frugal fortune

15408 Madison Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

carolyn klosowsky

Meet Carolyn Klosowsky, co-founder of Frugal Fortune, a Lakewood shop with two employees that sells fine vintage and antiques, quality pre-owned, and handmade items.

How did you come to open Frugal Fortune?
My boyfriend, Dave Forgac, had been collecting vintage and pre-owned items for 40 years and we both love them. I had an at-home silk flower business for several years, so it made sense to open a shop filled with things we love.

How did you come up with the name? Are your products reasonably priced?
Frugal Fortune came out of the idea that our customers could buy beautiful high quality items at a great price. We are more affordable than other similar shops in our area.

What do you love about upcycled furniture?

I love repurposing furniture and other items, and they are often transformed into different and interesting pieces, such as using cabinet doors as frames for chalk boards.

How do you find your merchandise?

When we opened we found people came to us with stuff they wanted to sell. We love it because it allows us to have longer store hours since we don't have to search. And Dave is amazing at restoring furniture and painting.  He has built furniture and he's very knowledgeable about woods and finishes. And he's amazing with a paint spray gun!

How have to grown since you opened in 2012?

We added the storefront adjacent to us. In fact, we are having a grand opening this weekend (May 17-18) to show off our new space.

How do you choose colors?

We choose a combination of colors for our re-purposed items. The latest color trends right now are bright oranges, greens, yellows, blues, pinks and some red and purple. We're currently working on painting kitchen chairs and a table in red.  We choose trendy colors to paint furniture, home decor and accessories, such as picture frames.

What is the most unique or favorite piece you've sold?
My favorite piece we've sold is a mid-century alien glass Christmas ornament – an alien head atop a flying saucer. Not only is it the most unusual piece we've sold, but it was also the first. We became a bit attached to it and it became our mascot, so to speak.

Why is Lakewood an ideal place to do business?
Lakewood is an eclectic city with eco-conscious citizens, many of whom really appreciate vintage, antiques, and handmade items which can be upcycled.