Erin Gavle, a Detroit native and world traveler, opened Eldorado General Store in July 2014 and the plan to own her own vintage general store was a rediscovered dream.

The ancient idea of El Dorado represents the lost city of gold that people spend a lifetime seeking out and searching for. The store, located right smack in the middle of Corktown, holds trinkets, handcrafted accessories, vintage clothing for both men and women, and household treasures, all gathered by Gavle on her travels.

“Everyday I wake up I’m so grateful that I got this place and this neighborhood,” Gavle said.

Gavle grew up in Livonia and moved to Miami for advertising school after getting her bachelors from Michigan State University. She lived in New York City for about five years where she worked in corporate America and it didn’t seem to fit as well as she thought into her idea of happiness. She left to do some soul-searching on the West Coast and made some jewelry, did yoga and thought about what her next move would be.

A friend’s wedding brought her back to Detroit and during her trip she visited at the house she grew up in and looked through her old belongings. She found a list of ideas she had written when she was 17 and on it there was “open up a boutique by the time I’m 40.”

“I’ve always loved collecting old things and traveling and I combined the two and decided that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

After staying three weeks later than the wedding trip had called for, Gavle really decided she was going to make her teenage ideas a serious reality.

Gavle rented a big van and made her way from Los Angeles to Detroit, picking up items for Eldorado along the way.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” she said. “It’s the most unassuming places that have the best stuff.”

Picking Detroit as her place to set up shop was a no-brainer.

“There are a lot of eyes on Detroit globally,” said Gavle. “It’s interesting to see the curiosity.”

Gavle loves to learn about her customers and grow with what’s going on around her while remaining true to the quest for El Dorado.

“I think the lost city of gold is all around us.”

Visit the site at eldoradogeneralstore.com or stop in at 1700 Michigan Ave.


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