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For those who know Angela Wisniewski, owner of the Coup D’etat boutique in New Center, there’s no question that she radiates impeccable style. But for this savvy Detroit entrepreneur, fashion goes beyond clothing and accessories.
Wisniewski recalls the challenges of starting a brick-and-mortar business in November of 2019, but says being stationed in Detroit turned out to be an advantage.
“When the world turned upside down in March, I saw so much small business and community that carried me through those few months,” she said.
Wisniewski defines Coup D’etat as a “lifestyle shop” catering primarily to women. But, there’s definitely something for everyone — the shelves are lined with beauty products, books, accessories, jewelry and an assortment of self-knowledge tools.
All fall, shoppers were greeted with a custom sign that read in all caps: “Hey! Register to vote here!”
Wisniewski offered voter registration and absentee ballot requests courtesy of Voices of Michigan. Now, the banner on her site encourages shoppers to “turn it up and turn it out at the polls.”
“Style isn’t just what you’re wearing — it’s what you’re doing, it’s what’s going on inside,” she said.
Check out Coup D’etat and Wisniewski’s fall fashion forecast in our video:
Wisniewski’s commitment to sharing some of her personal beliefs was never an integral part of her business plan, but it ties strongly into who she is.
“I don’t think you can open a shop called Coup D’etat and not have some sort of commitment to changing things,” she said. “The name has just gone much farther than being a logo — it’s become a state of mind.”
Advocacy aside, Wisniewski loves hosting events at Coup D’etat. While that’s currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, that hasn’t stopped her from showing people a good time.
Recently, she partnered with Detour and Nelson Sanders, owner of custom men’s clothing shop Dandy Detroit, for a virtual Fall Fashion Forecast. Attendees tuned in for a look at the latest in fall trends, from hand-embroidered sweaters, to eye-catching two-piece sets and festive yet cozy sweater dresses. Detroit-based designer Nneka Jackson gave a personal tour of “We Exist,” her in-store multimedia exhibit of wearable art for Detroit’s Month of Design, followed by a virtual fall fashion show.
The event was the first produced through Detour’s award-winning Keep Detroit Local program, which helps support Detroit businesses and nonprofits through advertising promotions and unique virtual experiences.
At the tail end of the evening, attendees shared their authentic selves and styles while walking the virtual Zoom catwalk in their favorite outfits, showing earrings gifted by a loved one, a colorful blazer from a pop-up event at Eastern Market, a beloved top from House of African Prints and more.
The intimate chat looked beyond the surface styles to give a sense of who these Detroit artists and entrepreneurs are — and fashion aside, what really matters to them.
Sanders echoed Wisniewski on the importance of authenticity — and how it’s key to the success of his custom clothing shop.
“Being born and raised here, I’m tapped in with the culture and the vibe and the pulse of the city,” Sanders said. “Being myself and really embracing who I am and what I’m doing says a lot.”