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Monthly Archives: November 2011


The Penguin Hat.

So 90,000,000 people have asked me about the Penguin Hat.

It was made by Casey of Caseybot, a milliner and graphic designer based in Cleveland.  My sister just bought a miniature hat for her miniature dog from her, and it turned out super amazing (and fits a cat head if you’re into cats and not dogs).

Also, Cash Mob, December 15, Ohio City!  More details to come.  This is just a reminder.


Show a Little “LOVE”

by Marty Mordarski

Cash Mobs is not an economic stimulus plan that will create or save millions of jobs or small businesses.  It won’t decrease unemployment, shift global markets, or bring about world peace.  It’s not the answer to all our economic woes and challenges.  But it is something.

Already, many people have many ideas about what this something is or what it could or should be.  The ideas are as passionately expressed as they are diverse. I can only speak for myself…

I believe Cash Mobs is a good idea because it is an IDEA.  It’s not THE answer.  It’s a question:

What are you doing to support the locally-owned businesses you “LOVE”?

I put “LOVE” in caps and quotes because I can’t (nor do I want to) define this for anyone else…and…because it’s critically important.  It’s the “why”.

Local, organic, niche, civic-minded, friendly, family-owned, profitable, not-for-profit, sustainable, global, unique, innovative, cutting-edge, reliable, online, convenient…the list of reasons why a person could “LOVE” a business is endless.

I’m not an economist, a philosopher, or an “activist” for that matter; however, I am a guy that believes that businesses that do well for their customers, their employees, and their communities have a higher probability of being rewarded with success.  I’m also a guy that is grateful for the freedom we have to choose how and why we spend our money.

And I’m a guy that believes that it’s one thing to say you “LOVE” something, and it’s another thing to show it.

My family and I “LOVE” Falls Ice Cream, a small locally-owned business in our home town.  We “LOVE” it because it’s close to home, the flavors are unique, the prices are great, the location is inviting, they support the local community, and their people are always friendly and provide great customer service.

Because the business is small and doesn’t have a large marketing budget doesn’t make us “LOVE” it any less, but I believe it does mean that if we truly “LOVE” it, we should probably consider choosing to buy our ice cream cones and sundaes from there when we’re in the market for ice cream cones and sundaes.

It’s not enough to say we “LOVE” it. We have to show it.

My hope is that Cash Mobs across the U.S., Canada, and around the world help others find and express their own voices about the businesses they “LOVE”; to their friends, families, and others in their communities.

I hope the voices inspire others to consider making different choices and not indict others for the different choices they make.

Most of all, I hope they encourage people to show a little more “LOVE”.


So Angie Gray up in Victoria took the Cash Mob concept and multiplied it for the shopping season.  SHE’S DOING A TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS CASH MOB!!!

What I love about this:

  • She’s just going all-out.  There’s nothing shy about this.  If you go to every event and spend $20, you’ll be putting $280 into the local economy, and she has 237 people going as of right this second.
  • She has announced all of the stores; people have choices.
  • She specified that everyone is to bring their own $20 to spend.
  • 2,122 people were invited.  10% are going. That’s a GREAT response rate.
  • There looks to be a phenomenal selection of stores.

So first.  Cleveland.  Do we want to do something like this?

Second.  Other cities.  Anyone want to organize something so ridiculously over the top awesome?

Winston Churchill

Someone once asked Winston Churchill to what he attributed his success.  “Conservation of resources!” he declared.  He meant that he didn’t work more than he was required to work.  Well, that’s at least the interpretation for the purpose of this post.

See, we were going to put together a list of places to shop on Black Friday in Cleveland.  However, life happens.  Suddenly it’s 8:50 p.m. on Thanksgiving and you haven’t begun to put anything together.  Then you get a text from an old friend about an article that came out talking about Cash Mobs.  You read it.  You decide to conserve your resources.

My friends, if you’re in Cleveland this weekend and you’re looking to shop local and get gifts and KEEP IT HERE in North-East Ohio, I don’t think that you could do better than the Plain Dealer’s editorial from today.  Read it.  Calendar these events and map them out.  Get a few friends together.  Carpool.  MINI MOB.  Meet the people who made the gifts you’re giving in December, so when you’re talking to the recipients you can say, “Oh yeah, I had mimosas at Salty Not Sweet on Black Friday, and they had a PA system set up and we heckled people walking by,” (TRUE STORY) or, “Kathy Smash made these earrings, and we talked for like fifty minutes over fresh cookies,” (TRUE STORY) or, “I made this soap with Terra Verde Soap at a soap-making workshop she did,” (TRUE STORY).  Hang out with the folks at Dredgers Union or Big Fun, Room Service or…well, jeez.  There are a thousand places.

You know what?  Instead of trying to compile a list, I ask for your help.  Leave at least one place in the comments where you’d like to shop locally.  The place that gets the most mentions…well, maybe we’ll do a profile on them or something.

And if anyone out there in other places wants to submit a list, let me know and I’ll post it for you!  Lauren Way, Lisa Gilmore, Brian Maul, Big Jim, etc., I’m looking at you.


Cash Mobs

PS Unmiserable Cleveland’s guide! 

