unnamed-4Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting store owner, Tracy Garley, of Zarkpa's Boutique in downtown Detroit. From the bright, bold colors that welcome you in to the exotic international music playing throughout, there's no doubt Tracy's store reflects her style, and more importantly, her personality — fun and full of flavor! As you enter the store, you're greeted by a wide selection of distinctive handbags and accessories, each as individual and eclectic as the next. Be careful not to glance through the store too quickly, as many unique products could be easily overlooked — and you may just miss the perfect piece to complete your wardrobe!Zarkpa's Boutique was named after Tracy's grandmother, Lucy Zarkpa Garley. Zarkpa means "debt free," which is fitting to the store, as it aims to accommodate an affordable market. Since the age of 15, Tracy dreamed she would one day open her own store, and after years of working hard in various retail positions and attending Michigan State University for business, all of her diligence and perseverance paid off. On her 25th birthday, she was given the opportunity and dream gift of opening Zarkpa's Boutique in the heart of Detroit.We chatted with Tracy to learn more about her unique boutique, bold style and what pieces she's loving right now!

{SS}: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the store?  

{Tracy}: The inspiration for Zarkpa's was to keep my late grandmother's legacy alive. She was the only grandparent I knew, as I lost my other three grandparents in the Liberian Civil War. It meant a lot to me to let her know that I was going to stay true to my promise I made to her before she passed away. I also want to inspire young girls around the world and let them know that they can do anything they set their minds to. Zarkpa's has now been open in downtown Detroit for a year and three months. 

{SS}: What do you enjoy most about your job?

{Tracy}: What I enjoy most is meeting so many different people from all over the world right in the heart of Detroit, and that every day isn't the same. I'm always ready for an exciting day!

{SS}: What are a few of your favorite pieces currently in the store?

{Tracy}: I have so many favorite pieces at Zarkpa's! Right now, I'm loving the flash tattoos, our bookcase clutch and simple body chain. I also love the Tiger Season boho crossbody bag and these sunglasses for summer.

Now, on to your personal style…

{SS}: Do you have a signature accessory?

{Tracy}: Yes! I always make sure to have statement earrings from Zarkpa's in my make-up bag.

{SS}:  What are a few items in your Styleshack (aka closet) that you can't live without?

{Tracy}: I'm obsessed with blazers because they go with almost everything. 

{SS}: Who inspires your style? 

{Tracy}: I have so many people that inspire my style because I'm always trying new things. Some of my favorite style icons are Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Obama, Josephine Barker, Tyra Banks, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

{SS}: What do you love to read?

{Tracy}: I'm in love with Entrepreneur.com (I always get good marketing tips there!), Life & Style, Essence and Hour Detroit.

{SS}: What are your favorite local restaurants?

{Tracy}: I have some many, but I love Detroit Seafood Market, Cilantro Bistro, Jose's Tacos, Steve's Deli, Cafe Al Karar and Republic Tavern.

{SS}: What are your words to live by?

Always dream big, be you, be confident and inspire others.

Tracy's Picks

Although Zarkpa's cycles through new products on a regular basis (offering only one of each item to ensure individuality among consumers), her current favorites are, as she exclaims, pieces that are "funky, bold and allow me to rock out!" Like this vibrant green statement clutch that's versatile for virtually any occasion.One of her absolute favorites of this season is the red jeweled crossbody, which she calls "Tracy's Clutch" because it reflects her vivid personality. This fun and colorful bag promises to instantly bring a pop of uniqueness to even the most basic of ensembles. 

Editor's Picks

It was hard to determine what I most treasured in such a diverse shop, but I almost immediately fell in love with this playful, exotic multi-wrap jewelry which can be worn as a bracelet or necklace. Bend it, flex it or wrap it, and you can turn it into a single-chain necklace, a beautifully layered necklace or a bracelet that everyone will be sure to notice!snakeAnother personal favorite was this edgy snake arm cuff — a perfect way to highlight your summer tan!  

Have You Heard About Wink City?

Wink City is another line that Tracy carries, and its mission is to showcase the beauty of Detroit and implement it into clothing. Displayed at the front of her store is a beautiful sweatshirt capturing the Monument to Joe Louis.If you're looking to make a fabulous statement, then Zarkpa's is certainly the place to find it. And while you're there, don't forget to check out Zarkpa's selfie booth! 

 Shop select pieces from Zarkpa's on their Styleshack page!