CLE Shops

CLE Shops: Freddy Hill Design

This past weekend, I was invited to tour the Freddy Hill Design studio in Lakewood, just a few minutes from my house. If you're not aware of the brand, Freddy Hill Design creates one-of-a-kind, handcrafted furniture and home accessories, as well as leather goods, and being the bag fanatic that I am, there's no way I was going to pass up this invitation!

So, Saturday morning, I made my way to the studio to meet with Nina Kocan, who works with Freddy and actually designs and creates their leather bags and accessories. Nina's degree is in education and art, and she joined Freddy a couple of years ago seeking a career that would let her explore her creative side and work with her hands. She initially started as Freddy's apprentice, creating furniture-- the bag line was a result of an experiment into an upholstery line, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Freddy Hill Design line of bags and leather goods is created completely in Lakewood, by hand, from locally sourced materials. Everything from the leather (that comes from a local tannery), to the vintage brass details, to the logo, are all created and sourced right here in Northeast Ohio. Which is really pretty amazing if you think about it.




The bag line has a heavy focus on totes, which fall into primarily three categories: raw leather (these are unlined and feature an interior leather pocket), the regular totes (lined with cotton lining, featuring 2 pockets and a zippered pocket, as well as a leather and brass keyring), and the hair-on-hide totes, which I absolutely LUUUUURVE!

These hair-on-hide totes are really quite amazing-- they are hand painted, and like the regular totes, feature a cotton lining, two interior pockets, a zippered pocket, a leather and brass key ring, magnetic closure and brass details. The bag has a really amazing texture, and like all natural leather, will last a long time and wear absolutely beautifully. Nina was gracious enough to gift me my very own hair-on-hide tote, which I've been carrying around all week. The bag has attracted a lot of attention and compliments!!




You can check out the Freddy Hill Design line of bags online, or at local boutiques like LINGG.

I know I didn't spend a lot of time talking about Freddy's furniture line, but it is really beautiful-- I encourage you to take a look at the collection online, at his studio, or on Instagram!

Disclosure: As I mentioned before, I was gifted one of the hair-on-hide totes that you see in the picture above. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. I absolutely LUUUUURVE supporting talented designers and artists, and I thank you for allowing me this platform to support their work! XO

CLE Shops: Happy Hour Collection

Do you like Happy Hour? That was a rhetorical question-- of course you do!! Located in the 5th Street Arcades, Happy Hour Collection is focussed on the modern bar so you can make your Happy Hours even happier. The store itself is adorable-- it has this great art deco vibe, and a mix of vintage and modern bar appointments to make your bar area (perhaps its a bar cart?) oh-so-Instagram-worthy. Ever wonder where you can get those gorgeous glasses with hints of gold? Or in desperate need (want) of a gold champagne chiller? You can find them at Happy Hour Collection.

The store carries a great selection of bitters and mixes, which would be great additions to your personal bar, and also make great gifts for the drink-lover (which, lets face it, is basically everyone I know.) They offer a few pre-made gift selections, but I always enjoy walking around and creating my own personalized gift selections for the people I love.


Happy Hour Collection will be hosting events in the very near future, so make sure you're following them on social media to stay up to date. I believe there's a bourbon tasting coming up in the fall!



Made-in-Ohio decanter and glasses



 I really wanted to buy these, but Nick *might* kill me if I bring more glasses into the house, so I had to show restraint and walk away. 



I bought a set of these mixers-- I will talk more about them in an upcoming post- stay tuned!



An example of a gift package. 



More merchandise. I mean, just LOOK at that gold cocktail shaker and flash. SO chic and insta-worthy. 



Unique cocktail shaker with matching glasses-- the prices on these vintage items are really reasonable!



Another glimpse at what the store has on offer. 

Go stop by and explore-- not only is the store adorable and fun, but your bar and happy hour guests will LUUUUURVE you for it! 

CLE Shops: COTTON

This past weekend, I stopped into COTTON in Lakewood to pick up a Father's Day gift. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I got my father-in-law and my dad the same gift, but since I haven't seen either of them yet, they haven't seen their gift, so I can't share it with you. That minor hiccup aside, what I CAN share with you is that COTTON is a really great store for gifts at all prices. They carry an assortment of gifts that range from under $20, well into the multiple hundreds.

