Ferndale/Pleasant Ridge City Guide 2023

By Sara E Teller


Before settling into her current space located at 395 W. Marshall St., she owned a studio in Hamtramck, as well as a storefront off of Main St. in downtown Royal Oak for 25 years. Then, after relocating out of state for a short time, she eventually came back to Michigan and settled into Ferndale.

“I was driving by my current space on Marshall one day and spotted the studio for rent,” she said, adding that she just knew it would be a perfect fit. She had been looking at a location in Oak Park, too, but Marshall instantly drew her in.

Cameron considers herself to be a serious artist, but she’s scaled back quite a bit in recent years. At one time she was doing many large, socially driven installations. These days, she prefers to work on smaller, more modest pieces. The last installation Cameron created was for the Flint water crisis.

Before shifting her artistic direction more towards “happy, carefree” pieces, Cameron also spent many years focusing on what she calls “not somber art, but art focused on the state of the world, current times and head space.” She coined this era, “Paradise Lost.” It became difficult, however, to continually be immersed in societal issues, especially after the onset of the pandemic, so she decided to put out positive pieces instead. “It’s still there, of course,” Cameron explained. “I’m just not going there myself all the time.”

WORKING NOW ON COLLAGE, ASSEMBLAGE, AND PAINTINGS, Cameron enjoys being in the heart of Ferndale, where she lives nearby and is able to make friends with store patrons.

“The young people of Ferndale have been totally amazing,” she said, warmly. “They come into the store often and have bought quite a few of my paintings. There are many apartments close by, and I get a lot of walk-ins as a result.” Pausing briefly, Cameron added, “I also put out biscuits on the windowsills and have made many dog friends along the way. And, right now, I’m giving away Cracker Jack boxes with purchases.”

During the past year and a half that she’s been at Marshall, Cameron has done little in the way of advertising due largely to Ferndale’s tight-knit, welcoming community. “It’s been absolutely delicious,” she said of the traction she’s gotten, adding, “It’s about two miles from my home, which is perfect.”

Another important shift in focus for Cameron and her work has been on connection. “COVID created a sense of isolation,” she said. “Life was forever changed. But the decision to open this space has been wonderful – it’s worked out tremendously.” She often enjoys the company of visiting artist friends in addition to her customers.

WHEN ASKED FROM WHERE SHE DRAWS HER CREATIVE INSPIRATION, CAMERON EXPLAINED, “I’ve been a painter, and an artist in general, for so long, but I still search for inspiration everywhere. I have about 35 illustrated journals, and sometimes I’ll take a look at past entries and be inspired by ideas that never came to fruition.”

She has also long been collecting various odds and ends for her collage work and will sort through these periodically, seeing what she can create from her finds. Cameron said, “I like to pick up unusual, handmade stuff, and I search all over. I don’t order anything from catalogues.”

Cameron paints the most during the winter months and has recently sold some of her latest creations. She said, “My price point reflects my age. I don’t want to hold onto pieces; I want to share them.”

When she isn’t in the studio or greeting guests at her store, Cameron’s creativity comes out in her other passions and pastimes. She especially enjoys gardening and has a canvas of perennials lining her front yard. She also likes to travel, and recently took her first trip since the pandemic with a friend. “Just yesterday, I also looked up the film theater schedule in Detroit,” she shared, and is hoping to delve back into her love of movies.

For more information on Lulu Cameron and her art, call 573-535-9370 or stop by 395 W. Marshall St.
Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.

By Rebecca Hammond


We see lots of walkers-by from our front porch, sometimes folks we’ve never seen before, but usually the same people day after day, reliable enough that it can be worrisome to not see someone for a few days. Everyone who passes says hi, and even people across the street wave and call out. The typical small talk is what seems to make the world go round. The weather, their dog, which flowers are in bloom at the moment, and isn’t that garden a lot of work compared to a lawn (no, it’s much less). The encounters never get old.

We’re a known walkable city thanks to ongoing efforts by multiple officials and maybe some lucky geography, with even those of us living at the outer edges of our four quadrants being a comfortable stroll to and from our thriving downtown. We can walk to do anything here and, although I don’t know many who live completely car-free, it’s possible. Phil just left the house for his almost-daily walk to the Library (and Western Market on the way home). We’ve walked to Hambo for years once a week to meet neighbors for breakfast, usually hitting Credit Union One, the Library, and either Natural Food Patch or New York Bagel before heading home.

