All of this time at staying home has really made me realize just how much I love the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Without it, my house just would not be the cozy home I love spending time in. Lots and lots of time. More time than I ever imagined possible.
Look, I know I'm biased. As an employee of Cheyenne's affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, my office is located at the ReStore. A normal workday (remember those?) gives me the chance to see all the great items the ReStore receives everyday from local business partners and the general public. I get to see our customers find cool treasures for their own homes and hear about the fun DIY projects they're planning with the raw materials they find. Its hard not to be a fan of the ReStore, its a fun place to find great deals on quality items. And knowing that the proceeds support Habitat's efforts to build affordable housing locally feels great.
Still, having all of this time to exist in my own home, the totality of the ReStore's influence on my design choices can not be understated. My husband and I have always had a pretty simple philosophy about furnishing our living spaces. It’s based a little bit in frugality, a little bit in a quirky sense of style, and a bit of faith that the right piece of furniture or decor will manifest itself when needed.
Our clothes are stored in mid-century modern dressers. My kids are doing their home school work on functional little desks with ample storage and quirky style. Our dining room supplies and bar-ware live in a fantastic hutch that originally came from Ashley Furniture. When we settle in for a night of movies, we do so in luxurious easy chairs. Our garage is lined with old filing cabinets, repurposed to store miscellaneous tools and eliminate the clutter. All of these items originated at the ReStore, and every piece fits together in a way that suites us so well, we truly couldn't imagine our home any other way.
One of our unique treasures purchased at ReStore that make our home a special place
And when it comes to home improvement items, the ReStore has us covered as well. We purchased our home a few years ago and have been making it our own ever since. My husband has become the ReStore's number one brand ambassador for GreenSheen paint. Made from recycled paint, GreenSheen provides great coverage, a great color pallet and a price that is less than half the cost of a gallon of paint from a big box store. Last spring we tackled our back yard, adding garden beds and features with items we found at the ReStore (including a brand new in the box rototiller that made the hard work easy!). It seems there is no space in our little homestead the ReStore hasn't made better.
GreenSheen paint in Colonial Blue and a great
vintage mirror purchased from the ReStore
So when it became obvious that we needed to close the ReStore to keep our staff and the general public safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, it hurt. As a fan of the ReStore, I miss the treasure hunting. As an employee of Habitat it made me anxious, because the ReStore plays the critical role of generating the overhead for our affiliate including the salaries of our entire team of dedicated staff. It was also hard because I know so many people in Cheyenne rely on the ReStore for the affordable materials to keep their own homes in good repair- critical during these times when we all must stay home so much more than usual.
The ReStore is the foundation of the work our affiliate does building affordable homes for good people who want a chance at a life built on the stability of home-ownership. 2020 was to be an exciting year for us, building a home alongside the Stephenson Family for our very first Faith Build project, and replacing a blighted property with a home ownership opportunity for a local hero alongside our local credit unions for our very first Veterans Build. The crisis we're all facing together jeopardizes both of these projects we've been pouring ourselves into for months.
But like any hard time, there is always a silver lining. The closures forced us to rethink the ReStore. Our team refused to give up and worked tirelessly to innovate solutions to keep the ReStore going, while still keeping everyone safe and healthy, and most importantly TO KEEP HABITAT BUILDING.
We launched our online store, and despite the very steep learning curve of diversifying our retail strategy we've built a nice little system of online options, curbside pick-ups, and forging our way through this new normal.
Check out or online shop, and may the treasure hunting resume!
We want to thank the Cheyenne community from the bottom of our hearts for their continued support (and your sense of humor as we figure things out on the fly!) If you haven't had the chance to visit our online store yet- please do. We're adding great items everyday, and if you're looking for something in particular- just shoot us a message and we'll let you know if we have something.
For now, our ReStore is open in a limited way. Thursday through Saturday from 10 am -4 pm. Shop online, pick-up curbside. (we can also arrange alternate pick-up times on other days). Or, you may shop the ReStore in person, calling ahead is a good idea, since we must limit the number of people inside the building. Call 307-637-8067 for details.
Until we can see your smiling face in our ReStore again, we hope that you and your family stay safe, stay well, and are able to appreciate all of the special ways your house is a home for you and those you love. We hope the ReStore can play a part in the ways you love your home as well.