Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)

The Idea Store is a unique non-profit organization focused on diverting reusable items and materials for creative reuse, particularly in the arts and education, but for anyone who makes things and wants good low-cost supplies. We want reusable materials to end up in the hands of people who need them at affordable prices. People love to hear stories about unusual things we’ve received through the years. Everyone who works with us has a story!

At The Idea Store, we help people stretch their budgets by providing supplies they need for their offices and classrooms, as well as art and craft supplies at low cost. You’ll also find interesting finished items that appeal to collectors and pickers looking for treasures, We often see students of all ages, teachers and group leaders, families, artists and crafters, eco-aware shoppers… a wide range of people.

People who are new to the store usually ask, “Where does all this stuff come from?” “What things do you accept and how can I donate?” “Who owns this store?”

We educate folks who want to donate that we have a list of accepted items and materials, and that things must be clean, safe, legal, and considerate of our younger shoppers. Our overall goal is to help everyone pause and think about how things might be reused (or recycled– but we’re NOT a recycling center) instead of ending up in the area landfill. We help our community keep literally tons of good things out of the trash.

I’ll bring samples of donated lovely jewelry and supplies that shoppers can find at the upcoming Jewelry Jackpot, as well as examples of creatively reuse items made from raw materials you can find at The Idea Store.

We do take our show “on the road” when we are invited to speak to area groups. Call to schedule a speaker.

We complement other well-known reuse organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Salt & Light, the non-profit and for-profit clothing resale stores, and area ‘”antiques and uniques” stores, but our focus is on selling supplies people want for arts, crafts, school and office.

The event is starts Wednesday, May 3 – Sunday, May 7 during store hours, and resumes Wednesday, May10 – May 14. Check out our website for more details. The Jackpots are held in May and November of each year and generate much-needed income to support our year-’round mission. We’re self-sustaining, so every dollar counts! There is an abundance of ready-to-wear jewelry at all prices, as well as supplies to make jewelry, art, and crafts. Some of my favorite items are the “Bits & Baubles”, often salvaged from broken jewelry. New items are put out as fast as things are sold!

The Idea Store, a 501c3 organization
The Idea Store
125 Lincoln Square
Urbana, IL. 61801