Ace Hardware in Oak Park is walkable for lots of us. So are two bookstores, Library Books on 9 Mile, and King Books on Woodward, and countless places to eat and drink. Howe’s Bayou is a favorite on-foot destination. So is Anita’s Kitchen. Last week I walked to Mezcal for lunch with two beloved friends. If you want service as friendly as encounters on Ferndale’s sidewalks are, with terrific food as a bonus, head to Mezcal. On the way, birdwatch. And garden gaze. I’ll bet in a month or so it’ll be impossible to find a block in Ferndale without one front yard boasting milkweed.

WALKING IS WAY OF LIFE in rural Michigan, too. Last fall Phil and I spent two days biking from Rogers City to Cheboygan and back, and met two old guys (“older” meaning about our age) who each walked five miles a day. Neither said why, but both gave the impression that a health crisis had precipitated a big turnaround, a change in lifestyle by someone determined to not only stay alive, but thrive.

Many long-distance hiking books include a personal transformation, so much so that those of us who read them would be disappointed if Cheryl Strayed had not found release from her grief and a self-destructive life in Wild, or Heather Anderson hadn’t found a way to cope with self-doubt in Mud, Rocks, Blazes, her Appalachian Trail story. My copy of Granny D, bought for a dollar at the Ferndale library, is signed by author Doris Haddock, to Ferndale’s own Nancy Goedert. Like Strayed, Haddock walked a long distance, finally finding release from the grief of two great losses. She made it from coast-to-coast, to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform. At age 89 she found herself in much better health after her years on the road than before it.

Raynor Winn’s marvelous The Salt Path, though, tells of another health transformation. After losing their farm to a long-time friend’s treachery, she and husband Moth set out on the Coastal Path in SW Britain, mainly because they had no money to do anything else, including buy or rent another home. Did I mention that Moth had also just been given a terminal diagnosis, in the same week they lost their farm? His doctor warned him to take it easy, not exert himself, and to expect the rest of his life to last two years. What they found to their surprise was that as the weeks passed, Moth got better and stronger. Winn’s second book, The Deep Silence, is partly about her research into why this was probably so. Like the two Michigan guys we met along US23 on the shores of Lake Huron, walking was curative, more than expected or hoped for.

A FAVORITE TOPIC ON SOCIAL-MEDIA HIKING PAGES IS FOOTWEAR. People often insist that only hiking boots will do, but walkers here wear everything. I hate boots even on the trail. It feels like a bucket on each foot. After years of my own trial and error (and discovering the YouTube channel Homemade Wanderlust and its charm- ing host Dixie) I’ve settled on on Altra trail runners. But, like lots of the people going past our porch constantly, I’ve tried sports sandals, flip- flops, even going barefoot.

Michigan, in fact, used to have a barefoot hiking club which was featured on the front page of the Free Press’ Sunday Life section long ago; a few states still have them. Humans used to walk lon- ger distances with more basic footwear. Maybe we’ve gotten overly worried about ankle and arch support. Everyone has to figure out what works for them. The best shoe doesn’t remind you it’s on your foot. Emma Gatewood of Ohio hiked the Appalachian Trail three times, the first at age 67, wearing Converse tennies or Keds. Books on hiking, like former US Representative David Bonior’s Walking to Mackinac, are books with blisters being a prominent sub-topic, if like Bonior and his wife Judy, the writer/hiker wore boots. Wild is also a book with a boots-and-blisters subplot.

Many of us are using our devices to track a daily goal of 10,000 steps. Being a person who’s not so much allergic to technology as finding it allergic to me, I’m still surprised that after years of having no cell phone, then a lowly flip phone, I’m enjoying my iPhone mainly because of that health app and its step-counting. It’s a good feeling to go on an errand and glance at the phone when you get home and discover you’re two-thirds of the way to 10,000. Get out and walk! Ferndale is the perfect place for it.


By Dave Cottrill


Since then the forest has seen giraffes (sculptures), soil remediation, a proposed development from Pinecrest Holdings LLC., and then the purchase of the 8 Mile section bought by Detroit Axle, followed by the midsection that contains the forest and the meadow, also bought by Axle Holdings.

The story became one of two stories; the stewardship of the land itself and also about Mike Musheinesh, his family and his company Detroit Axle.

The Musheinesh family are recent immigrants to the United States. Mike’s parents and six children were Palestinian refugees living in Syria. “We are not Syrians. We are Palestinian refugees; second class citizens. No country would welcome us except one, which happens to be the greatest one on earth. You are given the free market and liberty. All you have to do is work hard and everything is open to you.”

Detroit Axle, an auto parts manufacturing/rebuild company, started out in a room behind a transmission plant. The family lived on top of a party store in Southwest Detroit. Now the company has sales of $250 million a year. The company hires and trains enthusiastic applicants which includes formerly incarcerated people.

