The IDEA Store officially opened for business this Wednesday in their new location at Lincoln Square Mall. According to Jessy Ruddell, the Executive Director and Manager, “our lease in Champaign was up at the end of this year, and we were looking for a space that was bigger, more accessible, and laid out better for our needs. The Lincoln Square space met all those criteria, and we're really excited to be in Urbana. It feels like home already...There are a lot of great local businesses in Lincoln Square now, and a lot of them are arts and community-focused. We're really excited to be part of that group and think it will benefit all of us.” For those who are unfamiliar, The Idea Store is a “nonprofit organization that fosters creativity, environmental stewardship, education, and community through reuse. Everything in the store is donated by local businesses and individuals, and the store is largely volunteer-powered,”

I asked Ruddell if she had any goals for the store, now that they’ve settled into their new location. She said, “We hope to reach a broader segment of the community in our new neighborhood, keep more reusable stuff out of the landfill, and educate more people about the value of reuse. We plan to open our Education Center next year in our north space, so classes and workshops are on the horizon as well.”

There will be Grand Opening on Saturday, October 27th. They will have staff in costume and a Trash-O-Ween make-and-take craft table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to shopping, it will be a great chance to meet the staff and the board. Beyond the Grand Opening, Ruddell says “we'll be hosting our twice-yearly Jewelry Jackpot sale from November 9-11. We receive donations of jewelry all year, from fun and frivolous to high-end pieces, and this is a great opportunity to find holiday gifts or treat yourself at great Idea Store prices.”

The store hours are Tuesday-Friday 12 to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

The first customer

Photos by Melinda Edwards