July 16 2014 12:00 AM


Last month, Lansing-based fashion line DEFYE moved its headquarters from inside the Meridian Mall into the John Bean building, south of downtown Lansing. Owner/ designer Michael Doherty, 35, said he made the move in order to focus more on production and distribution of his clothing than retail.

“There are lots of things in the works,” Doherty said. “I’m trying to get DEFYE into stores in other states and countries. This has the possibility of becoming a global enterprise.”

The 45,000-square-foot John Bean building, 1305 S. Cedar, St., has grown to become an incubator of sorts for Lansing area creatives trying to turn their art into business. The building is also home to commercial photographers, artists and fitness professionals. DEFYE has a 6,000-square-foot space inside the building, where he does his design work and manages the distribution.

DEFYE’s products consist of highly stylized T-shirts, hoodies and jackets in both men’s and women’s fashions. Doherty oversees all design work.

“It’s alternative, rocker wear,” Doherty said. “Our target audience is the edgy 18-35 crowd.”

The clothes are actually manufactured in Los Angeles, but Doherty said he’s committed to keeping DEFYE an independent, U.S.- based line.

“I spent a month and a half in China and Vietnam doing apparel research to see how to be competitive,” Doherty said. “I want to be on of the biggest labels in world.”

Smith Floral wins statewide award

Lansing florist Smith Floral & Greenhouses was recognized last month by Michigan Meetings Events magazine as the Best Florist in Michigan. Over 10,000 event planners from around the state voted in the 9th annual contest earlier this year. Owner Karen Smith said she didn’t even know she was in the running.

“I’ve never even been nominated for anything, and I absolutely didn’t expect to win,” Smith said. “It was a complete surprise. But I’m so honored that so many people voted for us.”

The magazine targets Michigan event planners who specialize in weddings, corporate events and other high-profile occasions. Winners were named in 47 categories including sound and light engineers, caterers and decorators.

Smith credited the “creativity and commitment” of her employees and their dedication to impressing people.

“Their quality and creativity mean everything to me,” she said. “And it’s nice to see that they received the recognition they deserved. We’re always putting our best foot forward.”

Smith was presented an award at a special ceremony. She did not do the flowers for the event.