By Joe Rudemiller
Local entrepreneur and seasoned clothier Cameron Mundon recently signed a lease for a street-level commercial space in Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC)’s newly completed Willkommen development – a mixed-use, mixed-income project consisting of 16 historic rehabs and four new infill buildings scattered throughout four different project sites in Over-the-Rhine (OTR). Located at 1606 Race Street, Mundon believes his store, Fly by Nature, is situated perfectly among the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood.
“The space is directly across the street from Alabama Fish Bar – and they always have a line,” Mundon said. “There is always great foot traffic because of both Alabama’s and Findlay Market. I really think the area is going to be built up like Vine Street before long.”
Nearly a decade before finding a brick-and-mortar space in OTR, Mundon and a college friend started Fly by Nature, but life happened, and it fell by the wayside. Mundon welcomed a son earlier than he had planned, and his care took precedence. Years later, he restarted the business on his own, promoting it via social media and traveling around to local bars and clubs, barbershops, and the University of Cincinnati’s campus to sell apparel out of the trunk of his car.
“I’d go anywhere I could drum up some business – and any money I made I’d reinvest right back,” Mundon said. “I always knew I’d eventually be able to open up a store if I just kept at it, so I did.”
More than anything else, Mundon is excited that he will finally be able to put his clothing on display and give shoppers an experience where they are able to try items on in-store before making a purchase. He takes pride in selling very detailed, premium products that anyone can wear, including everything from socks and hats to shorts and hoodies. In honor of his late brother, Howard, who was nicknamed ‘Duck,’ Fly by Nature apparel is branded with a mallard duck logo.
A community-minded individual, Mundon is also excited to be a part of the OTR neighborhood.
“I’d like to find a way to give back to local youth. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of every single person who has ever purchased one of my items, and now it’s my turn to pay it forward,” Mundon said. “I just want to set a good example for my son of the hard work it takes to be successful.”
When Fly by Nature opens next month, it will be the first new tenant in 3CDC’s Willkommen project, joining long-standing neighborhood favorite Alabama Fish Bar, and one of the first small businesses to open in a 3CDC space north of Liberty Street.
“Cameron’s new brick-and-mortar space is the realization of his dream that has been nearly 10 years in the making, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s the first new tenant in our Willkommen project,” said Lindzie Gunnels, 3CDC’s Senior Commercial Leasing Officer. “We’re excited to move north of Liberty Street with our leasing and look forward to partnering with more creative and persistent entrepreneurs wanting to start or grow their business.”
3CDC’s Willkommen project, which is being co-developed with the Model Group, is wrapping up construction next month. The project contains 20,000 square feet of street-level commercial space that will be leased to locally owned small businesses. Upon completion, it will also yield a total of 163 apartments – 69 units (or 42%) available to people making 50-80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 94 market-rate units. The apartments range from efficiencies to three-bedroom units.
Fly by Nature is set to open its doors in the coming weeks, with additional details to come as the time approaches.
Fly by Nature is a premium clothing and apparel brand that encourages individuals to own their style and exhibit their own beliefs. Known for their high-quality streetwear, Fly by Nature is a name anyone can wear. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/TheFlyByNature/.