Reduce, Reuse, Reorganize, Renovate — Buy Nothing New for a Year!

387359_596162663727097_1395749929_nSpring is a perfect time for taking on way too many projects. Such is the case at our home and, additionally, in our shop. Not that I’m trying to make excuses for my unplanned three-week blogging hiatus, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. Between the never-ending-quest-for-perfection at the shop, to our potentially over-ambitious goal of crashing our own backyard, it’s safe to say that we have had, and will continue to have, our work cut out for us.

As many of you may know, we recently expanded the business into the newly renovated downstairs space, and it has been keeping us busy, busy, busy! We no sooner opened than three weeks later were hit with the Chicago Monsoon of 2013, which took its toll on our new showroom: just above ankle-deep water and some major peeling of our freshly painted floor. Luckily for us, we built the space with potential flooding in mind, and had a quick “disaster relief” team helping us bail out the storm water and dry out the space, allowing us to be reopened by the end of the day. Later that weekend we managed to get the floor repainted, and as well, create a unique new shoe display area (using our old shelves, of course) that really brightens the upstairs! All in time for our Earth Day Celebration, which we were fortunate enough to play host to Miss Plummer’s First Grade Gifted Class from OA Thorp Elementary, right down the street from our shop!

Some of the Earth Day Facts shared with the class:

  • It takes 700 gallons of water to produce enough cotton to make 1 brand-new T-Shirt.
  • 3,000,000,000 lbs. of clothes per year are recycled/resold worldwide, but that only amounts to about 10% of what is purchased. Most end up in the landfill.
  • Thrift & Thrive takes in approx. 500 lbs. of donations per week
    • 300-350 lbs. will be resold
    • 125-175 lbs. are donated out to our network of charity partners
    • 20-25 lbs. are appropriately recycled
    • Only about 5lbs. or 1% makes it to the landfill
    • This is just the impact of ONE store in Chicago!

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Upcoming Spring and Summer Projects & Blog Posts will include:

  • Backyard–from freaky to fab
  • Pantry–from calamity to commissary
  • Garage–from wasteland to wonderland
  • How to build a pergola with no knowledge and no business building pergolas
  • Road Trip 2013: Chicago to NY/NJ on a serious budget!

April has been a month of few posts, but solid progress. I will make a renewed commitment to being a better documentarian of that progress through this blog! You can keep me honest by commenting on our posts, sharing our blog posts with your friends on Facebook, and of course, visiting us at the shop. We’ve got exciting things ahead, including our decision to expand to 7 days a week beginning this Sunday, May 5th! Also, mark your calendars for the Irving Austin “District Days” sidewalk sale/merchant extravaganza on June 14th and 15th, the same weekend as the St. Pascal’s Carnival and the 6 Corners BBQ Fest. It’s a fantastic weekend to come up to the NW Side of the city and see all the awesomeness it has to offer!

What do you think?