Back to the Land

THANKS TO MIKE’S PURCHASE OF THE PROPERTY, the forest still exists! Mike has also created a wild garden on the south side just inside the 8 Mile fence. His men took shovels, tilled the ground and then scattered the wild flower seeds for an acre sized garden to bring beauty and renew the land.

Mike Musheinesh has been a responsible steward of the land. He has spent half a million dollars in testing, wells and environmental remediation. The land is not as contaminated as was said. Nothing ever migrated to people’s houses. He put wells on the east side of Pinecrest to monitor the possibility of a leak into people’s homes. The tests have shown that the land is getting cleaner and cleaner. The bio-remediation is working. There are a lot of cotton wood trees in the forest which help with the natural remediation. The land clears itself, especially when the land and trees are not disturbed.

During Ferndale’s five-year Master Plan process of 2022, SWFNA discovered that the draft Master Plan had the land zoned as the dreaded “mixed-use” status for his undeveloped forested land. We contacted Mike and the Planning Steering Committee to have the page removed. The City subsequently sent Mike an email to discuss how he wanted his property to be zoned. Mike replied but no further discussion came from the City. Mike hopes that the City of Ferndale will talk to him regarding the zoning and regarding the already-contracted sidewalk along his private property.


AS WE ALL CAN REMEMBER, MARCH 2020 WAS A TIME OF GREAT STRESS and uncertainty when the supply chains shut down. Doctors and nurses could not get masks. Detroit Axle found a supply of two million masks and an air freight company that could take small parcels. Mike’s company packaged the masks and distributed them. Detroit Axle sent masks for free to the State, to hospitals, 10,000 to Ferndale, and 300,000 masks to Homeland Security.

April 2022, Import & Export were Shut Down

IN APRIL 2022 THERE WAS A MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO WHICH GOVERNMENT AGENCY had responsibility for which auto part. Was it DOT, CBP, or NHTSA? “They prohibited our importing and exporting. We had lawyers working for us. Everybody said, “Wait for the federal government to do its due diligence and we will get back to you.” I asked how long will it take and was told about 12 to 14 weeks. We only have four weeks worth of inventory in our facility.”

“There are certain auto parts that need NHTSA certification, such as seat belts and child seats. But none of our products are in that category. I make brakes, ball joints, wheel bearings and axles. But the customs agent didn’t know that. He thought that all auto parts needed to be certified. Going through the channels to get an appeal on this wrong ruling would, in reality, take ten months. Two hundred people here and 100 in Texas would have lost their jobs.”

“In the end, we had no one to turn to. The lawyers ran into road blocks at every turn. Then someone had the brilliant idea to call Senator Gary Peters. “Next thing we knew, they apologized to us for the misunderstanding.” We got a response in three weeks. We are very thankful to Senator Gary Peters and his staff.”

The Musheinesh family has worked hard to build a business, worked with citizens and the City, and donated two million masks. The people of the SWFNA really appreciate his efforts to preserve the land. We are glad that he is our neighbor.

You can read an earlier installment of the ongoing effort to preserve Ferndale’s last remaining forest in the 2021 Ferndale Friends Memorial Edition entitled The Last Natural Space, page 99.

By Jill Hurst


I recently grabbed Sam for a quick Q and A.

Jill: You opened almost seven years ago, right down the street. I was at the ribbon-cutting. You were a “Ferndale Family” from Day One. What I remember most was your mother’s delicious food!

Sam: Mmm…I just got hungry. The ribbon-cutting was a fun night. Definitely a memory we’ll forever cherish.

Tell me about the new space.

We moved into the new joint in late March of 2022. We are enjoying it and there is much more room to maneuver and explore new services. We understand the historical significance the building holds in town. We’re honored to operate out of “Joe’s” as many still refer to it.

FFP is a pharmacy that encourages healthy living, preventative medicine. Did you come in with that philosophy?

We opened in 2016 not knowing what to expect, but kept a positive attitude and excitement on ways our company would be able to assist the community. We sort of morphed our philosophy as we got a better understanding of what our clientele and community members appreciate.

Life during the pandemic?

We did not shut down during the pandemic. There were times when we actually brainstormed safety and access protocols late into the night and made adjustments throughout the following weeks. The pandemic experience was not easy. At the time, we were actually in our old location, and had just made the purchase of Joe’s, before the world was shaken. It was an exciting time to say the least! In all honesty, the appreciation and support displayed by the city and the wonderful people around definitely alleviated much of the burnout in such a distressing time. Reflecting back on it, we are proud that we were able to execute the adjustments we made and that many found comfort in using our services.

Are people more careful about health now?

Definitely. As a neighborhood pharmacy, an untold secret is that there is nothing we appreciate more than when someone pops in and inquires about the various ways to improve their health, whether through pharmaceuticals, preventive products, or just through daily activities…

Biggest challenge? Best thing?