The store itself is really nicely curated and styled-- I had a lovely time walking around, taking pictures, and picking up must-haves!








I'm not gonna lie, going to the store made me want to get on a boat, travel to an island for a lobster-bake and bonfire while curling up in a beautiful blanket. Doesn't that just sound like a lovely day?!


CLE Shops: The Olive Scene

A few weeks ago, I finally made my way to the Olive Scene on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. I say "finally" because I first heard of them when my dear friend Lisa gifted me a bottle of their harissa infused olive oil a couple of years ago. So, my tardiness in getting there really has no excuse. Anyway, my trip was a revelation into the amazing world of olive oil and balsamic vinegars--- I really had NO idea there were so many kinds!!!


When you walk in, you will immediately notice the rows of neat steel containers along the walls and down the middle of the store. First up, olive oils originating from a variety of different grapes. Next, infused olive oils, and finally, varieties of balsamic vinegar. 

I went on a major tasting spree (you taste it out of little plastic cups, like a little shot of oil)-- while I didn't really have a preference between the different types of olives, I had a few flavors of the infused oils that I really loved. Most notably, the olive, lemon, kaffir lime, baklouti green chili, and chipotle flavors. The balsamic vinegars were really amazing-- I particularly liked the fig balsamic and strawberry balsamic, which would both be perfect over some vanilla bean ice-cream. 

Prices range from $6 for the 60mL mini bottle, to $29 for the large 750mL bottle. I ended up going home with an assortment of sizes of the baklouti green chili olive oil (great with bread), lemon olive oil (fantastic when used to roast asparagus), garlic olive oil (I use this in pretty much everything and anything) and the serrano honey vinegar (will change popcorn forever). 

If you're local, I highly recommend a visit. In addition to Rocky River, the store has locations in Chagrin Falls and Vermillion. Just be prepared that you will go home with multiple bottles of deliciousness. If you're not local, you can choose to shop online, although you will not have the benefit of trying before you buy. The oils and vinegars themselves make excellent gifts, but the store also offers other italian delights like dried pasta, and gift items like pasta bowls and cheese trays. 

Get out those stretchy pants and your wallet!!!

A Very CLE Weekend

Seriously, was this the BEST weekend all year (so far)?! Warm, sunny-- fun activities…. its the little taste of summer that makes me so excited for what is to come this year!!

Friday I did not partake in the Indian home-opener festivities, instead I relaxed on the couch, doing damage to a bottle of wine and a giant bowl of homemade popcorn. After an INTENSE yoga class at Inner Bliss (seriously, so sore) I headed off to the inaugural Cleveland Flea of 2015 with Danielle and her 5-week old daughter Penny.


I seriously LOVE the Flea. Its my most favorite thing to do on a Saturday. I've come to know so many of the vendors that its basically a whole day of hanging out with friends, sampling delicious food, and buying fabulous trinkets. This flea, I was very impressed with two new vendors-- Soul Custom (pictured above) and Souls Repurpose. Both local vendors with excellent selections, and adorably styled booths (although Soul Custom was a converted semi, but still).

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Kickstarter Campaign to grow the Cleveland Flea. The Flea gets better every year, and if successfully funded, this will take the Flea to the next level. Phase I is infrastructure like beautifully handmade furniture to be a permanent part of the Flea--- all locally made of course. So if you're a fan of the Cleveland Flea, or local shops, or even supporting local economies, or fabulous community events, please consider funding this campaign.

Sunday, Nick and I tried out Cleveland's newest brunch offering, Graffiti: A Social Kitchen. A variety
of fabulous bellini flavors and a fun, innovative menu really put the "fun" in Sunday Funday. My favorite dishes were the chorizo pop tart (served with guacamole) and the breakfast strudel.  The food was so good that I completely forgot to take pictures, and the mimosas weren't half bad either ;) --- yes, I drank them all. No, of course I didn't drive!



After brunch, Nick and I took the pups down to Edgewater Park to hang out with our friend Sara. Romps on the beach later, we were back at our place to wind down into Sunday evening with some wine and cheese, and get ready for the week ahead. 

Hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did, and I'm looking forward to seeing you at the next Cleveland Flea on May 9th!