Ohio Knitting Mills

From the very beginning, when we began talking with Steven Tatar about opening a temporary Ohio Knitting Mills retail store in our first floor conference space, our entire staff was excited. The Ohio Knitting Mills brand has a rich story to tell that we were excited to be part of the brand’s next phase. We immediately started thinking about ways we could tell this incredible Cleveland-made design and retail story through a new lens. Our ultimate goal was to prove how we could create buzz and draw sales for a retail client on a tight budget.

The first step was to create a fresh look and perspective for the Ohio Knitting Mills pop-up shop.
Working together with Steven, we created the “OKM in the OHC” campaign to showcase the fashion story of Ohio Knitting Mills against the backdrop of Cleveland’s artisan neighborhood, Ohio City. Local Cleveland photographer Paul Sabota was brought on board to lead a fashion shoot in the neighborhood and we began working with local artisan retailers to be part of the photo shoot backdrop.

Phenomenal posters, postcards, a fashion shoot and social media outreach were not enough though, we still needed something big that would garner media attention and help drive traffic to the store. Our solution? Create a massive sweater to cover a billboard in Downtown Cleveland.

Using original fabric that was knit at Ohio Knitting Mills in the 1970’s but never turned into clothing, we worked with Steven and his team of stitchers to create a massive 24 foot sweater. The team worked for 4 days straight to make the giant knit masterpiece. Installation was the next challenge. For that we turned to our friends at Clear Channel.

Their team worked with ours over 3 hours to transform an unassuming billboard in the heart of the city into a massive sweater billboard. To our knowledge, it’s the largest sweater in Cleveland’s history, maybe the US….perhaps the world.

While the store is still in its first week being open, the initial results were impressive. The store’s opening weekend was a huge success, with traffic and sales far exceeding expectations. Media coverage of the billboard installment and the store’s opening is continuing to drive traffic and we are looking forward to the post-thanksgiving official kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

If you haven’t had the chance, make sure your stop into the store and check out the incredible selection of virgin vintage knitwear. After all, it’s sweater weather baby!

Photo Credit: Paul Sabota


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