Tag Archives: Stuff Etc

From Winter Parkas to Shorts

When the temperature hits 50 on the bank sign here in Iowa, we do not hesitate for one tiny second to go from this:

winter parka in Iowa

to this:

spring shorts

But are you prepared?

Other than mentally ready to  shed the layers and layers of organic cotton, denim, wool and fleece you’ve grown accustom to assembling day after day for what seems like an eternity now, is your closet ready?

This week, we are celebrating everything that is SHORTS.

shorts in spring

All of our locations have an abundance of trendy, new to you shorts at prices that will allow you to get all of your favorite brands for far less than you’d pay at the mall.

Got $20?

I think it’s safe to say that you could pick up 2-4 pairs of name-brand shorts for just that and nothing more.

shorts in spring

SO …

Go get your spray tan on and head into Stuff!

{I’m no weather man, but warmer temps are definitely on their way}

{ all pics courtesy of College Fashionista }

Consignors = Business Partners

 

consign

Target, TJ Maxx, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Anthropology …

What do all of these stores have in common?

SUPPLIERS

ALL of their inventory comes from warehouses, designers, manufacturers, etc.

Our SUPPLIERS are our CONSIGNORS.

Essentially making them { YOU } our partners in business.

{ YOU } are the key component to the beginning of our success cycle (#1 below):

1. { YOU } bring in your quality, previously loved items

2. We select, price & merchandise those items correctly

3. We sell { YOUR } items for the best possible price

4. { YOU } collect your cash

5. Cycle complete

WIN/WIN

consignors

To all of our current and future consignors out there,

THANK { YOU } for being our PARTNERS …

Our business is better because of { YOU }!

Why the Need to Alter a Classic?

family playing monopoly

* sigh *

Our family Monopoly game night circa 1975.

{ p.s. I jacked this family photo from Google Images to represent my own family in the 70’s … which is super close to my actual family .. except we were two sisters and not brothers  and my dad had a mustache with an army crew cut and never drank coffee and my mom had super long, hippie hair, and that bottle of Crush was most likely a beer …  buuuuut, you get the idea }

AND

it wasn’t as serene and happy as this photo depicts.

Picture the four of us hunkered down over an unlit coffee table in the middle of our orange shag carpet living room floor. My dad was focused and ruthless playing Monopoly against me, age 7, and my little sister, age 5.  Occasionally, he’d call over the neighbor boy, age 11, just to throw in a bit of a challenge. He ALWAYS had to be the dog, and for some reason I always got stuck with the crappy wheelbarrow. My sister never lasted the grueling two hours it took to slaughter us and I’m pretty sure I learned all my math skills from playing this game.  As painful as it was to watch my dad take so much pleasure in the brutal win against his two young daughters, it is one of my most cherished memories.

And games to date.

BUT .. I’m not so sure how I feel about eliminating the classic “iron” token and replacing it with a “kitty cat” token.

Vintage Monopoly Game Pieces New Monopoly Game Piece

Unless you live under a rock, or avoid all news and social media, you probably heard the announcement yesterday. But why the need to alter a classic like Monopoly?

Some researchers say, “the iron is a symbol of old-fashioned labor & core manufacturing…”

ooooo. kay.

so?

And the cat is ” a symbol of happiness, relaxation and the simple love of the feline, ” not to mention it got the most votes on Facebook.  Which does not surprise me one tiny bit … did you know there’s over a million funny/cute/fuzzy cat videos on YouTube and more added every second?

Sorry … getting a bit off topic here.

Monopoly, since it’s inception in 1935, has sold over 275 million games.

There are 1,170 different (known) versions.

But, thanks to my dad, mom, my sister and the neighbor boy,  I’m partial to the classic version. I’ve introduced this version to my own kids and anything else would just feel phony … but my daughter is BEGGING for a cat version… so anything is possible I guess.

Someday, this version won’t even exist anymore but until that day comes, you can almost always find a version of Monopoly at all of our Stuff Etc locations.

monopoly board

And I think tonight is going to be a Monopoly night!

{ Guess who’s the DOG now, Dad! }

Happy Weekend!

xoxoxo

I LOVE Construction! Who’s With Me?!

Image

How many times have you heard someone mutter those words?

My guess is probably …. NEVER.  Unless you’re one those lifers in the biz, right?

