Sam Allard / Scene
Derek Skapes inside Everarbor's Tremont location.
a local outdoor lifestyle company, has opened on Scranton Road in Tremont. Founder and owner Derek Skapes has thus converted an array of outdoor-related "side hustles" into a brand with a brick-and-mortar footprint.
At the location, Everarbor will will sell apparel, accessories, and a specialty fertilizer called Everbrew
, made with waste from local coffee shops and breweries.
Everarbor officially became an LLC in 2015. Skapes, who's originally from North Olmsted and currently lives in Lakewood, has worked across the country and across the spectrum of wildlife management. Locally, he's worked for the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and the Cleveland Metroparks. Using his own experience and his staff's various certifications, the Everarbor team performs residential and commercial aboriculture (tree-pruning, etc.) and landscaping in addition to their retail operation.
The apparel side emerged unexpectedly, Skapes told Scene at Everarbor's Tremont location a few days before the official opening.
"It was really just by chance," he said. "We would hand people business cards, and they'd say, 'you look like a clothing company."
Skapes said that in response, he made some t-shirts and they quickly sold out — people loved the logo. So he made some more, and they sold out again.
"Our goal now is to be, basically, the outdoor clothing company of Cleveland, for Cleveland, made right here in Cleveland," Skapes said. Instead of selling North Face or Patagonia, Everarbor plans to get locally sourced materials and make their own stuff. Currently the offerings are limited — t-shirts, hoodies, ball caps, gators — but Skapes is expecting to have rain jackets in stock soon and said he's in "preliminary discussions" for locally sourced backpacks.
"The sky's really the limit," Skapes said. "Nobody in Cleveland is doing this kind of stuff. You have huge companies doing it, but no one local. And if this stuff is gonna sell, who better than us to sell it? We're all backpackers. We're all outdoor enthusiasts."
Skapes added that there are few places more suited for outdoor apparel than a four-season region like Northeast Ohio. "Who knows weather better than Clevelanders?" He joked.