Named among the top five local craft stores by Fox 8 City Voter, the shop serves as a workshop for burgeoning crafters, as well as a gift shop and a source for inspiring seasonal project ideas. Staff artists teach workshops in three crafting genres: jewelry, housewares, and needle arts, offering a well-rounded curriculum that helps students with all-around constructive knowledge. Just as fish parents drop their babies into the water to teach them how to swim, teachers instill the fundamentals of handicraft by walking students through their first project during classes. Inside the eclectic gift shop, more than 65 local artists display handmade loot such as purses, hair accessories, pottery, and greeting cards, each unique in design. The community-minded store also encourages crafters of all skill levels to gather under its roof, whether to trade inspiration, project ideas, or swap unneeded craft supplies.
Glass Bubble Project's owners Mike Kaplan and Chris McGillicutty are business partners, friends, and working artists. Beginning in 1998, they repurposed their garage space into a working studio where professional artists and students create side by side, firing delicate one-of-a-kind masterpieces—and, according to Cleveland Magazine, the occasional grilled cheese sandwich—in the shop's 2,000-degree furnace. Their glass-blowing and welding classes teach adults and children to create one-of-a-kind artwork as nearby artists at work bolster creativity. Besides classes, the studio invites guests to watch their free public demonstrations and grants private studio time to artists in need and broken bottles looking for a fresh start.
The shop's resident artists craft and sell sconces, chandeliers, and vases from recycled glass and repurposed metal. Nicknamed “Clevetion Glass” to simultaneously lampoon delicate Venetian glass and celebrate Cleveland's heartiness, their blend of industrial parts and elegant glasswork toughens up the décor of private residences and commercial buildings, such as the Ritz Carlton, all across the country.
Melissa Lopez faced a daunting task: a group of five friends all wanted to do their boudoir shoots back to back in one evening. She could see the potential wreckage—the ladies racing to make their shoot on time, makeup sessions running long, costume pieces getting lost—but she agreed to the plan anyway. As it turned out, her fears were warranted, but Melissa had never been one to let a challenge wear her down. So when her subjects reached the height of pandemonium, she decreed, "I don't care if we're going past midnight. Let's get these shots done." The ladies' stress receded, and the evening turned into a party complete with strawberries and champagne.
Shoots like these show why Melissa and her husband, Dustin, chose the name One Red Door Photography: it symbolizes their shared passion for capturing images full of life. In addition to boudoir shoots, the duo's services range from portrait sessions to video solutions for small businesses—an area of particular importance for Dustin, who comes from a lineage of restaurateurs going back to his great grandfather in Spain. Dustin's passion for photography, video, and helping small businesses also led to his Google Trusted Photographer certification, a distinction for photographers who capture panoramic shots of local businesses for Google Maps with Street View.
Art After Dark fosters creative expression in a nightlife atmosphere. Classes provide all the necessary materials to create paintings, decorate wine glasses, or carve pumpkins, and students can bring their favorite drinks to celebrate their new artistic accomplishments. Kids' sessions focus on age-appropriate pictures during small classes and birthday parties.
Levin Furniture has been passed down through generations of Levins since 1920, when Jessie Levin persuaded her husband to start a business to help their daughters' prospects. Since then, the business has grown, expanded, and gained a reputation for procuring and selling quality furniture. Levin Furniture's stock includes leather reclining sofas, beautifully carved dining tables, and sleigh beds from Daniel's Amish using hardwood materials from Ohio.
When Seymour and Esther Fischgrund founded Fish Furniture in 1925, the couple personally stained, painted, and housebroke each piece before sending it home with a customer. Today, Fish Furniture operates a bit more efficiently, but with the same attention to detail and quality. In the eight-plus decades since opening, the business has grown from 2 employees to 70. It features a pair of 40,000-square-foot show rooms, inside of which sit upholstery, bedroom sets, and office trimmings bearing solid-wood construction and the names of well-known manufacturers. Outside the show rooms, Fish's staff travels to homes to provide interior-design advice, and its courtesy touchups mend scuffs and scrapes in a more fashionable manner than haphazardly placed band-aids.