It wasn't forever ago that talented people left Cleveland to make a living as a maker. Even when the Cleveland Flea began, three quick seasons ago, we didn't see bulks of the creative class leaving their day jobs to dive into their day dreams. But, oh, how the seasons have changed!
Nothing makes Team Flea happier than seeing a maker, artisan or vintage-hunter switch a skill from hobby status to full-time job.
We recently heard about these leaps in #SmallBatchDispatch podcasts with On The Lookout's Erica Young, Cleveland Bagel Co.'s Dan Herbst and Great Lake Outfitters' Kelly Pierce. Sometimes you just have to put your BOSS hat on and make the hard decisions, the crazy decisions and the sacrifices that could pay off, someday.
Founder Stephanie Sheldon can relate. It wasn't easy leaving a job, scouting makers, navigating permits and convincing strangers to trust her vision and give this "Flea" thing a try. We're really glad they did! Since 2013, we've seen nearly 350,000 people shop the Flea, handfuls of creative small businesses turn pro and the maker scene get national attention (not to mention respect).
None of it would have happened without the talent, drive, dreams and bosses behind the booths from the beginning. At July Flea, we'll honor vendors who've been with the Cleveland Flea since season #1 with a little something they've been using all along:
Oh, yeah. BOSS hats! If you see them, please give these vendors high-fives. We owe it to all of our vendors for being the hustle, heart and talented souls that drive the Cleveland Flea to new heights, month after month. Hats off to all of you!
WANT TO BE A BOSS, TOO?
While we created BOSS hats to honor our vendors at the July Flea, the hats are available for preorder to everyone! Preorder sale ends Tuesday, July 14 at 11:59 p.m. Nab yours today.
PODCASTS WITH BOSSES: