It's hard not to be inspired by the artists and makers of the Cleveland Flea. Brilliant, talented, creative. They're tough as bleepin' nails on their ways to making their dreams come true. We began The Maker Series to take a look — behind the scenes, beyond the booth — to see what drives our makers to do what they love and love what they do.
Q + A with Tricia of Coastline Bowls
Health is about more than just the body. Tricia Reddy of Coastline Bowls knows that well. As the owner and operator of one of Cleveland's newest health food stands, Tricia 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. Learn more about the visions of The Flea's most ambitions young entrepreneur in our interview below!
Cleveland Flea: What was your path to beginning your business?
Tricia Reddy: I had a great opportunity, through work, to live in California! Dreaming of living at the beach my whole life I instantly adapted to the SoCAL lifestyle! Active beach life was the best! When it was time to come home, I wanted to find some way to bring my California experience back home to Cle to share with all my friends and family....And selfishly keep California with me! Always dreaming of starting a company by the age of 25 years old ---- I am 24years old and living out that dream!
CF: Why do you love what you do?
TR: My 2 year project is coming to life! Absolutely love everything that Coastline Bowls has to offer! I have been told by numerous people that it is my personality consolidated in one product! The product has a ton of Community involvement, very active & engaging, fun, out-going, and socially responsible....Love that my company allows me to be everywhere and meet many new faces, while making a difference/impact in peoples lives!
CF: Why does Cleveland need a business like this?
TR: Cleveland is on the rise! With how supportive the city is towards young entrepreneurs, like myself - Coastline is another great business that fits that image! This product is new to the area and extremely healthy, which is perfect for the cities active and health conscious culture! Coastline will be a perfect fit, especially with all the co-marketing events that gyms, bars, spinning studios, and restaurants are hosting with each other! We hope to make many relationships just like this!
CF: Why is Cleveland a great place to launch and run a creative business?
TR: Strong local support system! Many businesses supporting each other and working together with the goal of building a sense of community and striving to make the city a great place, for all! #AllIn
CF: What's the best part of running your own business?
TR: In my personal life, I love meeting new people --- Learning peoples stories, and overall just getting to know them! My favorite part of running my company is being able to finally share with people the project I have been working on for 2 years! ....Love that my company allows me to be everywhere and meet many new faces, while making a difference in peoples lives! I am very excited to introduce something new to the area, and one that is a positive, healthy, and fun!
CF: Did you see yourself growing up to be a creative vendor?
TR: My whole life I wanted to own a company/invent something. When I was little, I would pick an industry per week and focus on that specific industry to try and think of something to invent that could benefit the industry! So it was always a dream of mine....but never thought it would actually turn into reality! It has been a dream come true! I was raised on the quote "You create your own luck by hard work" or "the harder you work the luckier you become" - I guess a little hard work and faith has given me a little luck!! Dreams do come true
CF: What's the first big moment where you knew you were headed in the right direction with your business?
TR: When I was asked to be interviewed by the Cleveland Scene Magazine! This then lead to many TV interviews and a ton of exposure & coverage! That is when reality set in!
CF: Who inspires you?
TR: My family! I am a huge family girl - My family means everything to me - They are my support system! Very excited to share this journey with them!
CF: Have you learned anything about your business by participating in Cleveland Flea?
TR: Yes, I have been able to expand my target market and learn who exactly enjoys the Coastline Product!! Working with the Cleveland Flea and multiple other events has allowed me to grow my brand and gain brand awareness by customers!
CF: What's your favorite piece of advice as it relates to your business?
TR: Loyalty & Relationships - One of my beliefs in life is that you must cherish relationships and treat people right, but Be smart on who to trust and confide in. I couldn't tell you the number of people who have helped me along the way - It has been amazing! Another tip of advice was when you get stuck, keep going! Think outside the box!
CF: How would you hope to hear your business described by your dream customers?
TR: "Amazing! Fun, yummy, and incredible! I could eat this everyday!"
CF: What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about your business?
TR: Everything that we do is local and socially responsible. Our supply chain was chosen based on a very cool human interest story - We work directly with a USDA Organic farm in Central America. The farmers on this farm are mostly single mothers who harvest the fruit! Essentially, every bowl purchased from Coastline Bowls, LLC contributes to employment opportunities for these single moms in Central America! Not only are you eating a great healthy treat, but again, contributing to making a difference in a persons life!