The biggest challenge currently is inadequate staffing, identifying licensed professionals. Providing a quality experience is our highest priority that we will not deviate from, but we’re currently brainstorming new ideas and offerings. Our goal is to hire and train a few more amazing people prior to launching some super cool things. The best thing is when you get to sit back and reflect on the different stages of maturation. I am privileged to have watched Ferndale Family Pharmacy grow, and understand that all the community support, everlasting relationships and hard work have guided us throughout the highs and lows of our first seven years. We hope to be here for many more years.

Every time I mention you guys, people’s faces light up. You provide comfort and continuity during these uncertain times. Ferndale loves you all so much.

We appreciate all the support!

733 West Nine Mile, Ferndale | 248-565-8031
Mon-Friday 9:30 AM-6PM. Sat 10AM-2PM. Closed on Sundays.

By Jeff Milosevich


On Saturday, June 17, we’ll be kicking off our annual Summer Reading Challenge at Martin Road Park: kids, teens, and adults can all be signed up to participate in our reading challenge and be connected to the Beanstack app, which can be used to log everyone’s recreational reading throughout the season. Cool prizes are in store for those who log the most reading!

SUMMER READING: IT ALL STARTS ON JUNE 17, from 1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. at Martin Road Park: Library staff will be providing onsite Summer Reading signup assistance at the park’s pavilion. There will be lawn games and a new book on the Story Trail for kids, food trucks, including tacos for lunch and ice cream for dessert, plus live music featuring a rousing singalong of Beatles covers! This year’s Summer Reading theme is “All Together Now,” emphasizing a sense of community as we all participate in a fun reading challenge together. If you want to find out more, you can visit the library’s website: fadl.org/summer

Along with encouraging patrons to log their reading on Beanstack, we’ll also host a variety of engaging events and activities for all age groups. fadl.org/upcoming-events

TINY ART: ON MAY 15, we unveiled another craft kit giveaway, providing “art kits” containing a “tiny” 5”x5” canvas, along with a “tiny” tripod easel and “tiny” assorted paints and paint brushes. These kits were distributed on a first-come/first-serve basis, so we can’t guarantee whether or not they’ll be available by the time you’re reading this. Our goal is to collect all the artwork from the community to curate an exhibition that will be on display through- out the library all summer long. We’ll host a special reception, scheduled for June 29 at 6:00 P.M., where we’ll celebrate everyone’s artistic talents. To find more info about “tiny art” and all upcoming art exhibitions, visit: fadl.org/art.

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: Our ever-popular crowd-pleasing Summer Concert Series returns to our Library’s courtyard starting June 13. These free, all-ages concerts are made possible by the Friends of the Ferndale Library, allowing music lovers to catch an early evening outdoor performance by some of Michigan’s most talented songwriters. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own folding chairs, blankets, or any transportable seating apparatus, but you can also just sit on the grass or find a spot at one of our picnic tables. This year’s lineup includes Dani Darling (soul/funk/indie) on June 13, Chris Bathgate (folk/Americana/roots/ ambient) on July 18, and the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra (jazz) on August 22.

UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS: June 24: Painting Workshop with Living Arts Detroit (ages 7- 12); June 28: Tie-Blankets for Shelter Animals (multigenerational); June 29: Life-Sized Candy Land (ages 2-5); July 10: Sadarri & Company theatre troupe’s Multicultural Storytelling (ages 2- 12); July 24: Acting for Kids with OpenSpot Theatre (ages 5-12); July 27: Make Your Own Animal Masks! (ages 5-8); July 28: Sharpie Tie-Dying Workshop for Teens (ages 13-18+); July 31: Zine-Making Program (ages 7 and up); August 1: Sloan-Longway: City Shapes (ages 4-7). Ongoing: Reading Rainbow, Middle School Board Game Club, Middle Grade Tabletop RPG, and Pokemon Club.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to host storytimes, but we’re changing it up a little just for the summer-time: Baby Storytimes will be hosted on the first three Fridays of each month at 10:30 A.M. and then our new Family Storytime will be hosted on the first three Wednesdays of each month at 10:30 A.M. Find more info at: fadl.org/youth

Parents/caregivers can bring kids of all ages into the youth area to enjoy the latest seasonal decor, with lively cardboard cut-outs created by our youth librarians portraying fun new scenes featuring the friendly creatures of “Fern Forest.” We’ll also be planning another scavenger hunt where kids can scour every aisle of the Kids Corner to help retrieve a variety of hidden items that belong to one of the furry citizens of Fern Forest.

UPCOMING SUMMERTIME ADULT EVENTS: June 12: Movie Trivia Night at 215 West; June 22: Costumed Model/Figure Drawing (sketch work-shop); June 25, July 23, August 27: New Adult RPG Group – a new limited series of three monthly meet-ups where adults can play short-duration RPG games together.  July 17: the return of our popular “Chopped Challenge” take-home craft kit containing three “mystery ingredients” for our local foodies to use in creating a dish of their choosing. Ongoing: All of our book clubs will occur at their set times and dates, including the Ferndale Project Book Club, Graphic Novel Book Club, Science Fiction Book Club, and Film Club (find more info on our website).

GAMES & GARDENS: Stop by the Library to enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors this summer: use your Ferndale Library card to check out an array of games and sporting equipment from our Library of Things, including a croquet set, bocce ball set, pickleball set, and a bike repair stand! After that, stop by the Seed Library and check out a variety of herb, flower, or vegetable seed packets to plant in your garden! And speaking of gardening, mark your calendars for August 3, when Rachael Carter from Floraculture gives a presentation on starting your own herbal tea garden!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information at updates@ferndalelibrary


By Mary Meldrum


One of the first things she told me is that everything is connected. “All the people from the podcast are people I know. I do a lot of research and connecting and networking.” I happen to agree with her completely on this notion.

Jessica always wanted to be a therapist but it didn’t work for her. She dropped out and went to massage school. “I had become very transparent with my own mental health disorders. Created transparency in my business.” Being that open to her clients, helps them feel comfortable.

Breathe: Bodyworks & Beautification has won many awards for their massage, day spa, facial and skin care services. In addition, they offer party packages for your special event. Packages are available for Valentine’s Day, weddings, bachelorette parties, and private spa parties for sorority sisters and women who work together. They do them at the office and sometimes offer a mobile service too. Jessica can add on with other party packages, as well.

Meditation studies are also available. It is reserved for special occasions and events. Jessica started doing it about 20 years ago.

York’s expanding business required the recent addition of a second location, Breathe East, which opened in April, at the Greater Chiropractic Office in St. Clair Shores.

JESSICA WANTS TO HOLD SPACE OPEN for other people to allow them to tell their own stories. She has a wide variety of relevant topics in her library of podcasts. We spent some time discussing the podcasts:

Toxic & Taboo: “This is about things that guys are not supposed to talk about. It’s difficult to ask men about certain things. The Michigan Center for Mental Health has a men’s group. There are few men’s groups in the Metro area. AA and NA are the only places that they can go and open up to others.”

Infertility, Miscarriage & More: “With a local doula and meditation consultant, speaking about pregnancy, and the whole other side of it with miscarriage, infertility, and other terrible problems. Especially with miscarriage, there is a lack of communication about the tragedy. It’s disheartening, but the women who reached out were very happy to jump in and tell us that there needs to be more communication about this side of pregnancy. We are only shown the happy bubble. The C-section rate is typically extraordinary and unnecessary in America. A lot of traumas are associated with the C-section.”

#Notanalcoholic: “It is about the assumption that everyone is an alcoholic. Alcohol abuse disorder is the new term for ‘staging’ people who are problem drinkers. They have stages of alcoholism, and it fits better with describing some people who are suffering from the disorder. It’s about recognizing the signs and symbols that fit the description. It is a very layered disease. The cause, the reason people either give it up or don’t give it up, is unique for everyone. The alcohol industry is huge and it is not going away. We have to learn to temper our relationship with it. Not everyone has a reasonable rock bottom.”

“When I decided to establish my business in Ferndale, I wanted to be the spa that people recommend. I want people to see my business as a go-to location for keeping everyone successful. Hoping that continuing to do that, it is a positive impact on everyone with all the pillars of wellness. It makes me happy that I have been able to cultivate that in a short period of time.”

www.breathebodyworkandbeautification.com | 248.301-8238

By Sara Teller

ROSE CARVER HAS A UNIQUE PASSION FOR BEING A CLOWN. But there’s no clowning around when it comes to honing her craft.

She believes it’s all about being both a “story- teller and a journalist, taking in the world…and producing something that speaks to the flaws of humanity.”

For instance, Carver explained, “We laugh at the clown when the clown falls down, but really, we are laughing at ourselves. To me, the clown represents uncertainty, and this is my theory as to why people sometimes fear the clown. Fear of uncertainty is a fear of death, and this, actually, really excites me about the clown. It dances on the line of duality and laughs at the things that can make us cry, and vice-versa. I find the whole art style incredibly inspiring.”

