The best thing about craft shows is the variety of work available. The worst thing is they only last a few days. Artists Candra Squire and Melissa Klimo-Major think they've solved this problem with their crafty boutique, Salty Not Sweet.
"We wanted a place to sell handmade all year," Squire says. "There's so many craft shows, but there's no place permanent to sell the items all year long."
The duo opened their shop in the city's North Collinwood neighborhood in 2010 before moving to Ohio City last May. The area, which is already home to Room Service, Rag Refinery and Something Different Gallery, is an ideal location for Salty Not Sweet's indie and artsy atmosphere.
The boutique stocks pieces handcrafted by local artists and those across the country. Quirky items by Klimo-Major such as cabernet-scented candles in recycled wine bottles ($15-$30) and scented soaps ($6) are made in-house. Sarcastic greeting cards by Squire that say, "I Super Duper Love You" or "Happy Politically Correct Nondescript Holidays" ($3.50) are big sellers. Baby onesies from Wisconsin artist Mojo Wear ($16) bearing sayings such as "Freshly Squeezed" or "Locally Grown" are also popular.
Squire and Klimo-Major discover the majority of the artists at craft shows locally and throughout the United States. Adding new crafters almost weekly, Salty Not Sweet now exclusively carries works by more than 50 artists.
"We like to keep the artists that we have and make sure they're not in other stores," Squire says. "Usually when you come in here, you're going to find something that you're not going to find anywhere else."
Salty Not Sweet also features kitchen napkins, place mats and platters, jewelry and a small selection of women's vintage clothing.
"People know they're buying local. They can come in and [ask], 'Where was this made?' or 'Do you know this artist?' " Klimo-Major says. "Candra and I know every artist in this store."
When You Go
Salty Not Sweet
2074 W. 25th St., Cleveland
A haven for vintage lovers is just down the street. At Deering Vintage, the former owner of Suite Lorain stocks clothing, accessories and home furnishings from the '40s through '70s. 1836 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-274-1211
shops & boutiques
12:00 AM EST
January 19, 2012