Business gives small business owners opportunities to grow – Spectrum News 1

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CLEVELAND — A business in Cleveland is giving other small business owners a place to showcase and sell their products.


What You Need To Know

  • East 185th Exhibit offers pop-up events for small business owners to showcase their business
  • The business was started by Monica Grays as a way to help revitalize the Collingwood neighborhood
  • 32 vendors can setup during the pop up events

Kay Jones never thought she’d be a business owner.

“I always thought about selling my purses, and so I started selling purses like two years ago on Poshmark,” said Jones, owner of Level Up Purses and Accessories, LLC.

But after having to give a portion of her proceeds to the platform she was using, she consulted with her daughters and decided to cut the middle man and do business on her own.

“Let’s do a Facebook Live — let’s see how it goes. So it was a hit and we’ve been rolling since March of this year,” said Jones.

Business was going well for a while but started slowing down. Jones knew she had to do something to get sales up again and a sign in a window had the answer.

“I wonder what that sign says and it said something about pop-up shops,” said Jones. “So I called Monica as soon as I finished my walk and the rest is history.”

It was about the same time in 2020 when Spectrum News first met Monica Grays when she was focused on her teacher consignment store and tutoring business. Since then, she and her husband bought an empty storefront next door to one of their stores with the plan to expand, but they realized the space was much bigger than what they needed and decided to do something else with it instead.

“We decided to maybe venture into giving small businesses a chance to feature, highlight, or sell their products here on East 185th,” said Grays, owner of East 185th Exhibit and 2nd Semester Consignment Shop.

Marla Redic started her own business selling a detox tea. She needed somewhere to sell her products. Redic went to high school with Grays’ husband who told her she should try out their pop-up shop.​

“That’s one thing that’s very convenient,” said Redic, owner of Bubba Gutt. “We bring the products to one location. We don’t have to worry about the stress of an overhead if you were to rent a shop or things like that. You know you don’t have the stress of an overhead. All you have to do is set your table up and wait for the people.”

Jones and Redic are both grateful for the opportunity East 185th Exhibit is giving them and other small businesses.

“Bringing small businesses together as a community that’s extremely important when you have all the businesses together in one location and it’s a community based event you’re going to bring people that’s supporting,” said Redic.

The venue can fit 32 vendors. For a fee between $45 and $50 vendors may claim their spot. More information on becoming a vendor may be found here

Jones may be found here and Redic on Instagram at: @bubbagutthebrand.