Self-taught to a great extent, Carver is also a student of some of the most well-loved clowns in recent history. She explained, “For the past six years, I have been studying under the close tutelage of the Detroit native ‘anarchist’ clown Jango Edwards. He’s an absolute madman genius and extremely prolific.” Born ‘Stanley Ted Edwards’ in Detroit,  Jango spent most of his career in Europe, entertaining the masses with his counterculture, politically-oriented style.

“I never knew I wanted to be a clown, but Jango always saw something in me,” Carver said. “He encouraged me to come to master classes and courses he was teaching. I always declined, because I just couldn’t imagine where it fit in with my life at the time.”

HOWEVER, THAT ALL CHANGED 2017. “I was having a difficult period in my life,” she remembered, “And I decided to give this clown thing a try.”

Deciding to start her newfound career in France, Carver studied at the Moulin Jaune under the direction of Russian clown, Slava Polunin, as well as Cirque du Soleil’s David Shiner, and many other brilliant entertainers. Then, returning to Michigan, she worked again with Jango, who had since relocated to Barcelona, to create a workshop and multi-session course called Fool School Clown Class as part of his Nouveau Clown Institute.

“[Jango] is 72-years-old and was recently diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer, so he’s trying to continue his legacy in his home city,” Carver explained. “I visited him in Barcelona; he visited me in Detroit. And we’ve developed a six-session workshop together… I’m very excited to share what I’ve learned.”

Their creation centers around making the art of the clown accessible to more people, and participants will get the opportunity to design their own unique character. Carver said that she “belongs to the methodology” that everyone has the capacity to access their inner clown, and that the art is about “breaking down barriers within yourself in order to siphon the humongous power of our innate playfulness.” Having participants embrace this is “a vulnerable yet empowering experience.”

CARVER IS ALSO STARTING A NEW VENTURE PERFORMING SKITS AT PARTIES as well as throwing immersive parties, specific to any party’s theme, and she’s working on a documentary about Jango helping her start the school. She is a teaching artist at the non-profit, Michigan Stage as well, in its Playlabs. Playlabs is an after-school program for elementary through high school youth.

Her ultimate goal is to create a clown family in the area. “I hope to foster an environment where, eventually, we can invite clown teachers and performers from all over the world,” she said.

Aside from these pursuits, Carver added, “I clown around in my punk rock clown collective called BURN MARALAGO,” when performing. “We do punk performance art shows around Detroit, and the Metro area, that are never the exact same. We have different personas that we embody and stories that we tell.”

A resident of Ferndale for the past six years, Carver can’t imagine calling anywhere else home, explaining, “As a queer person, it has been an extremely welcoming community for me, and as a group of clowns, we have also been embraced. We have filmed a few clown music videos around town, including at DYE Salon.”

WHEN SHE ISN’T PERFORMING OR TEACHING, Carver participates in other passions that ultimately help her become a better clown.

“I practice martial arts at MKG Detroit in Ferndale,” she shared. “Kurt’s school actually helps my clown art because it allows me to get into my physicality. It’s a wonderful place.”

Of her craft, Carver summed it up by saying, “Clowning is so beautiful. It changed my life…I feel lucky to share it with my community.”

Carver’s workshops and classes are available at Planet Ant in Hamtramck. To request a party appearance, visit http://both.video, or for musical bookings, check out Instagram @burnmaralago.

By Jill Hurst

“I WANT EVERYBODY TO HAVE A SHELF OF THEIR FAVORITE RECORDS,” says Raymond Hayosh, co-owner and manager of Found Sound.

Chances are you’ll find some of them at this gem of a record store in downtown Ferndale. And I’m pretty sure your first visit won’t be your last.

I dropped in on three consecutive Mondays and it wasn’t until my last visit that I found the binders full of patches and stickers and the shelf full of free mix cassettes. I have a cassette deck, how about you? Rumor has it kids come in looking for 8-tracks these days. Eight-tracks!

Found Sound has been a fixture in Ferndale for eleven years. Hayosh knew he wanted to be in the music business at an early age. He worked at many Detroit area record stores including Harmony House and Tower Records. “Some people are built for retail.”

Ray was at Record Time in Roseville when he met Dean Yeotis, a Flint-based attorney who was a regular customer at the store. In 2011, as Record Time was closing its doors, customer Yeotis told about-to-be-unemployed Hayosh he’d always wanted to open a record store and Found Sound was born.

Ray found the space on 9 Mile, previously occupied by a vintage store called Mother Fletcher’s. You can still see the faded name on the sign. Dr. Howard Crane of Crane Optical owns the building and rented them the space right next door to his optical clinic.

THERE WERE A LOT OF LONG HOURS SPENT GETTING THE STORE SET UP. The music-filled space and knowledgeable staff quickly found a loyal customer base. My husband Tony says Found Sound is like “your best friend’s older brother’s room with cool records and a great stereo.” Once you’re in there, you kinda’ want to hang out.

