One of the greatest parts of running your own business is the ability to do things your own way. You are your own boss, you run the time clock, and best of all... you decide how to do the things you do. In the case of Elissa Hastings and Caleb Skelton of Wild Foot Studio, that means making your own tools and developing new techniques. The new business owners find happiness in creating without a guidebook and learning from each other. Get more of a glimpse into what studio time with Elissa and Caleb is like in our Maker Series below.
Growing a company is a challenge, particularly when it comes to staffing small businesses. Trust is always an issue when hiring-on employees who may or may not step-up to the unique challenges of working in the environment of a small business. So why not work with those you know best... family. Primarily a family-run business, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve was started by a woman looking for ways to heal members of her own household, and has grown into it's current state over the course of less than two decades! For more insight into how Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has cultivated their small, family-run business into a national brand, read on!
Every person has that one sturdy, steadfast item that they depend on day-in and day-out. For owners of a Fount accessory, chances are that's your go-to good. Designed to intersect with our lives as both tools and objects of admiration, Fount bags are the products of husband and wife team Phillip and Jackie Watcher. They've grown their business from a two-person operation to a small business with a busy studio full of staff members... and now to a brick-and-mortar location in Cleveland's Gordon Square neighborhood.
Business is a challenge–creative business even moreso. Makers discover ways to create work– oftentimes as a side-hustle–during the tiny nooks of time between their main gigs, sleeping, playing with their cats, etc... and sometimes the side hustle morphs into something greater. Amongst he lucky few who can say that their art is their work is Boundary & Thorn Illustration's Lucy Williams.
What does the term "handmade" truly mean? To Rachel DuFresne of Earth Philosophy, handmade means understanding her ingredients from seed to sealed package. Her botanical merchandise is the product of her own hand-tended garden, offering her control over the healing qualities of Earth Philosophy's merchandise. Get to the root of Rachel's plant-based processes in our Maker Series interview below!
There are jobs, and there are dreams... and then there are dream jobs. Dream jobs are side hustles-turned-waking fantasies. They're the kinds of careers you read about in the newspaper as a kid. Few of us can say that we've ever had a dream job, but Flea vendor Jodi Lynn Burton of Jodi Lynn's Emporium of Doodles is one who can. When you have the luxury of creating art for your job, every work day is a good day. For more insight into how one vendor turned a life of late-night doodles into her career, read on.
Drift Lab Textile Co. owners Jess and Sarah are more than just sisters, they're twins. With similarities ranging far beyond their chromosomes, it's only natural that they combine forces in the business world. With shared interests such as weaving, natural dyeing, and upholstery, the duo has set their sights on educating the Rust Belt and East Coast in the wonderful ways of slow living and sustainability. Learn a bit more about these teachers and their textiles in their Maker Series interview below.
Bold, honest, and rooted in hometown pride, APE MADE merch is for the tried and true midwesterner. So it's no surprise that creator April Bleakney wears her rust belt heart on her sleeve. Learn a little bit about how this one-woman show has infiltrated homes across Cleveland in our Maker Series interview below.
In our experience, you'll smell the booth of Sweet Dish & Darling before you'll see it. That's because candle creator Sarah Sampsell has an olfactory edge on nearly every other handmade business at The Cleveland Flea. Craving insight into her processes, products, and business background? Read on!
When you have the opportunity to interview the self-proclaimed "queen of blow molds", you listen up. Megan Baechle, owner of Wizard of Oddz, brings the strangest, most campy parts of our childhood memories back to life with her collection of cool and kitsch. From TV trays to piles upon piles of Pyrex, Megan really knows how to nail-down nostalgia! She has an eye for retro gold, and her heart's in the right place, too. For Megan, vintage is a way of life. Get a glimpse of her collection and a taste of her good intentions in our Maker Series interview below.
Where there's a city, there's bound to be crime. Thankfully, there are usually more than a few artists, too. Deanna Dionne, the graphic designer-turned-jeweler behind Cleveland Street Glass, is one such urban maker. You could say that she knows an opportunity when she sees one: after her own car was vandalized she made light of the circumstances by developing a business that takes debris from similar situations and turns it into rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and brooches. Since her business' conception Deanna has created hundreds of custom jewelry pieces from Cleveland's streets . Read on for insight into how she is beautifying Cleveland one break-in at a time.
In a region known for it's work ethic, it's no surprise to find such dedicated, born-and-bred makers like Amy and Greg Eibel. The duo runs their apparel business, Little Chicago Clothing Company, as a side hustle in the time that they have left after teaching all day long. Not only that, but they're also part of the team that runs Canton's Print & Press, a handcrafted goods boutique which features local-to-Ohio artists and their work. Astonished? So are we. Read on to discover what fuels the couple's drive to constantly create and how they find new ways to consistently contribute to the community... and maybe you'll snag a great recipe for elbow grease while you're at it!
Health is about more than just the body. Tricia Reddy of Coastline Bowls emphasizes that doing good is vital to feeling good. Her smoothie bowls source their South American superfruits from single mothers working as farmers. Hiring these "supermoms" is just part of how Tricia sees Coastline Bowls giving back to the community.
Brewnuts owners Shelley and John Pippen amaze us. Without any industry experience they started a business making donuts from beer, and Cleveland hasn't been the same since. Their booth at The Flea almost always has a line snaking from it's frontside. There's good reason for it: their recipes are out of sight.
Here at The Cleveland Flea, Public Dove proprietor Carly Moran is known for two things: her upbeat attitude and her impeccable taste in the vintage women's clothing and accessories... and with a culinary background in pastries, she pretty much has this "sweet" thing nailed down. Read on to learn more about how Carly turned a life of pastries into a business of petticoats and pencil skirts.
Our jaws hit the floor every time we watch the Birchwood Supply Co. truck unload at The Flea. Jason, the owner of Birchwood, always leans more towards "going big" than "going home" with is merch, and we know that our shoppers love him for that. Not only is Birchwood Supply Co. present each month during The Cleveland Flea, but Jason also runs a brick-and-mortar storefront in Akron. Read on to hear more about the growth of this favorite Flea veteran over the years.
Armed with a collection full of well-placed pleats, streamlined jackets and dresses, and tees featuring iconic catchphrases, you can find Valerie Mayèn of Yellokwcakeshop every month as a season pass holder during the 2016 Cleveland Flea season. Read more about The Flea's most televised designer and how she's using her previous media exposure to do good in the community.
Nate and Erin Klees are so integral to the behind-the-scenes of The Cleveland Flea. No, we don't employ them (maybe we should...) but you can bet that you've seen their fantastic vintage pieces in more than one of our photo shoots. We're not afraid to say it: they make us look good. Learn more about the Articles family in their Maker Series interview.
Two treasure hunters if we ever met them, Mike and Laura of Black Kitten Vintage religiously stock their booth with some of the quirkiest, silliest, and sometimes just downright scary stuff we've ever seen. They're also known and loved by photographers for their huge selection of vintage and antique cameras. Discover more about the who, what, when, where, and why of Mike and Laura in our Maker Series interview below.
Q + A with Brooke of Kukuli
Brooke Kelsey is just one cog in the machine that is Kukuli. The young business is a Cleveland and Lima based pop-up shop and distributor of authentic, handmade Peruvian home goods made by highly-skilled hands using methods passed down through generations. Brooke is joned by partners Abbie and Kate, who develop relationships and source product for the business on the ground in Peru. Read on for more insight into the evolution of their business thus far.