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Breaking Ground

This new Ohio City shop spins forgotten finds into furniture



Macklemore made a number-one song about it. Joanna Gaines is spinning ratings gold for HGTV with “Fixer-Upper.” No doubt the obsession with thrifting, upcycling and antiquing has reached a fever pitch—and City Salvage & Design’s Janice Beckler is living the DIY dream. Beckler has spent more than 50 years training her keen eye for offbeat, eye-catching furniture and items to add unmistakable flair to any decor scheme.
 
To that end, she and her husband, Doug, have traveled "all over Ohio, buying farm picks, industry picks. Wherever we can find it, we will go. We have a good eye for finding good stuff.”
 
Five years ago, Beckler decided to share her finds. Calling on 30 years of teaching experience and a background in customer service and design, she opened City Salvage & Design in Amherst. The shop was so successful that Beckler opened a second location in Ohio City last month. The store features an ever-changing assortment of Beckler’s Ohio picks—as well as steel-cut letters and words and a variety of vintage, chalk-based and milk-based furniture paints (including Mentor-based Plum City Paint) for the devoted DIY crowd.
 
Soon, Beckler plans on carrying handmade jewelry, scarves, etched glass and a line of all-natural dog shampoos—all from local makers selling on consignment. “It will add a little more dimension to the shop,” Beckler explains. “All of the works will be from the Cleveland and Akron areas and will follow the Ohio City philosophy of the artisan feel. By September, we should have a nice assortment.”
 
With 12,000 square feet to utilize in the Ohio City location—5,500 set aside for product displays—Beckler found she had room to take City Salvage & Design a bit further in its offerings. In addition to the goods sold at the shop, Beckler offers custom furniture creation and design work to her customers. Past projects include a light fixture made with upcycled glass, a bar top placed on a vintage wagon wheel and a dining table made from salvaged barn planks.
 
“What you can’t find, we’ll design for you,” Beckler quips. “We’re trying to find out what the community likes.”
 
So far, Beckler is thrilled to be in her new location. “The Ohio City people have been great,” she says. City Salvage & Design (2138 W. 25th St.) is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment for custom work.
 
Why only three days a week? Duty calls—Beckler sets the time aside to scour the state for more perfect restoration items.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 18 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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