project leader
Nicole M
6419 St Clair Avenue
(St Clair Superior)
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Here's some of what we're reflecting on this end of year season

the project

Based in the heart of Cleveland's St Clair Superior neighborhood, Upcycle Parts Shop is a bustling storefront where community, creativity, environmental resourcefulness, and possibility all intersect with purpose and passion. Over 9 years at our location, we have taken in 51+ tons of secondhand materials donated by thousands of local supporters who believe in the power of creative reuse. Our small retail shop sells secondhand art supplies five days a week and offers hands-on programs, education, and creative encouragement for all ages. We continue to grow and get stronger every year.  We invite you, our supporters, to help create the future of Upcycle Parts Shop! A long-term goal has been to create a social space where people can gather, create and get to know one another on the ground floor of our retail shop. We are fundraising do this by expanding into the space next door to us!

Funds raised through this campaign will help us expand to more than double our current footprint. This added space will enable us to process more donations (and increase our environmental impact), host more volunteers, offer hands-on workshops and programs that don't require climbing stairs, host more field trips and provide open tables for customers, neighbors, and groups to sit and craft. All of these improvements will increase the magical experience of visiting our vibrant creative reuse center in the heart of Cleveland's St Clair Superior neighborhood!

While every dollar counts for this expansion, we also aim to seize the opportunity to honor the historic space we're moving into. Using the previous hardware store's original wooden cubbies and shelves, this campaign offers Upcycle Parts Shop's first ever donor naming opportunity. Now you can publicly share your love for this place where community, materials, creativity, and the belief in possibility all come together in a magical way. If you're reading this, you're already a part of that magic, and we're grateful.

We know that Upcycle Parts Shop is something special in Cleveland. And we know that nearly everyone who has ever visited us wishes our space was just a bit bigger. Maybe even with a table and chairs to sit down and just BE, as our neighbor and one of first volunteers Dasha likes to say.  Now, our dream is coming true.  And we need your help to make it happen. Let's grow together!


the steps

December 2023:   Begin cleaning the space, meeting to discuss how to use new space, and developing lists of furniture needed, new processes, and creating programming calendar for 2024

January 2024: Move into new space, host special donation drive to help increase inventory, host volunteer workday to fill shelves and make the space look amazing

February 2024: Open expanded space, launch workshops, host record-breaking participation in creativity!

why we're doing it

Upcycle Parts Shop is expanding with the goal of advancing our service in and for our community. Currently, we are limited by our second-floor workshop programming space. Our expanded space will provide accessibility for anyone with mobility challenges. A wider entry doorway and more floor space will enable wheelchair clearance to move freely about the ground floor retail and programming space, opening up the space in general.

Ground floor accessibility addresses a request from older adults in our neighborhood who have asked for programming as well as gathering space for peers to share learning. Many have been excluded from some of our past programming due to an inability to climb stairs to our programming space on the second floor of the 100-year-old (elevator-less) Slovenian National Home in which our storefront, materials center, crafting spaces, and business office are located.

Expanding our footprint has been our dream since it became clear that space limitations were a barrier for growth. As our visibility has grown, we have had many opportunities to take our programming to communities throughout the region, which we have been happy to do. But our priority and commitment is to our own neighborhood and the residential communities surrounding us in St. Clair Superior, Glenville, and Hough.  Our space expansion represents the commitment our organization made in its 2021-2024 strategic plan to double down in our own backyard. Expansion amplifies our work and further establishes Upcycle Parts Shop as a strong resource for residential neighbors and a destination for visitors.

Our expansion will create new donation processing space that will facilitate increased donation appointments long requested by our customer base,. By expanding our ability to take in and then distribute more secondhand materials, we will increase our alignment with Cleveland’s Circular Economy approach  -- at the neighborhood level, throughout the city, and across the region. Being “good for the planet” is one of the hallmarks of the Creative Reuse Center model that Upcycle Parts Shop is built on.  We take pride in the confluence of environmental sustainability, art, and community. Demonstrating resourcefulness and reducing landfill waste while sparking creativity are key ingredients in Upcycle’s unique value as a neighborhood asset. 

Please see quotes from a few of our customers on what they value about us. We are proud to serve them, and thousands of customers, participants, students and neighbors with our work each year. With your support, we can strengthen our mission, impact, and organization for years to come. 

“Upcycle is everything that is good in this world. When I shop there, I’m always greeted with a “welcome” and a smile. Upcycle combines two of my most favorite things - crafts and recycling. I love browsing the shelves with no agenda in mind. Searching for unexpected treasures has sparked my creativity and invites me to think outside the box. I would spend every day at Upcycle if I could!”

“I love shopping in the store before heading to any big box stores when I’m looking for either specific supplies or inspiration! I am frequently able to start a new project based on what I find in Upcycle.

“There is so much treasure there that has helped my craft that I felt compelled to donate anything I have that has value that I no longer use. This is one of the greatest ideas and places to facilitate upcycling or recycling and it is the friendliest place on earth.


Final budget



ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)

ioby Donation Processing Fee (4%)


Original budget

Furniture & shelves for additional donation processing & secondhand material displays: $2,500

Additional programming supplies and program development for ground level workshops: $3,750

Additional staff time to plan and to move: $3,500

Signage for expanded space: $750

Increased rent & utility cost during move: $1,500


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee N/A    $0.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4%    $391.57
TOTAL TO RAISE    $12,391.57
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.    


Here's some of what we're reflecting on this end of year season

We’re proud of all of the ways we meet our mission to provoke creativity and promote community through reuse, resourcefulness, and relationships, but it’s the relationships that matter most to us.

Relationships have been central to our work in 2023:

  • We will have opened our door to customers, 5 days a week, 51 weeks of this year! (we'll be closed the final week of the year to give our staff a week off!)
  • We have received 287 donation appointments this year by generous donors; totaling 9,887 pounds (and counting) in secondhand materials that we use for resale in our shop, hands-on programming, kits, and to stock our free box on the shop stoop :)
  • We’ve built new relationships with funders adding our first two-year grant from Ohio Arts Council to our supporters; this funding will begin a new creative program for senior citizens in the new year!
  • Our relationships with schools and educators continue to grow; this year we upcycled with 279 students and more than 500 families at community programs through the region
  • More than 58 educators accessed our free online Upcycle: Enterprise program (available for free on our website) introducing 2,585 students to our social enterprise business model & challenging them to design their own
  • Our team and dedicated volunteers are still packing orders for 1,350 ‘innovation kits’ of our materials for use in entrepreneurship education serving 3,535 students in 45 classrooms, shipped locally, throughout Ohio, and across 5 states (thanks to YEI & YIPPEE Marketplace)
  • We expanded staff to add capacity and new programs this year and strengthened our Board of Directors with 6 new Board members after a successful new Board application process

We invite you to deepen your relationship with us and to support our expansion efforts. And next time you’re on St. Clair Avenue stop by the shop to meet our new staff and take a peek into the expansion space! We wish you a happy holiday season and a creative & prosperous new year!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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