Monday, September 12, 2011

The Upcycle Exchange

Hello locals!
Have you visited the Upcycle Exchange? Do you know about this amazing resource in South St. Louis?
The Upcycle Exchange is a pay-as-you-wish resource for post-consumer (donated) art and craft supplies.
Autumn Wiggins is the founder of the Upcycle Exchange (and the Strange Folk Festival, coming up in two weeks).
Located in historic Dutchtown, The Upcycle Exchange is part of a professional collective that also includes a therapist and a graphic artist.
And "pay-as-you-wish" is not a typo. Each customer is welcome to dig through the impeccably organized Ikea-fied space, fill a bin and pay what s/he believes is fair. 
Each month, 10 percent of sales is donated to a local charity.
The selection is incredible: rubber stamps, glitter, fabric, yarn, jewelry components, paper, frames, watercolors, oils, crayons, glue, ribbon, tools...
If you are making a quilt, helping a child with a diorama or looking for that perfect piece to finish your next assemblage, chances are you'll find more than you need right here.
My daughter made a great purse by sewing together two complementary upholstery samples (with grommets already in place looking very cool), an old belt from one of the bins (for the strap) and a vintage pin (bling). She finished it in a day and it is darling.
The vintage jewelry always seems to be stocked with something new.
And there's humor too. Yes, that bin reads, "A Hot Mess of Lace." I have not yet found high-end yarn (which, honestly, is a relative term), but I have been so impressed at the quantity of supplies for beginners and artists who may consider their needs a bit more "seasoned."
Here's my favorite table of course - paper. The old books are so special, as well as the vintage sheet music, wall paper samples, old stationery, craft magazines and more. I seek out the old, but we have found plenty of brand-new-never-opened supplies too.
It's a good idea to visit their website to check their hours. While you're there, check out their wish list for things they're hoping to have donated.
Upcycle Exchange
3309 Meramec
St. L, 63118

What a lovely, community-building, good-for-the-earth idea. Let me know if you go! xo

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