I felt like a stunned audience member of a critically acclaimed play as I witnessed an entire family excitedly exit an older model minivan parked at the end of the driveway. The object of their affection? An impoverished, black, velvet, 3-seater sofa I had hastily shoved to the curb, with a sign that read FREE propped up against it's worn and torn back cushions. They all took turns sitting on it and looked at one another smiling as they began loading up their furniture find. My curbside nuisance of a couch I had desperately tried to get rid of the entire weekend, was a treasure this young family needed. This exchange had brought me humbly to tears although I hadn't realized it until I inadvertently wiped one away on the sleeve of my orange, Detroit Tiger's sweatshirt. In this moment the idea for "Relaced" consignment and coffee shop was originated.

Meeting people where they are at in life is a practice I have held as important since I was a young gal but I wasn't fully aware of how I could use this as an adult. This is where meeting myself in regards to who I am fuses my creative gifts professionally (aka to make a living) will allow me to give back to others. Renewing, repurposing and/or reselling clothing, furniture and household items has become a passion of mine. I enjoy the creative process as well as the satisfaction from a need being met.

Community involvement is very important. How to accomplish this? By building relationships with the school's programs including painting, sculpting, wood working and writing. On the other end of the age spectrum, I'd like to incorporate activities geared towards the senior citizen community. In addition, I'd like to allow mental illness support groups and freelance writers to use the proposed space for meetings. The plan is to bring people together by displaying their creative works and letting particular groups use the location's unique atmosphere for their needs.

The idea is to forever etch your generosity into the interior and exterior of "Relaced" location by engraving each donor's name and short message into either a 4 x 8 brick or an 8 x 8 brick. To make each one of you a part of the history and future of the shop's permanent landscape. Monarch butterflies are endangered and both myself and my 5-year-old daughter have a love for butterflies. The outdoor garden/seating areas out front will include the pondless water feature (attracts dragonflies as well as butterflies) but will also include plants and flowers which do the same. Milkweed seeds will be planted in designated areas for the purpose of attracting the beautiful monarchs.


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