Angela Wisniewski, the owner of downtown Detroit boutique Coup D’ètat, on her personal style, the best part of being an entrepreneur and some of her favorite spots around town
By Nicole Glynn
Featured photos via Coup D’ètat Facebook
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your professional background. I’ve had a number of roles and jobs before opening my boutique, Coup D’état. In college, I studied public relations and journalism right before social media really took off for businesses and brands. After graduating and working in local media from a television network to running an alt-weekly, I merged my experiences and passions and started my first business, Hey Angela Inc. as a stylist and social media content creator and consultant (which I still do).
2. How did you get started in the industry? Style, not fashion, per se, has been my main form of expression since I was a kid. I gravitated toward wear pieces and lines that were outside of what my peers were wearing and preferred independent boutique shopping to malls. I always knew I wanted to curate a shop and space to connect with people, it was like a light inside my head that would continue to keep me up at night for many years. So here we are!
3. What inspired you to open your boutique Coup D’ètat? So many things have inspired this business but the core, my entrepreneurial desire to style, curate and connect while collectively promoting small brands, being a small brand and getting away from the masses in terms of aesthetic.
4. What makes your boutique unique? My shop offers a range of products from designers and lines not found in numbers locally, in addition to the historic Albert Kahn- designed space.
5. What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur? While behind the scenes aren’t as glamorous as they may seem, each day is a different experience for me and the simple fact that I am in control of every single detail in this process is quite empowering.
6. Can you share some of your career highlights? It had been a dream to open an independent shop of my own in Detroit City proper and I made it happen. And I did it solo.
7. What was your biggest mistake or failure and what did you learn from it? I think I let silly fear and self doubt get in the way of something I could have done sooner (open the shop). Whether you run your own businesses or not, you really have to be your own hype (wo)man each and every morning when you wake up and face the day. That is a key lesson.
8. What’s one piece of advice for someone interested in starting their own business? Definitely what I mentioned just before this. Much like life, your business is what you make of it and there will be sacrifices involved. I think the idea of entrepreneurialism is very sexy and in style right now but your commitment cannot be a fleeting trend.
9. What are some of your favorite items in-store at Coup D’ètat right now? Carla Colour sunglasses, NOTO multi-benne balms, Bonam Kim male + female form bust candles, TUZA chainrings, the list goes on!
10. Fall trend you are most looking forward to rocking? Given the shift in lifestyle due to the pandemic, I think it’s going to be a pretty “comfy” fall so I look forward to translating lounge-y pieces to the street.
Now onto some fun…
11. What was your first job growing up? My first job was bussing tables at a café in 7th grade.
12. What’s currently on your playlist? It’s usually all over the map. My playlist usually has no rhyme or reason, just a mash-up of what I like. I have really been on a (Jamaican) Ska kick lately.
13. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? “Saved By The Bell,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Melrose Place”
14. Three things you can’t live without? Music! Art! Coffee!
15. Dream vacation destination? I need to visit Africa.
Local Love Questions…
16. Your current favorite local spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner? This is tricky because some of my fave spots aren’t open right now and I truly am inspired by our dining scene here. That being said — pancakes + Irish Coffee from Lady of the House, Noble Fish for lunch, Ochre, IMA, Yum Village, Standby for drinks (+ Irish Coffee Slushie from The Skip!), SheWolf … Looking forward to Baobab Fare opening and Supino’s second New Center location!
17. Your favorite local brands or places to shop locally in Metro Detroit? Is it bad to say Coup D’état? 😉
18. Your go-to for a good cup of coffee? I have been hitting up the new and adorable Milwaukee Caffe on my way to the shop. They opened during all of this COVID craziness so kudos to them!
19. What do you love about Detroit? Its history, people, style and soul.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by? “You have to decide who you are, and force the world to deal with you, not its idea of you.” — James Baldwin