The memorial lanterns are one of my signature items,” she says, pointing to one on display. Customers choose whatever saying or words they’d liked etched in the lantern glass as a way to memorialize a loved one.
Merryfield wears another hat that helps pay the rent. She’s a certified public accountant. As the owner of Crimson Company, she helps small businesses with their taxes, payroll, and bookkeeping. “I want my clients to feel like family,” says Merryfield, with a smile and a sparkle in her eye.
Ruby Blu Marketing, 405 N. Ann Arbor St., (734) 316-2491. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-
6 p.m. Closed Sat. and Sun.