Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shop For A Good Cause

Last month a sign went up in the window of an empty storefront near the intersection of Big Bend and 141. The Schnucks grocery store that used to be there opened a new and bigger store across the street, and the building has been empty since then. This month, though it's been put into use for a Design Ideas Charity Sale.

I wasn't familiar with Design Ideas, but a little research revealed that it's a product design firm located in Springfield, Illinois. It's been around for more than 25 years, and sells home and office accessories. You can find their products in chain stores and independent stores and boutiques.

It was a bit surreal to walk into the newly-opened store today, because I used to shop there for groceries all the time. The lighted signs for the deli and seafood departments still hung on the wall, and there were remnants of the video department at the front of the store. The pharmacist's office where I would drop off and pick up prescriptions seemed to be the break room for store workers.

The sale took up about half of the store. It looked like they were trying to keep similar products together in a rough order--all of the office products were housed in a couple of aisles, and the home accessories were segregated from the dishware. There were a lot of Earth-friendly products; totes made from plastic bags in India, rattan baskets, and trays and magnets covered with recycled labels. They also had a very cool product called GelGems, which are squishy translucent plastic shapes that you can stick on glass. Everything had the retail price and the sale price listed; there were some very good deals to be had.

There are four local charities that are benefiting from the sale: the Missouri Botanical Garden, Edgewood Children's Center, The National Children's Cancer Society, and Friends of Character Plus. There were several large signs that stated that all sales were final, so I ended up not purchasing anything today (although there were also signs stating that all of the items were in limited quantities, and not guaranteed to be there next time). However, I'll be going back with a list of measurements and a tape measure soon.

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