Walking into Scrap It Up, a creative reuse center in Pleasant Ridge, is like opening your grandma’s crafting closet. It’s bursting at the seams with good stuff—think fabric, buttons, yarn, paint, crayons, and even costume jewelry. Who collects all the donated art and craft supplies? The store’s “Core Four”: Beth Muething, Kathy Michel, Mary Lennard, and Mindy Burger, who connected through their involvement at the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord, just across the street. Thanks to them, all this good stuff stays out of landfills. And thanks to Scrap It Up’s low prices and its fiscal sponsor, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, customers can afford to use their purchases to give back to the community in meaningful ways.
“One customer uses our flannel to make washable, reusable menstrual pads for women in developing countries,” Lennard says. Scrap It Up’s inexpensive inventory has also been used to teach girls sewing at an adolescent psychiatric hospital, craft hats and blankets for Ronald McDonald House families, make wheelchair bags for local veterans, and sew pillows and beds for homeless shelters.
Of course, hobbyists shop at Scrap It Up, too. “People are getting back into things they used to do or trying things they wouldn’t be able to afford if they had to purchase things that were brand new,” Burger says.
Since launching as a nonprofit organization in July 2017, the four founders and their host of volunteer employees are doing their part to give back to the community, too, specifically Pleasant Ridge and the Kennedy Heights Arts Center. Scrap It Up has helped the children at Nativity School collect 2,400 pounds of plastic bottle caps to send to a company in exchange for a playground bench made from the recycled plastic. The store’s founders have also donated some of their profits to provide scholarships for children attending the Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s summer programs.
“We always knew reduce, reuse, recycle was the hierarchy, but reducing and reusing are becoming more the wave of the future,” Burger says. “We feel like we’re in the vanguard of that.” To date, Scrap It Up has diverted more than 19 tons from landfills. We’d say they’re definitely in that vanguard.
Scrap It Up, 5935 Ridge Ave., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 717-0852