Walking the Walk Series - Pink Shamrocks

DEI - Walking the Walk

Pink Shamrocks

Pink Shamrocks, located at 28 East Main Street in Milan opened their doors in September 2023. Owned by Rita Gordon who calls herself “Chief Shenanigans Officer”, Pink Shamrocks offers refurbished, upcycled, and handcrafted furniture and home décor as well as Do It Yourself (DIY) supplies, and teaches classes using these products. Her business was founded on several social principles: sustainability, equity and inclusion, and supporting women-owned and small creative businesses.

Owner of Pink Shamrocks

Sustainability practices at Pink Shamrocks are multifaceted.  The business saves discarded furniture from landfills by lovingly repairing, restoring, and repurposing these items into what Rita terms “multi-generational furniture”.  Pink Shamrocks also accepts donated furniture that would otherwise be thrown away. She also periodically requests that the community drop off specific items that would be thrown away for reuse in the store.

Her partner, Bill Gordon, handcrafts furniture from local downed trees and discarded lumber. Together, the Gordons also reclaim barn wood from fallen barns and turn this into functional home items.  

Grand Opening of Pink Shamrocks

Pink Shamrocks reuses boxes and packing materials, uses renewably sourced packaging, and has environmentally friendly products on furniture.

Creating an inclusionary place of belonging is important at Pink Shamrocks where painting classes and furniture repurposing are taught in a supportive welcoming, safe space. Rita works to provide accommodations to those who have the need so they may unleash their creativity with a variety of projects.  

Supporting women-owned and small creative businesses is another key principle for Pink Shamrocks. Prior to opening the Milan retail location, Rita and Bill had their unique furniture and home décor in several local consignment malls. Through these venues, they became close with other vendors and developed relationships where they exchanged ideas to support each other. Several of these creatives now have their products in the shop.

Rita researched a variety of products for her furniture restoration and refurbishing products. She sought out creative companies that were women-owned and based in the United States. Rita developed relationships with these companies and the DIY products the store uses and sells include Dixie Belle Paint Company, Iron Orchid Designs, and Roycycled Treasures.

“As a female creative, I felt it was important to support other women-owned creative businesses. I find the support I receive from these companies is based on relationships, mentoring, and a genuine interest in my success rather than selling products to me.” 

Through these relationships, Rita has expanded her network of women-owned businesses like hers not only in Michigan but throughout the country. “I am inspired, encouraged, and supported by the other women who own shops like mine.”

Pink Shamrocks storefront

Rita’s decision to locate her business in Milan was a four-year journey. “I looked at over 20 locations in the area for my store. I kept coming back to Milan for many reasons. I loved the historic downtown, the number of woman-owned/operated businesses, and how friendly everyone is! Milan had established businesses so there wasn’t any vacant location that met my needs. I remained determined and kept reminding myself that the right location was worth the wait.”

The right location happened when Textiles, a woman-owned quilt shop announced they were moving to a larger storefront. Rita tracked down the landlord and began conversations with them, sharing her vision for the business. “I knew it was the perfect location, so I pitched my business plan to them and they agreed to let me lease the space.”

Locating her business in historic downtown Milan has exceeded Rita’s expectations. “The business community, local government, Milan Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Milan Development Authority, and the community have been so supportive! I know I made the right decision to open my shop here. I look forward to supporting more women creatives and keeping more things out of the landfill!”


Pink Shamrocks
28 East Main
Milan, MI 48160
Phone: 734-612-3586