She's building a community one knickknack at a time

She's building a community one knickknack at a time June 14, 2023

We're taking a road trip around Cleveland this summer to discover Viking owned shops, restaurants and business and our first stop is Upcycle Parts Shop, co-founded by Nicole McGee (MA ’10). She invites adults to connect with their inner child and get "lost in the creative sauce".

Just minutes from downtown Cleveland is a crafter’s paradise at Upcycle Parts Shop. Tucked between a Slovenian museum and what appears to be an empty storefront, a bounty of jewelry, buttons, pinecones, stickers, beads and fabric await the creatively curious at every turn.

Co-founder Nicole McGee (MA ’10) talks of magic when she speaks of her shop. As in, the confluence of the neighbors, workers and mission creates an undeniable energy – a spark – that draws in visitors and newbies, compelling them to stick around for a while.

“I don’t think I understand how it happens and I don’t question it,” McGee says.

“I just feel really grateful for it.”

The shop is a non-profit, selling low-cost secondhand creative supplies and was a central component of a larger initiative to revitalize the Superior-St.Clair neighborhood in Cleveland.

“To provoke creativity and promote community through reuse, resourcefulness and relationships.” That’s the mission, McGee says.