Upcycle St. Clair

St Clair Superior Development Corporation

Funding Received: 2013
Cleveland, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
October 9, 2013

The work of two Cleveland upcyclists who sell at the Flea and were featured in a recent article by Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Allison Carey; photo by Carey.

We stopped counting at 5,200 people. That is the number of customers/visitors/shoppers that came to the Cleveland Flea one Saturday in mid-September. The Flea got started in April of this year and its growth and contagious energy is blowing us away in the best ways possible. Were most excited that it attracts thousands of visitors to an area that is not normally social, a busy street where traffic buzzes by and few pedestrians roam. On Flea Saturdays, though, parked cars line streets for 10 blocks in all directions and pedestrians flock and linger. It’s amazing to see this happen and even more incredibleto be a part of it. Upcycle St. Clair works closely with the Cleveland Flea on our shared goal of building up this neighborhood that is strong in history and bursting with authentic charm. We feel that our roles are to uncover the jewels and assets that already are here, and in most cases, have been here for decades or longer. We are combining the process of uncovering existing merchants, landmarks, neighborhood residents, and beautiful places with recruiting new ones in.  We’re celebrating with live music, upcycle crafting, and popsicle eating, free for anyone who wants to join. We called it an evening of popsicles and pinwheels and we were excited to see the interactions that happened there. Meanwhile, what we see at the Flea is about more than volumes of people joining together in a neglected neighborhood. It’s also about economic development for the 100 plus vendors who hand make their work, upcycle goods into new designs, and create artisan food products. As a community development corporation, St. Clair Superior CDC works to bring new economic opportunities into the neighborhoods we serve. Doing this work in partnership with creative innovation and artistic approaches is proving to be a strong strategy for all of our work combined.