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Pick of the Week

Posted by Janice Simonsen on January 23, 2012

This week's pick is EcoAutumn’s fantastic storefront in St. Louis, MO.

When I saw EcoAutumn’s brief description of their shared space, I had to find out more. The photos highlighted a "pay what you want" crafts shop. What a unique idea! Intrigued, I hunted down the website  www.upxchange.com to find out a bit more. Here's what they said about the concept:

"The Upcycle Exchange {Materials Market} is a social enterprise that aims to benefit the St. Louis area creative community by offering post-consumer materials at pay-as-you-wish pricing and trade-as-you-wish discounts for in-store material drop-offs. We collect the most frequently requested items from individual crafter Wish-lists compiled over the course of two years of running the program as a club.”

"So, it’s a retail store, but you can pay whatever you want for stuff? What’s the catch? There really is no catch, but we do have a few operating policies to prevent abuse and reduce waste."

Pricing is pay-as-you-wish, with suggested prices by volume ($20 a cart full) for most items or by weight ($3/ounce) for jewellery/beads/buttons. We feel this is a good median value of what we carry, but we totally leave it up to you to pay what you think is fair. Remember that we must charge sales tax on your chosen purchase amount.

One purchase, per person, per day – only what you can carry out on your own and any bulk-sized items can be in addition to that. This answers the common, “What if someone wants to truck off with the whole store?” dilemma.

BYOB – Bring your own reusable bags, please!

I love this idea! Trade and barter have gained an important role in the current economy, and Upcycle Exchange offers a much needed outlet for crafters, knitters and all creative types to donate unneeded or extra materials, and purchase materials they do need for a very low price.

The space is organized simply and cleanly, using the beautiful yarn colors as part of the design in the open storage space of the EXPEDIT bookcase. Coordinating KASSETT storage boxes are placed within the bookcase where hidden storage is desired. Tall storage cabinets with frosted glass doors hide clutter but keep the area looking open and airy. The expansive tables add work areas to the display and storage units.

Kudos to EcoAutumn and Upcycle Exchange for this innovative concept!

-Janice

Tags: crafts, expedit, kassett, pick of the week, store, workspace

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