Well …

Our Coralville Stuff Etc is currently under construction and we are ECSTATIC!

Image

We recently secured an acre of land to our west and have begun construction in our lower level where we will have official Franchise office space.

If you stop by today, this is what you’d see :

{ I’m not gonna lie … looks a little like we’re going out of business, but I assure you, it’s quite the opposite } 

Image

Image

Even more exciting than the franchise offices, is the 50 foot expansion you will soon see on the main level! 

This expansion will include a new, separate and easily accessible entrance for our consignors connected by a hallway that flows into the main store for our shoppers continued convenience.

As you are shopping and consigning with us throughout this process, we beg you for your patience.  It could be a little noisy at times, but we assure you that we will continue to serve you and care for your items at the same level you have grown accustomed to.

Beyond the excitement we have with the new construction, we look forward to the extra step of service we will be able to provide once it’s all completed.

Stay tuned for updates!

xoxoxo

Staff Assemble Knock-Out DIY T-Shirt Scarves

Image

These three lovelies from our Cedar Rapids crew were inspired to buy 25 cent t-shirts from our store and turn them into fabulous upcycled scarves!

Emily (left, 2 years on the team), chose to fashion a lime-green spaghetti scarf… nice choice!

Steph (middle, 3 years on the team), went with a two-tone ruffle scarf… love the colors!

And Jamie (right, 2 years on the team), powered out an awesome combination of the braided and spaghetti scarf … are those wooden beads I see in there?

Seriously girls, I am impressed!  And inspired!  

{ and a little jealous, I might add }

Did I mention they recycled t-shirts they purchased from the quarter bins at our store?

Check out this link to get a little know how.

Image

 

{ p/c My Blessed Life }

Have you made an upcycled t-shirt scarf?  We’d love to see it!

Happy Weekend!

xoxoxo

Misfit Chairs

mismatched chairs1

I have eight mismatched chairs around my dining room table.

Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I wanted, but they all look like this and BORING!

So I think it’s time to mix it up, a good project during Holiday break,

but I can’t decide which way to go { all one color or different }??

Here’s some inspiration for my misfit chairs:

yellow chairs 2

{ p/c A Beautiful Mess }

red chairs

{ p/c Dreams & Happy Things }

turquoise chairs

{ p/c Better Homes & Gardens }

mismatched chairs

{ p/c Never Without }

What do you think??

If this has inspired you to get yourself a series of super cool misfit chairs,

we { Stuff Etchave OPTIONS!

Check it out:

chair Collage

This is a tiny sampling of what I found in our Coralville location, and the other four have a whole lot more.

Even misfit chairs need a home for the holidays. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Is Your Weekend Costume Ready?

costumes simpsons

It’s the Friday before Halloween and there’s a whole lot o’ stuff  happening from this day forward and I don’t know about you, but I have yet to have my costume(s) ready!!!

{ scary }  

I have two of the six kids confirmed and (mostly) outfitted, but the others we are piecing together and pulling it out of our arse.   Heck, we have a collection of costume wear, bits and bobs that date back 15 years … surely we can frankenstein something!

If you are still looking for ideas, here’s a few cool ones (and far less lame than my leftovers) I spotted on I Spy DIY:

costume pop star

costume katniss

costume honey boo boo

costume katy perry

costume fab 5

And let’s not forget another movie that gives us plenty of costume inspiration …

costume magic mike

{ get more movie costume ideas via Screen Crush }

And it you’re still not sure, visit this post for other Halloween costume winners  {hint: anything Zombie is a definite bullseye}.

O!  

If you find yourself less fortunate than my lucky children to have their mother’s box of costume glory circa 1989, then head over to any of our Stuff stores and pick up what you need – all Halloween is 50% off!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from all of us to all of you!

Stay safe and have a blast!

xoxoxo

p.s.  I’d L.O.V.E. to hear/see what your costumes are!

Iowa Artist: Isabel Bloom

isabel bloom

Do you know Isabel Bloom?

Well, maybe you don’t know her … I don’t know her either, but I wish I did.

Maybe you are familiar with her work?

isabel bloom violet

{ This is Violet.  She is my favorite. }

Being born and raised in Iowa, and a fellow artist, I have a special place in my heart for Isabel Bloom and just want to share some details about her that I find fascinating.

