CLEVELAND — City Goods at the Creative Hangars will open up this Friday, and it is a moment years in the making for the entrepreneurs showcasing their products.
At the corner of West 28 Street and Church Avenue, you’ll see seven hut-like buildings.
In six of the buildings, about four different local businesses are displaying their goods.
Sam Friedman and Liz Painter are the masterminds behind City Goods.
“There’s so many different types of folks here creating so many different types of products,” said Friedman.
Friedman knows what it takes to start up a business. His family business is Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve.
“We’ve tried really hard in Cleveland to have successful retail and it’s been difficult. We’re not finding the place we can present to the public that’s affordable for a small brand. We can’t figure out how to afford permanent staffing for a shop like that when we are busy running our business and making our products,” he said. “For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to eliminate those major hurdles.”
He believes City Goods is the solution to eliminating those barriers. The idea is that with each entrepreneur and each brand, sharing a space, they also share in the cost of running it.
“They could share the rent, they could share the utilities and cost, they could share things like staff. The monetary commitment then goes way down for everyone. Everyone is paying a little piece of the pie to get some great prime retail,” said Friedman.
From Cleveland apparel, unique art, a record shop, skincare and bath needs, to woodworking, craft lighting and more,
Marissa Wilson is the founder of Capsoul, a luggage brand for creative professionals. She sells a bag that can be worn four ways. The Cleveland Heights’ native moved back home from Los Angeles when the pandemic hit and began creating the brand.
“Previously I was just going to different events, different pop-ups, which is stressful, being able to have a dedicated space where I can set up shop and direct people to, it’s a complete game changer,” she said.
Scott Hudson is the owner of Cleveland apparel company Rocket E3. He echoed Wilson’s sentiment.
“When COVID hit I lost my job, so my side hustle became my main hustle. This is sort of the next evolution of my brand and business. I’ve done the weekend markets in my tent, I do online sales but I’ve not ever had my own retail space that I can call my own,” he said.
The biggest building in the cluster is where Friedman’s bar will be, appropriately named the Hangar. The bar’s profits will go towards supporting the small business owners in the clustered community.
“We took all those other difficult mechanisms of owning a retail shop, from lawyers, to insurance, to lawn care that would also have to be heaped into the rent and we took those out of the equation and that’s what we’re using this bar as a support mechanism to deal with all of those,” he said.
Wilson said it’s an opportunity like no other.
“I never thought I would have a retail space this early on in my journey, to not have to worry about things like the utilities, the idea of like building everything out, it made it so much more achievable for a small brand,” she said.
Kumar Arora’s apparel and lifestyle brand Ilthy is also preparing to open shop.
“Entrepreneurship is hard, in itself, but being able to build something in your backyard with a bunch of friends makes things easier,” he said,
City Goods’ retail shops will be open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Hangar Bar is open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the week extends to midnight on the weekends. It is closed on Monday.