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Meet Jennine Kessler of CLE Market

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennine Kessler. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have been in the event marketing industry for 16 years now and that’s how I developed my love for experiential events and marketing. I started working part-time in the Cleveland market doing promotions for the Cleveland Cavaliers and then I wanted to explore new opportunities and expand, so I moved to Houston, TX. The move was a step in the right direction as I was able to garner more experience in the marketing industry working with the Houston Astros and other Houston sports teams. I quickly realized that my niche was in events and curating special and memorable experiences. However, six years ago, my life completely changed when I became a single mother and had to figure out how to balance work and motherhood. I decided to move back to Cleveland to be closer to family as traveling was putting a burden on me. I wanted to focus on being home with my little girl as soon as possible. During the pandemic last year, I witnessed the difficulties that so many small businesses were going through and I wanted to find a way to help them out. I realized that there was a void to fill for markets where small businesses could sell and promote their goods. That’s when I had the idea to bring something unique to the city that helped stimulate economic growth for those who were also trying to make ends meet or just starting their business. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
One’s journey is never a linear road, there are always curveballs being thrown at you. One of the struggles is being a one-woman-show and a single mother at the same time. However, those are the things that tend to motivate me. Something else that proved to be difficult in organizing a market was rallying vendors to participate. Many had concerns about the pandemic, rightfully so, but it was my job to ensure them that this was the opportune time to get the word out about their business. 

We’ve been impressed with CLE Market, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
CLE Market is a weekly pop-up market that showcases over 50 local vendors and artisans. There are a variety of vendors ranging from home goods, clothing, woodworking, pottery, jewelry, pet items, food, bath and body essentials, and more. We always partner with a non-profit organization where a portion of the proceeds are donated to help a special cause. Most recently, one of the organizations we recently partnered with was Face of Senegal in which we were able to help build a basketball court for children. 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Well, if they don’t know already, I don’t stop until the job is done! 

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