We all have stuff that we don’t want anymore. Either it’s old, broken or we just feel it’s time for something a little newer.
It usually ends up in a pile in the basement until you figure out what to do with it. Sometimes you can find a friend who wants it, but depending on the condition, the whole process typically ends with a trip to the dump or put out on the side of the road with a free sign.
But there’s also the donation route, something WeCycle facilitator Katey Myers welcomes at her recently opened store at 8 N.Main St.
Walk up the stairs to her location across from Celeste Oliva and you’ll soon see what we mean.
In a traditional sense, it’s a thrift store filled with all the gems you’d expect to find that were once owned by others who have since moved on from it.
But take a closer look and you won’t see a single price tag. That’s because Myers isn’t necessarily looking to sell what’s in the store in the traditional sense.
The goal is to have people buy a membership to WeCycle. A full membership for two people, which means everything in the store is available, will cost $450 for a year. Clothing only is $250, and everything but clothing is $300. To add another member of the family is $100.
Members can then go shopping at WeCycle for whatever they happen to need at the moment – and leave your wallet at home.
But before you sign up and feel as though you have free reign of the store, there’s a couple things you should know.
In the months that you do go in for a “shopping trip,” the idea is that you offer up something to help replace the inventory.
“The mentality is everyone has something to give,” Myers said. “So use your best judgment and be aware when you have something to contribute.”
And as the old saying goes, everything in moderation.
“You buy in for the same amount of money as everyone else and take what you need,” Myers said.
Myers has been stockpiling stuff for about the last eight months to prepare for this venture. Through Freecycle, which Myers is the administrator of in the Concord area, she has been given a lot of stuff over the years that she has almost always found a home for. That’s why she thought this would be an idea that people could get behind.
“I always find uses for things,” Myers said. “If its got a crack in it, turn it toward a wall. It’s still beautiful.”
Think of it as a thrift store, but with a CSA kind of feel to it.
“That’s the model I’m trying to follow,” Myers said.
Even if you don’t want to be a member, you are free and welcome to go check out what’s in the store. If you find something that you like, just make an offer.
Myers believes that no matter the age or condition, it has a use. She wants people to remember that just because it’s not brand new, it can have a purpose.
“If it still has a function, I can usually find it a home,” she said.
So now that you know how WeCycle works, we thought it might be fun to take a walk around the store and see what we could find.
The clothes rack is a mixture of men’s and women’s and separated by size. There are racks of kids clothes and a spot for shoes for everyone.
You’ll find a set of shelves with kids books, cook books, novels and biographies – with a set of globe bookends to keep your new collection upright. Close by are board games, DVDs and records.
Then you start to find some miscellaneous items. One shelving unit has kids toys, cat litter scoopers and lamps together, while another has more animal things and some signs.
Myers knows there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to buy everything brand new when it comes to starting a new craft hobby, so she has quite a selection of stuff to get going on a new artsy project.
“You don’t have to start off with new stuff,” she said. “And this way we can inspire more people to get involved with crafts.”
Add in picture frames, small appliances, vases, cookware, plates and jewelry and WeCycle really does have something for everyone.
“I just want to serve a purpose,” Myers said.
But at about 350 square feet, the store is packed with as much as she can fit.
“I’d love to have a little more space to spread things out a bit,” she said.
And like we said before, you don’t have to be a member to stop by. Store hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., and by appointment.
For more info, visit lifewecycled.com.