PPS Cool Cleveland’s guide!!


The NEXT CLEVELAND CASH MOB will be 12/15, ten days before Christmas, in Ohio City.  We’ll get more details out shortly.  CALENDAR IT, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

To tell or not to tell…

One of the biggest debates that we had when planning our first cash mob was whether to tell people WHICH business we were going to hit, and when.  The rules said that we would announce it a few hours before the mob, but then we started having some serious discussions about it.  We finally decided not to announce the business until we went.

The reasoning was simple: if we had told people we were going to Visible Voice books, then they would have been able to do a cost-benefit analysis of whether they wanted to go or not.  It would have involved deciding if they wanted a book, if they wanted to give someone a book, etc.  Why would that be bad?  Well, we figured that some people would decide not to go because they didn’t want a book, and some people would decide not to go because it was effort and they can go to Visible Voice any time they wanted, and a hardcore few would come to support a local business and participate in the mobbing.  If we didn’t announce it, people would come out of curiosity and because they were actually committed to supporting local businesses.  Their motives would be pure.  Plus, if they came without knowing where they were going, it would be an Adventure, and everyone loves Adventures.

The debate is still going on, though, and we’d love to hear other peoples’ opinions.  What do you think – is it better to announce the store or not, and why?


We just got this in our inbox:


THANK YOU Cash Mob!! A group of Kent friends have been so inspired by you folks that we decided to organize a Cash Mob for our own town. Thank you so much for the inspiration! We are holding our Cash Mob this Saturday, November 26th… Small Business Saturday. Here is the link to our FB event page:


Please check out this event, Kent Cash Mob, and SPREAD THE WORD!!  Even if you can’t come yourself, PLEASE (please, please!!)  tweet, Facebook or email the information to anyone and everyone. Let’s use our holiday spending to get great gifts AND support our hometown economy!!!
Here’s to creating a sustainable economy and a culture of conscious consumerism!

Great Expectations

by Marty Mordarski

Much like the crowd of people gathered at the corner of W. 11th and Kennilworth in Tremont last Wednesday night, we weren’t quite sure what to expect during our first “Cash Mob”.  As a matter of fact, here’s a list of things we didn’t expect:

  • The news vans, the bright lights, the reporters, the microphones, and all the attention we received leading up to that night in the newspaper, online, on TV, and on the radio.
  • We didn’t expect our Twitter followers to double overnight and all the positive support and feedback from people around Northeast Ohio.
  • We didn’t expect that thirty-five plus people would be daring enough to show up, despite the mystery, newness, dark, and cold.
  • We didn’t expect to have helped generate over $1,500 for two local businesses that night – Visible Voice Books and Bac.
  • We didn’t expect a national and worldwide response; like Cash Mobs being planned in California, Oregon, North and South Carolina, and across the Atlantic in the U.K. and Spain.

By all accounts, our first Cash Mob exceeded all our expectations, and we can’t say how grateful and amazed we are at all the support we’ve received from people all over the world – and especially right here in Northeast Ohio!

That isn’t to say that everything went according to plan.  That isn’t to say we didn’t learn some things that will help us move this forward and evolve. And with that in mind, here are a few thoughts we’d like to share:

What’s the point?  If this was the first and last Cash Mob in the history of Cash Mobs we hope we’ve at least accomplished one thing.  We hope that we’ve inspired some people to consider supporting locally-owned businesses in their own communities: businesses that provide valuable and unique services and are a critical part of the fabric that holds together a local economy.

What did we learn?

People care about their locally-owned businesses.
People are passionate about supporting others who provide valuable services to the people in their communities.  That’s really inspiring.

What’s next?  First, we need to fully digest everything we learned over the last few weeks.  Your creativity, feedback, and inspiration have already caused us to consider several next steps that could completely change the original direction in which we thought we were heading.

In the meantime…if you, too, felt inspired by what’s transpired over the last few weeks…we ask only one thing of you.  Act.  You certainly don’t need us to prompt you (although you can bet you’ll hear from us again soon)!

If every person who attended our first Cash Mob, or every person who follows us on Twitter inspires their own close groups of friends to take a day out of the week and support a locally-owned business, just imagine the impact.  And if a month from now there are a dozen people doing their own versions of “Cash Mobs” to remind people to actively support the locally-owned businesses they love, that would be absolutely amazing.

So please, continue to send us your feedback and suggestions.  If you’re planning your own “Cash Mob” let us know!  And most importantly, go out and support the local businesses that you love.  You’ll not only exceed their expectations…but you’ll attain their sincere appreciation.  Thank you all…we’ll be in touch again soon!

Mansfield Frazier in Cool Cleveland

The Plain Dealer

Marketplace Money



What we’re doing tonight is supporting local stores.  These are stores owned by people who live in our communities, who employ our neighbors and friends from our communities, which contribute to our communities and which, when the sun goes down and they go home at night, don’t take our money and send it to other cities, states or countries, but keep it right here in Cleveland, creating wealth here.

Join us at the corner of Kenilworth and West 11th at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, across from Civilization Coffee Shop, and lets help local businesses succeed!