Spotlight: Frugal Fortune

Join us as we talk with Carolyn Klosowsky, Manager of Frugal Fortune, about how her and her husband, Dave, started this gem in Lakewood. 

How did your business get its start?

Dave and I were walking Madison Avenue in Lakewood near our home and noticed several empty storefronts. We browsed a vintage shop, and when we stepped back onto the sidewalk, Dave mentioned he had always wanted to own a vintage shop. He had been in the moving business for years and had collected many pieces of furniture and had also received a ton of small vintage items from his cousin, who had previously owned a vintage shop in Lakewood. I thought it was a great idea, and I could run the shop. So we looked at a couple of storefronts, signed a lease, and set up shop. All in the space of 3 weeks. We were truly a vintage shop when we 1st opened, and expanded to offer painted furniture and home decor, and furniture repair and refinishing several months later.

How long have you been in business?

We’ve been in business just over 3 1/2 years.

What do you like most about your job?

The thing I like most about running the shop is hands down, our wonderful customers. I have met dozens of great people who love upcycling and shopping locally. Some of our customers stop by to just say hello and see what’s new in the shop.

What do you like best about working in Cleveland?

I moved to Cleveland about 7 years ago from Duluth, Minnesota. I instantly fell in love with Cleveland. The history here is amazing, and I consider it the most beautiful city in America. It didn’t take me long to discover that the people here are the nicest people I have ever met, which deepened my love for this city. Also, I love that, although Cleveland is a larger metropolitan area, it has a small town feel, where people care about one another. Neighbors help neighbors.

What makes Frugal Fortune unique?

I consider Dave to be the premier furniture painter and refinisher in the Cleveland area. His expertise and skill working with wood, metal, and other materials sets us apart from any other furniture shop in the area. In the past, he has custom painted cars and has completely refurbished a Lyman boat. Not to mention his engineering skills. He can build or repair anything and has incredible design and creativity skills. I am also very creative, and had been painting and designing home decor and furniture pieces for years for my home.

What does keep it local mean to you and your business?

Keeping it local means the world to us and for us. Our friends, neighbors, and fellow shop owners buy from us to furnish their homes, apartments, and businesses, and we have developed great relationships within our community. We, in turn, have had an opportunity to support other local businesses, by buying their products and using their services. I believe that we are all in this together, and in supporting one another, we can all succeed. Neighbor helping neighbor.

How did you come up with your business name?

Dave came up with our business name. He told me he is frugal, and I looked at him, smiled, and said, “You’re not frugal, You’re cheap!” He then said that frugal people could find a fortune in quality items in our shop at reasonable prices, hence the name Frugal Fortune.

Anything special you want us to know?

I really care about our customers and neighbors and want them to have the best product and services that we are able to offer them. We often deliver furniture pieces to disabled, elderly, and those who don’t drive, free of charge, in our neighborhood.

And veterans always get a discount in our shop. They just need to mention that they are a veteran!

Learn More about Frugal Fortune Here!