What a ride it's been! I started the Cleveland Flea in 2013 as a way to support the makers, dreamers and creative small businesses that call Cleveland home. All I wanted was to give them a means to make a living, and to keep making it in Cleveland.
That also meant giving shoppers an experience they couldn’t get anyplace else. We've grown into matchmakers, connecting shoppers with the local businesses they love.
More than 250,000 people have shopped the Cleveland Flea to the tune of $5 million for our local economy. And it's just the start of year three! The Flea has provided makers the opportunity to take their skills from hobby status to brick-and-mortar storefront.
We’re so proud of how much Cleveland has supported the Flea and all the local sweat that goes into it. So, we thought it was time to really step up our game.
We're building a home for the Flea.
Last year, the Cleveland Flea grew each time we blinked. We even expanded into a Super Flea-sized space at Tyler Village. Team Flea has no intention of stopping here.
Today, we're excited to announce that we're building a real home for the Flea. Phase One is infrastructure. That's the tables, benches, bar, stools and other furniture we need to [almost] accommodate all 20,000+ monthly shoppers at our event in Tyler Village.
Here's a preview of what they'll look like:
We're working with local businesses Second Shift Design Studio and Soulcraft Woodshop to design and build this custom furniture. By having these pieces designed and small-batch manufactured here, we’re continuing to invest in our local economy and keeping the fabric of the Flea true to Cleveland’s manufacturing roots.
We need your help to make this next HUGE step for the Cleveland Flea happen.
We're launching a campaign today to fund our project. It's called #BeTheRisingTide. We need $40,000 to get this furniture designed, built and ready for you at the Flea this summer. We can only get there with your support.
It's never easy asking friends for money. But let's be more than friends, shall we? Because we know you love the Flea as much as we do, now's your chance to become an official member of Team Flea. Together, we can build a stronger foundation for this Cleveland marketplace and grow as a rising tide that lifts every boat in every community.
Three simple ways to get involved:
- Visit our Kickstarter page to watch our video, learn about our project, back our campaign online and dig into rad rewards, like access to Flea preview events, unique experiences and exclusive designs by our vendors.
- Stop by our booth at the April and May Fleas. You can contribute to the campaign in-person and pick up instant perks, like limited edition #BeTheRisingTide tees, totes, buttons and more.
- Spread the word. Share the heck out of our campaign, please! Post a link to our Kickstarter, tweet when you've backed our campaign, 'gram a photo of your backer button, tell us how you'd like to #BeTheRisingTide!
Thank you for helping us turn a fun little market into an economic engine for our city. We appreciate your support and can't wait to see how your MAKE IT GREAT this year, Cleveland!
Let's do this!
Founder, The Cleveland Flea