Luckily the staff — Hayosh, Richard Henning, Laura Klein and Terence Cover — are smart, laid back and welcoming. They understand the emotional importance of finding the music you care about and walking out of the store with a piece of your history or taking a chance on something new that could become a part of your play list going forward.

During the pandemic, Found Sound was able to keep things going with online sales and appointment shopping at the store. Their business continued to grow steadily because long hours at home led to a lot of new hobbies, and starting or expanding a record collection was one of them. Ray: “It’s a cool hobby, and triggers the serotonin.”

The stores are open again. Time to step outside, see people, pick out some piece of merchandise and pay for it in person. No matter how fraught and scary the world seems, music has the power to lift us up and calm us down. Visit Found Sound in Ferndale to find your soundtrack.

234 West 9 Mile Road, Ferndale | 248-565-8775
Open Monday-Saturday 11AM till 8PM, Sunday Noon till 5PM.


Michigan Stage is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Tim Paré in 2021. Their mis- sion is to produce theater in non-traditional ways, focusing on bringing communities together, and fostering a love of performing arts at all ages.

“Our after-school Playlabs have really become the backbone of our work,” founding Artistic Director Tim Paré shared. Recently named Humanities Champion of the Year for 2023 by Michigan Humanities, Paré believes in the power of theater and Playlabs specifically to positively address the rising mental health issues impacting our youth.

“I love theater. I love what it can do for our community. In focusing on process over product, we’re able to understand our roles within and contributions to a society. We spend each session getting to know each other, along the way exploring every idea, using improv and imagination, creating our story as we go.”

IN JUST TWO YEARS, PLAYLABS HAVE GROWN FROM NINE TO 100+ PARTICIPANTS each semester, proving to positively impact the community, leading to a proven reduction in crime and providing outlets to address loneliness and isolation in an increasingly digital world. “In the age of anxiety, students need creative, social and emotional outlets with positive reinforcements now more than ever. We’re seeing stunted social development and a general lack of impulse control across all programs.”

Playlabs are a safe environment where participants learn to express themselves, find their voice, learn how to deal with challenging situations, and better understand how the choices they make will impact their lives and the lives of those around them, ensuring they will grow up to be well-rounded, active citizens. “We were founded in ‘21, during the height of the pandemic. The rapid growth of our programs is a direct extension of these issues and how Playlabs addresses them for the better.”

Developed by Paré over the past ten years, and fine-tuned with his staff, Playlabs are engaging, amusing, one-of-a-kind productions developed through theatrical workshops from the ideas of participating students under the guidance of professionals. Playlabs focus on building performance skills through ensemble-based work, improvisation, and individualized coaching, culminating in an original performance.

These pay-what-you-can semester-length after-school, and summer programs are a safe haven for local youth during peak unsupervised hours. More than 15 million students — including approximately 3.7 million middle-schoolers — are alone and unsupervised between 3:00 and 6:00 P.M., the peak hours for juvenile crime and risk experimentation. The hours after school are lost opportunities to help students grow and develop the skills and competencies to make positive life decisions that can lead to future success (After-school Alliance).

In Michigan Stage Playlabs, everyone is part of a community. 100+ students each semester, ages 6-18 participate, across ten groups, in partnership with six different public schools from Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. Next Fall they’re launching a new partnership with Hazel Park Public Schools.

UP NEXT, MICHIGAN STAGE IS ADAPTING THEIR PLAYLAB APPROACH for work with senior populations beginning Fall ‘23. “We’re so eager to share our work with more people, ultimately leading to more theater.” Paré explained. “We have this incredible roster of teaching artists, with a myriad of skill-sets but their after- school schedules are maxed out, yet they are still not making sustainable living wages. We are in a unique position to offer more programs to new populations, during earlier time-frames, ultimately leading to more theater.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Michigan Stage, and/or making a donation, visit MichiganStage.org. For only $15/month, you can contribute to their efforts toward providing 30+ hours of entertainment, and youth & community programming each week, all year round.

By Ryan Ennis


When the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce went dormant at the start of the pandemic, he witnessed the void that it left in assisting small business owners make meaningful connections within their own community. This year, he decided the time was right to put strategies into place that would fill the need.

“When we lost our chamber, it was a personal loss for me,” says Carol Jackson, former interim director for the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce. She missed working with the friends she had made during the ten years she served on its board. When Renuatt approached her with some ideas for a new venture to publicize local retail, Jackson says she was excited to join him so that she could put “her boots back on the ground” and participate in “old- fashioned networking to the benefit of all.”