Isabel Scherer Bloom

  • born in Galveston, Texas, in 1908.
  • moved to Davenport, Iowa, in 1909 and remained there for the rest of her life.
  • original education was in dressmaking and design.
  • started attending the Stone City Art Colony in 1932.
  • studied under Grant Wood.
  • met her future husband, John Bloom (also an artist), while at the Colony.
  • created and starred in a children’s program at the Davenport WOC television station for several years called “Make Believe” ( she made all the sets )
  • her figurines are crafted from the locally available materials of concrete and river stone.
  • she sculpted in their basement studio in her spare time, mixing her own cement with a shovel.
  • got her business started by submitting several concrete pieces to shops in Chicago
  • Hoops, a garden shop on Michigan Avenue, was the first American retail outlet for the Isabel Bloom figurine line.
  • by the early 60’s, she quickly outgrew her basement and rented studio space in an abandoned ice cream factory.
  • she maintained a studio, which became her shop, on Brown Street in the Village of East Davenport until 1981.
  • Bloom sold the shop to a group of Quad-Cities businessmen who expanded the retail chain on a national scale. The original storefront is still a staple of its quaint shopping district.
  • She continued to advise and promote the figurine company until her death at age 93 in 2001.

Living here in Iowa, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of Isabel Bloom figurines.  Shoot, it’s practically a staple in the gardens & homes of local residents.

We are also extremely fortunate to receive several pieces on consignment at all of our Stuff locations.  At any given time, you can walk into our Davenport store and find at least a dozen pieces for sale in the case.  The extra special, often retired pieces are featured in our “Silent Auction” – like this one currently available:

{ Girl With Bird,  1ft 7in tall  – isn’t she beautiful? }

Here’s a little sample of what else is currently available in the case at the Davenport Stuff Etc …

Thanks for letting me share!  Perhaps you are an Isabel Bloom fan too?

xoxoxo

Star Picks for Fall

Inspired by the September issue of Bazaar Magazine …

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Our Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc put together their STAR PICKS for FALL 

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star picks

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star Picks

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star Picks

And ALL of our picks are less than $19.99 each!

It Just Feels Good

p/c of Iowa Alumni Magazine

Giving back.

It just feels SO good inside.

Not to toot our own horn, but every month for the last four years, Stuff Etc selects a local organization at each location to raise money for.  At the end of the month, we give 100% of all donations collected to that charity.  One weekend a month, we center the sale around collecting donations while offering a discount.

To me.  Personally. Being involved with that … it feels good.

The customer giving a dollar to get  a discount; it feels good.

Presenting the check at the end of the month; it feels good.

Seeing the faces of who we present it to; that feels Ah – Mazing!

Knowing how grateful they are for every bit of help, every dollar, every cent; knowing we are helping the organization, helping the people they help; it feels AWESOME!

Today we had the opportunity to partner with a new group, 100 Grannies.

This group is organizing an effort to Ban the (plastic) Bag.  On Sunday, they will be hosting a rally in downtown Iowa City to raise awareness and support for the Ban.  They are asking community members to bring their plastic bags to the rally which they will tie together to create HUGE chain around the University  of Iowa pedestrian mall to demonstrate the amount of waste generated by plastic bags (read more about that here ).  All the bags will then be recycled and each participant will receive a fabric recycle bag donated from area businesses (while supplies last).

Stuff Etc has opted to donate 100 of our recycle bags.  We are very proud to be a part of this movement and partner with our friends at 100 Grannies!  We encourage you to join them in their efforts this Sunday and moving forward.

This weekend, you can also help these local organizations when you shop our Stuff Etc stores and save 20% off all full-priced items (excluding mattresses):

One last thought before we part for the weekend …

In August, I blogged about a random act of kindness (seen here)that really affected me emotionally.  Last week, I met a friend for a drink after work.  My ticket came to $5.85.  I gave our waitress a $20 bill and told her to keep it (not something I normally do since living on the Dave Ramsey plan, if you know what I mean). She questioned me like I must have read my ticket wrong.  I assured her the it was indeed her change to keep. She thanked me numerous times, all the while with tears in her eyes.

This was just a $14 tip and the poor thing welled up with tears.

I too welled up with tears.

And it felt good.

xoxoxo

Happy Weekend!