When Jenny Goe opened In the 216
in the heart of the Coventry business district in January 2015, she had high hopes that her store would be a destination for shoppers to browse and buy the many wares made by Cleveland retailers.
She launched with about 30 artists
represented in her roughly 1,000-square-foot shop just below street level. Two years later, Goe keeps the shop at 1854 Coventry open late, especially on the weekends, and keeps longer hours on Sundays to accommodate the high volume of customers meandering in during peak pedestrian times.
“We have to stay open late on Fridays and Saturdays here,” Goe says. “We’d be crazy not to.”
Today, Goe represents more than 100 artists in her funky shop, and has had to turn others away because she’s running out of room. But that predicament is about to change when Goe opens her second location on the Cleveland-Lakewood border on April 29 in the former Big Fun location at 11512 Clifton Blvd.
At 2,000 square feet, the space is twice the size of the Coventry store, which will allow Goe to offer a wider variety of goods — and there's also space for an artists’ exhibit/workshop.
Some will be solely featured at the new store, while others will exclusively be featured at Cleveland Heights location, Goe says, bringing the total to between 120 and 130 Northeast Ohio artisans represented at In the 216.
The wares Goe sells include everything from jewelry, some of which Goe herself crafts through her Etsy line, Jewelry by Jenny
, T-shirts, ball caps, candles and home décor items.
Goe said her new neighbors, the owners of Flower Child
first approached her about opening a pop-up store in the location during the 2015 holiday season, but she was still getting the Coventry location off the ground.
When the new owners of the Clifton Corners building approached her last fall, Goe was ready to expand. “There’s a lot of really good plans for the street,” says Goe of the ongoing work on Clifton Boulevard between W. 116th
and W. 117th
Streets. “So I decided it was worth the leap.”
Goe wooed the building owners, Cleveland natives who now live in California, with her business sense and products. “I explained it’s all locally sourced products and I sent them home with some Bertman mustard
,” she recalls. “The owners came in, saw what we can do and offered to fix it up for us at their expense.”
Goe is pleased with the remodel of the space. “They built us a dressing room, which we don’t really have [on Coventry],” she says. “Everything’s going to be brand spanking new.” She adds that she will have two display windows. Goe did choose, however, to keep the graffiti-painted, comic hero ceiling installed during the Big Fun days. “It adds a lot of character.”
Goe is particularly excited about the exhibit space. Her first exhibitor will be Jack Koch of Jackson Koch Photography
, while knitting workshops by Maria Laniro
of Mamina Knits, as well as calligraphy and screen printing workshops, are already planned.
Goe, who plans to split her time between both locations, says she’s not sure what the permanent hours will be at the new store, but for now she'll be open for business 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., every day but Tuesdays.
“It will be a learning experience,” she says, noting that the traffic on Clifton is more from cars than pedestrians. “People come in and ask about it and they get so excited about the new store.”