Monthly Archives: April 2011

Be a Beach Beauty Anywhere

Flipping through a magazine while drinking my morning coffee on this yet-another-rainy-gloomy-gray-day, I came across this feature about chic ways to cover up on the beach.  First, it got me thinking ‘Man, I gotta get out of Iowa…fast! Before I delve into some deep seasonal depression…’  Then, it got me thinking about all the fantastic beachy items we have in our stores.

Check out these stylish cover-up combos we found at our Stuff Etc Cedar Rapids East store (Blairs Ferry Rd)!  Whether you’re on vacation, the beach, water park, or the local pool, you’re sure to look hot and trendy!  Do you think I could pull it off at the tanning salon??


Gloomy Days Got You Down?

I know the recent days of rain, clouds, gloom and even snow are hard to stomach when it should be spring, right?! It’s Iowa for crying out loud.  By now, we’ve usually skipped completely over spring temperatures and heading right into the 80 degree days.  Maybe this is how Spring is supposed to be?  I don’t know.  I do know it’s not doing much for my standard cheery attitude.  So… we gotta work with what we can control.

Try on some of these BOLD pieces that are certain to brighten your day … and the ones around you!  How can you be gloomy in a pair of HOT PINK skinny jeans???  Exactly!  And that electric blue…definitely one of my major crushes this season…I’m up to 5 shirts in that color alone.  All of our stores are currently gathering up these BOLD beauties waiting for you to pluck them from the racks like flowers in a garden.  Watch for our colorful displays and tell mother nature she can be gloomy all she wants… but you’re taking another route!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Resale.

We hear these words every day, don’t we? It’s all around us.  At the grocery store, in our schools, our workplace, on TV…but how many of us actually practice it?

I try to do my part…return my cans and bottles, food scraps go to the pigs, burn my paper goods, and consign/shop at Stuff Etc.  But after reviewing the facts, which I tend to avoid because it brings out my OCD, I’m still not doing enough!  Check these out:

  • The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
  • The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is “Mount Rumpke.” It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
  • The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
  • Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.

So what can we do? We all know the basics as I mentioned in my own personal efforts.  But I suggest baby steps to making a bigger personal change, a larger commitment to reducing waste.

1. Get rid of the plastic!! Shop with reusable shopping bags.  More and more businesses are offering discounts when you shop this way. Recycle your water bottles, detergent bottles, etc. Plastic is one of the worst substances for our environment!

2. Reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill by selling or donating your no longer needed items.  If Stuff Etc can’t sell them for you, there are numerous organizations that are always looking for clothing, shoes, and other items they can send to third world countries in need, and it that isn’t enough of a reason, you can usually get a tax donation receipt.

3. Buy recycled!  There are numerous stores dedicated to a green way of living.  If you shop around, you can find the exactly what you and/or your family needs that has been repurposed, resold, recycled…items that have rightfully managed to avoid our already exceedingly full landfills.

We can all do our part and an easy way to start is with Stuff Etc.  Good luck!


Before It Was Stuff Etc…

Some of you die-hard Stuff lovers would remember this little blue gem on Keokuk St.  Just as our name said, we were strictly devoted to consigning and reselling just items for children.  We rented HALF of this building to start with, but we quickly outgrew the space and had to ask our neighbor if he would so kindly move out so we could have his half!  For almost 13 years we operated in this fashion, but our customers would often ask us if we would be willing to take other things.  In 1997, we moved to Pepperwood Plaza and changed our name to what you know today… “Stuff Etc”.  And the rest is history! 

Don’t forget to join us this Saturday, April 16th for our 26th Anniversary Sale & Celebration!  As our way of saying thanks, enjoy 26% off store-wide, excluding mattresses, free refreshments and door prizes given away every hour at all FIVE of our locations – Iowa City, Coralville, Waterloo and two stores in Cedar Rapids.

A Mother’s Work is Never Done…

We should all appreciate, value, respect and show some love for our mothers every day, but let’s face it… they are the first one’s to get lost in the shuffle.  Mom’s are great at being in the background.  Do you thank her every day when you magically have clean underwear in your drawer?  Or a clean spoon to eat your breakfast cereal every morning? Or that extra five bucks she hands you on your way out the door?  Nope.  And who reminds her every year that your birthday is around the corner?  Or how does she always seem to make your favorite pie at Christmas?  Or never forget your shirt size? Or your favorite color?  Mystery.  And listen up husbands…if you have children, more than likely, your wife makes your life just a little bit easier as well. Am I right?

Some of this probably isn’t what makes a mother such a great mom, but still, where would we be without her? And no need to get cosmic either….the simple truth is moms are pretty spectacular.  If there’s only one day a year set aside to recognize them and all the wonderful things they painlessly seem to do for us, then we better make it a spectacular day for them!

Stuff Etc can help you get a head start on that this year!  Check out Iowa City’s latest Silent Auction dedicated to Mother’s Day.   In this one auction, you will find SIX Isabel Bloom pieces, TWO unique stone necklaces, the most beautiful Bavarian tea set I’ve ever seen, a must-have Coach purse and so many other items any mother would love to have!  Click here to catch a glimpse of a few items and the full list of what’s available for bid.  Better yet, stop by soon to place your personal bid before someone else beats you to it!

Did you know…??

Did you know Stuff Etc started out in 1985 as Kid’s Stuff in a 750 sq ft space in the back of a bar? A mother/daughter team made up of Pat Collins and Mary Sundblad, set out to sell other people’s used infant and kid items on consignment.  At the time, this was a rare concept and not widely recognized as a means of business, let alone something that could make money or people would even be interested in shopping.  Well, 26 years later, no one is questioning the Stuff Etc concept!  We’ve grown from this tiny kid’s resale shop to 5 department consignment stores ranging in size from our smallest store in Cedar Rapids at 23,000 sq ft to our largest in Coralville boasting two levels and 36,000 sq ft of quality used items.  We recently opened our first franchise store in Waterloo, with plans to open a Davenport and Des Moines location within the year.

Watch for more details on our 26th Anniversary Sale/Celebration coming on April 16th!