Sponsor Love: Frekol


Get to know the makers, businesses and faces who are helping us create Midwest Craft Con! Today we are hearing from Trent Schulz, founder of Frekol (pronounced “freckle”), a Cleveland startup providing a platform for conscious consumers to buy handmade goods locally.

Here’s their story:

Frekol is a startup founded by a couple kids from Cleveland. It’s so simple that it’s unique — we provide a localized online platform that allows you to purchase the incredible things your neighbors make.


As the saying goes, sometimes your best ideas come to you when you least expect it. So begins the Frekol story, at a birthday party for a 4-year-old, and this cake!

kids with cake

We had to know where to get a cake like this. Turns out, the “lady down the street” made it. No, not out of her bakery, out of her home.

We began to wonder, what other incredible things are people in our neighborhood making? We were surprised to discover the most unique, diverse and high-quality handmade and homemade products were exchanged in a market we never knew existed! A market driven by creative, inspired, super-passionate individuals, and so convenient that you pass it by every day. This market is your neighborhood and our community.

You can learn more about Frekol by visiting their website, which is in its beta stage. There you can purchase incredible things made by your neighbors or set up your own shop where your neighbors can find you.

Check out the video below to learn more about just a few of makers that are already on Frekol!

Meet Trent and the Frekol team at our Trade Show at Midwest Craft Con in February! 

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Cleveland

Cleveland is filled with people who support the home team, if you catch our drift. This rust belt jewel’s makers are particularly great at repurposing, upcycling and bringing back to life all manner of rust belt remnants. Cleveland native Shannon Okey is right in the middle of it as the founder of Cleveland Bazaar (the show formerly known as Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland, now in its 11th year) and of knit publishing house Cooperative Press. These are Shannon’s recommendations of what to do and see in Cleveland!



Salty Not Sweet
2074 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
This boutique located across the street from the West Side Market sells handmade goods from small businesses all over the country and the occasional to-die-for vintage find.

In The 216
1854 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
This Coventry Village gift shop sells exclusively Ohio-made products!


R/S Boutique
2078 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
Room Service is a lifestyle boutique in Ohio City that offers a variety of carefully selected designs from regional and national makers.


Tech Central Maker Space
325 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114
The main branch of Cleveland’s library makes a wide range of maker-focused machinery available to anyone with a CPL library card, including laser engraver/cutting, 3D printing and vinyl-cutting machines as well as sound recording equipment and more!


Small Studio
26113 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145
This little gem on the far west side is an excellent resource for book and paper artists that offers both retail and classes.

Stitch Cleveland
18117 Detroit Road, Lakewood, OH 44107
Stitch offers sewing classes for kids and adults, regular maker spaces for textile artists.

Tabletop Board Game Cafe
1810 W. 25th St. Cleveland, OH 44113
This board game cafe offers DIY maker workshops on a monthly basis. Sign up in advance– they tend to sell out.


Cleveland Bazaar
Main holiday show at 78th Street Studios; other events year-round
Cleveland Bazaar is the longest-running indie handmade show in Northeast Ohio, with a broad audience and a number of longtime vendors with significant draws of their own. The main holiday show takes place at 78th Street Studios, itself home to a large number of artists and makers.


The Cleveland Flea
Tyler Village and other venues
This recent addition to the Cleveland show scene features a combination of vintage and handmade vendors. Summer events are outside in the Tyler Village redevelopment district.

Artscape at MOCA
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
An upscale event centered at Cleveland’s beautiful new Museum of Contemporary Art building in University Circle.

The Last Minute Market
The Galleria at Erieview
This annual market, which takes place the Saturday before Christmas, is every Clevelander’s last chance to find the perfect gift.


The Cleveland Shop
6511 Detroit Ave., Cleveland OH 44102
Cleveland’s oldest vintage clothing store (and source of all your fearless author’s prom and formal dresses through high school) is also one of its best.

Flower Child
11508 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44102
This shop specializes in vintage clothing and housewares. They feature mid-century modern, funk and more!

17140 Madison Ave., Lakewood, OH 44107
You want plus size vintage? How about a pair of brand new Teggings, a tights/leggings combo that are indestructible and never run? Head over to Re/Dress and owner Rachel Kacenjar will hook you up! Though located in Cleveland, they have a national presence due to their specialized market.

Sweet Lorain
1705 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
This vintage department store boasts 8,000 square feet of vintage housewares, clothes, collectibles and more.


Multiple locations
You like grilled cheese, right? Ok, you need to go. (Don’t miss the buffalo chicken chowder).


Luxe Kitchen and Lounge
6605 Detroit Ave., Cleveland OH 44102
In the middle of the Gordon Square Arts District is Luxe, whose happy hour is legendary and fries are 100% steal-worthy. Open for dinner, with a great Sunday brunch, too.

Platform Brewing Co.
4125 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
Located in the unofficial brewery district which houses both Cleveland’s oldest brewpub as well as its newest beer-related businesses (a malt house and a brewing supply company among them). Platform is quickly gaining regional and national attention for its Speed IPA. They have an incubator program for microbrewery businesses, too!

Velvet Tango Room
2095 Columbus Road, Cleveland, OH 44113
Feel like you’re in a fancy speakeasy with retro cocktails, fine art from local artists and often live music.

Shannon Okey is a craft show manager, publisher, author and designer who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and four cats (who are probably plotting to kill them both for their thumbs). You can find her on most social media as @knitgrrl.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con in Columbus? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!