As Renuatt got the word out, many other commerce-minded individuals with professional ties to Ferndale were enthusiastic about teaming with him. Referring to themselves as ambassadors and advisors of the Ferndale Business Association (FBA), the other founders are Toly Ashkenazi,  Dan Martin,  Julia Music,  Mia Peroni,  Kate Reynolds,  Jennifer Seiler,  Juli Sigkris-Seymour, and Dale Vigliarolo.

According to Renuatt, he and the others have all been busy this Spring “rolling up their sleeves, as there is work to do and bridges to build.” One such task occupying them is determining how the association will be structured and operated, which includes forming an official board. They plan to have the board in place by the fall so that “there will be a clear definition of roles and responsibilities,” he says.

MOST RECENTLY, THE GROUP HAS ALSO BEEN MAKING FRIENDS AND CONTACTS in Ferndale’s business community who have expressed the need for a local networking business league. And their efforts have been paying off. “Approximately two dozen local businesses have already contacted us about the membership and a handful of others are interested in learning more,” Renuatt reports.

In smaller cities, many league-based organizations from the past struggled to stay afloat because their membership dues barely covered the overhead costs. “A modern organization should keep the operational costs reasonable but the availability and quality of resources and benefits for its members high,” he adds. Following that notion, he hopes, will ensure the FBA’s longevity.

During their preparation periods, the FBA founders have also been determining what their goals and
guiding principles should be. They intend to build up revenue through memberships and sponsorships. The funds will enable them to present grant programs for local businesses in need. To their members, they will be transparent about their financial status, which includes the issuing of frequent financial reports. To preserve the environment, they are committed to paperless forms of communication, reusing and recycling their materials, and utilizing sustainable vendors when possible.

ANOTHER PRECEPT OF THE FBA FOUNDERS IS UPHOLDING DIVERSITY.  “Our team believes that celebrating diversity, championing equity, and cultivating inclusion are key to creating an effective and vibrant association,” Renuatt emphasizes. “We support an environment that fosters and represents the talents, expertise, and knowledge of all backgrounds and perspectives.”

As part of getting to know the diverse merchants and establishments comprising the city’s business district, the FBA founders are eager to listen to the issues that impact the owners’ enterprises. Since growing a business can be overwhelming, owners often welcome help with “exposure, spotlighting, promotions, and traffic,” Renuatt says. In these instances, the FBA can step in and create net- working events for the community, “thus providing businesses with promotional opportunities.” At these same events, business owners who are feel- ing challenged by inflation and other matters can hear about where they can receive additional help and how they can access essential resources.

Since consistency is often linked with success, the FBA members intend to hold 24 base events annually. “One monthly event in the morning or lunchtime,” explains Renuatt, “and one monthly event in the evening. Our team also hopes to hold an annual gala to present grants and awards. We will choose new venues for our evening events, thereby providing needed traffic and exposure for our hosts.”

To give a taste of what the FBA has to offer, the founders invited local businesses, residents, along with city and community leaders to attend a launch party at 215 West Ferndale on May 18. At the event, the founders conducted a short program introducing their business model and operational plans, spotlighting how they can accommodate promoting merchants through a variety of economical means. The attendees also had an opportunity at the space to share their contact information with potential clients and offer referrals.

Jackson was pleased by the community’s warm reception to the FBA at the launch party: “Ferndale is a community that welcomes everyone and helps our neighbors, our local businesses, and government stayed attached and positive. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces.”

Renuatt was equally delighted by the large number of attendees: “We had over 100 guests and received very positive feedback from them.”

ONE OF THE GUESTS WHO REACTED POSITIVELY TO THE PRESENTATION that evening was Jessica York, co-founder of the Ferndale Wellness Fair and owner of Breathe: Bodywork & Beautification. “Ferndale has always been attractive for entrepreneurs,” she says, “but I see the FBA securing that desire for years to come.”

On the group’s Facebook Page, Renuatt later thanked 215 West for hosting the event as well as the Star of India restaurant and Western Market for helping to sponsor the evening.  Another networking event will take place sometime in June.

To entice retailers and other business owners to join the FBA, the founders are guaranteeing no member- ship fees in 2023 “as we are establishing ourselves and continuing to grow,” Renuatt says. A modest membership fee of $200 will be put into effect next year, with the members receiving their invoices in early 2024 simultaneously. “All newcomers will be billed on a prorated basis to keep our accounting simple, and non-profit organizations will enjoy free membership in our organization,” he further explains.

Asked about the qualifications for becoming a member, Renuatt says: “We welcome all local businesses to join our association; there are no limitations.” However, he stresses one requirement: “Please be respectful to others and don’t promote any divisive agenda.”

To learn more about the FBA and upcoming events, visit the website www.ferndaleba.com.