Where is Naka?
We're located in downtown Ferndale, MI, a happening little city in Metro Detroit. Ferndale has some of the funkiest, most unique, and unpretentious shopping and dining around. If you’re in town, stop by! We can give you some great recommendations.
How long has it been there?
Naka was established in 2005.
Do you have more than one location?
As of now, 171 W. 9 Mile is our one and only.
What does Naka mean?
Naka means "beautiful" in Shona, which is one of the languages spoken in Zimbabwe. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to study there during my junior year of college, and always thought it was an elegant word. It also means "inside" in Japanese.
Why do you define yourselves as "an indie boutique"?
For starters, we are an independently owned and operated business, and as such consider ourselves part of a community that we try to support and enrich. We also carry the work of many independent designers and artists, and believe that they should have a place to not only have their work admired, but also purchased.
What's with the Day-Twa t-shirts?
Much like shoppers refer to Target as “Tar-jay,” lots of Detroiters refer to Detroit using its original French pronunciation, “Des-trois.” Day-Twa is a phonetic play on this common nickname. You’ll only find Day-Twa items at Naka, since it's our original design.
So who works there anyway?
Well, there's me, Kelly LaPointe, and I am the owner and boss lady, although I'd like to think I'm not overly bossy. Basically, I am the Buyer/Sales Manager/Visual Merchandising Head/Custom Jewelry Maker/PR Department/Marketing Operator/T-Shirt Model/Big Fat Decision Maker. In other words, I pretty much do (and enjoy doing) anything that's required of me as the owner of a small boutique. However, I do not in any way do these things alone. I have a really wonderful group of people who work with me, listed here in no particular order:
Cindy: My incredible mom, and also Retail Counsel, Photo Taker, Accountant, Sounding Board, Maintenance Head, Web Site Assistant, and Organizational Master. Small but mighty.
Joshua: Not only great with customer service and multilingual, but also the best t-shirt model around and the indisputable master of finding great tunes. He also sews a mean bow tie and has been known to single-handedly begin new fashion trends.
Sam: Naka's Manager, my right hand lady who gets it done right. She helps with displays, special orders, regular orders, sales, organization, cleaning...pretty much anything that needs doing. She's also a talented illustrator with phenomenal handwriting.
Laura: The newest addition to the Nakettes, she puts good intentions and positive energy into everything she does, and it shows. Funny and fun to be around, she's also a great help with sales, baby holding, and dog walking.
Ava: Wonderdog, Store Puppy Extraordinaire, Friend to Many, Resident Greeter, and Head of Security. As anyone who has been in the store knows, Naka is as much hers as it is mine.