The owners, Karen and Jon Wing decided to open up the store because they wanted to do something to help out the economy in their home state. Karen, prior to opening Heart of Michigan worked as a real estate agent. “Being a realtor, I knew how everyone was suffering first hand,” says Karen. They thought that by opening up a store where they could sell the goods of Michigan artists and businesses, they could reach out to a relatively large group of people. So far the Howell community and the rest of the state has reacted positively to the store.
The store carries art from roughly 40 different artists. Unlike many other made-in-Michigan stores, most of the artists are local to Howell. That means most of them are within a 20 to 30 minute drive from the store. In addition, the owners are willing to listen to customer feedback. If a customer suggests they get a certain product, Karen and Jon will go out and find that product.
Alongside the art, Heart of Michigan also sells various food products made in the state. These food items include those that are prepackaged and food that is ready to eat. They carry 16 different flavors of Ashby’s Ice Cream, which is packaged in Shelby Twp. They have pasties that are made fresh daily. They also have Better Made Potato Chips, and Towne Club Soda. The Towne Club Soda leaves many patrons feeling nostalgic because in the 1980s they were forced to close many of their retail centers.