Just like Cleveland’s restaurant scene, our local shops have been hit hard by COVID-19, especially when they had to shut down in March. Many have slowly reopened since then with limited hours and protocols put in place. Many have also been able to shift toward selling their items, such as jewelry, T-shirts and shoes online. But unfortunately, some have had to close their doors for good.
Even if small business owners have been able to survive these last few months, it hasn’t been easy. For Catherine Blubaugh, who opened Oh Pink! Party Shop in Ohio City last year, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster even though she’s seen a steady amount of business from customers looking to send care packages filled with goodies such as notecards, pencils, earrings and mugs to their family and loved ones.
“Despite your best effort on planning and researching and goal setting and all that stuff, there are just some things you just can’t control,” she told editorial assistant Arbela Capas. “But in the most challenging of times, there really can be little bright spots. Maybe I made the right decision [to open a business] because I could be this facilitator of joy and good thoughts.”
Our “Shop Local” feature aims to celebrate our neighbors that decided — whether it was more than 30 years ago or just last year — to open shop and bring us a curated selection of items from midcentury furniture, sneakers, wedding dresses, all-natural soap, records or more. Whatever your interest may be, there’s probably an independent, locally owned shop in Cleveland for you.
These shop owners found something that excited them — 36 throwing parties, reading books, buying shoes — and knew that there had to be others out there that would want the same. So before you make your next purchase, stop and think if you can invest those dollars back into a local shop or business. I know I will.
Click here to explore more than 30 local shops and boutiques as part of this month’s “Shop Local” package.
8:00 AM EST
August 26, 2020