project leader
Emily F
1334 Main St.
latest update rss
LAST DAY! $4,784 to go!

the project

Creativity is an essential part of the human experience, often serving as a tool for connection, healing, and personal expression. Indigo Hippo works to broaden access to creativity by providing the community with low-cost materials through our pay-what-you-can art supply thrift store. By accepting donations of new and gently used materials, we are able to sell supplies at 25-50% of their retail price, with most materials falling in the $0.05-$1 range. This process gives artists agency in choosing what they can invest in their practice and creates a new life for otherwise discarded materials. This year alone, Indigo Hippo has redirected more than 14 tons of art supplies out of the waste stream.

Like so many businesses and organizations, the global pandemic impacted us greatly. Despite the setbacks, we knew our community needed our services more than ever and pivoted to create a new online shop to supplement our reduced hours and shopping capacity. We connected with local partners like the Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Museum, and Cincinnati Art Museum to ensure families continued to have enriching art projects to do at home. We assembled supply kits in a variety of mediums to keep hands busy in the midst of uncertainty. We did what we do best: we used the resources we had, in spite of what we lacked, to amplify our mission.

Now, to ensure Indigo Hippo can be a resource for future generations of artists, change-makers, students, and educators, we need your help. We are fundraising to come back stronger than ever. Our annual fundraiser will recoup the cutbacks made to survive 2020, actively invest in the staff that put our mission into practice, and give generously to the community partners who repeatedly choose us over buying something new.

In this giving season, we ask you to consider the value of Indigo Hippo in your life and, as always, hope you'll pay what you can.

Hoping to double your impact? Thanks to the generous support of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, Indigo Hippo will receive a 1:1 matching grant of $10,000! This is in addition to Ioby's $2,000 Covid recovery match, also funded by the Haile Foundation. With your help, we'll be well on our way to reaching our $30,000 goal!

the steps

2022 is the year we dream BIG and consider what's possible in our 6th year and beyond! 

With your help, by the end of 2022, we'll have:

  • recovered our losses from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • made steps toward expanding our physical footprint
  • revitalized our community programming
  • piloted a free shelf in-store
  • hired a new accountant and bookkeeper to keep all our hippos in a row
  • adjusted wages and benefits for current staff to align with our people-centric mission
  • showcased your creativity through new social media features

why we're doing it

By reducing cost barriers to traditional art supplies and introducing unexpected materials, Indigo Hippo offers a unique shopping experience that speaks to the diverse community we sit in. Spend a day in Cincinnati and you'll see evidence of our rich arts community. Ask any artist here where they source their materials and they'll lead you back to Indigo Hippo. We’re proud to be a part of this network and would like for the people we’ve served to share the value of our small nonprofit.

Here's what some of our community members have to say about Indigo Hippo:

"Why can't the whole world be just like this little shop?"
-Hillary Wagner

“During the pandemic, Indigo Hippo became absolutely essential to my work as an educator at the Contemporary Arts Center. As we shifted from in person making to virtual learning and at home kits, every organization had to find ways to distribute individually sized materials to our students. The accessibility and wide range of materials that Indigo Hippo was able to provide at a fair cost, made it possible for us to distribute over 1000 art supply kits as a part of our artist in residence program for FREE to visitors of all ages. Along the way the staff at Indigo Hippo became creative collaborators, sharing surprising ways to use new materials that had not been a part of our artmaking previously.”
-Beth Boswell, Adult Program Coordinator at the Contemporary Arts Center

“Whenever we're in need of supplies for an upcoming V + V Teaching Artist Program (TAP) class in the community, Indigo Hippo is my first stop. The conscientious organization of the shop, availability of materials, and warmth of the staff make it my favorite place to shop both for V + V visual arts classes and personal projects. Indigo Hippo's pay scale model enables us, a 501c3, to obtain many more materials than we could if we were purchasing exclusively through other retailers. I am grateful for their presence in our local art community, and will continue to shop and partner with them whenever possible.”
-Seana Higgins, Education Director at Visionaries + Voices

"Indigo Hippo is an artist's or teacher's best friend. I love going here and getting supplies for myself or my creative workshops. No matter what project I have at hand, there's a 75% chance that I'll be able to find what I need at this place at an extremely ridiculously cheap price."
-Tanyqua Oliver

"Love this shop! Being an art major this store makes my classes a little more affordable. The idea of a pay what you can thrift store dedicated to art and art supplies is truly magical."
-Sara Magers

"Indigo Hippo is a wonderful shop full of delightful surprises. The staff is friendly and helpful, the collection of art and craft supplies is diverse. I am thankful that our community has this place to continue acts of creation with materials that others have donated!"
-Abraham Underhill

"Wow, this place is what dreams are made of. Come here with a project in mind, or come here and let the store inspire your next project. There are plenty of supplies to suit either plan!"
-Sarah P

"Art supplies are so bloody expensive, and yet artists are notoriously underpaid unless they have really managed to make a name for themselves. What a wonderful idea to bring every kind of artsy supply that people aren't using and make it available to artists and the public. It's 'pay what you can' which is an interesting model... Next time I go through my craft stuff, if I need to get rid of some things, I'll schlep it over to Cincy until Indy gets a place like this. If we want more arts in the community, we need to do things like this and help support them in multiple ways. Just love this concept!
-Tiffany B



COVID-19 recovery: $5,000

Staff expansion: $5,000

Community Partnerships: $2,567.18

TOTAL: $12,567.18

TOTAL RAISED = $12,894.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $326.82


$8,000 - COVID-19 recovery
These funds will recoup the money lost from COVID-19 related cutbacks and stabilize our finances for the new year

$8,000 - Staff expansion
Our organization is nothing without the hardworking folks active behind the scenes. These funds will bolster our current team and encourage growth in our small nonprofit.

$4,000 Community partnerships
We're honored to work with Cincinnati's amazing museums, nonprofits, and community centers. These funds will allow us to give materials at no cost to the programs that enrich our vibrant arts scene.


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
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.  


LAST DAY! $4,784 to go!


We have raised $25,216, which means our campaign is 84% funded! We are blown away by the community support we've received and the end is in sight!

Can you help us meet our most ambitious fundraising goal to date?

Donate, share, and help spread the word!

3 days left and $8,560 to go!

Thanks to our incredible community and the support of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, we have reached our $10k matching grant and have now raised $21,440 - over 70% of our $30k goal! But we still have a long way to go.

Can you help us rally this week by making a donation, asking your friends and family to support, or sharing on your social media platforms?

$34 away from a $10k match!

As of now, our combined fundraising efforts bring us to $9,966 - just $34 away from meeting our 1:1 $10,000 match from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation! Let's bring it home and reach our goal of $30,000 by the 15th!

Donate $75+ for a free artist workshop!

As a special incentive, all campaign donations of $75 or more will automatically receive admission to a private art-making experience early next year! 🎉

Join local designer Jon Flannery of Cryptogram and Indigo Hippo Storefront Manager Julia Lipovsky for a 3-hour drawing and printmaking workshop in their Northside studio. Each participant will work from observation to create their own poster and leave with a small edition of silkscreen prints. Donors will receive an email after the end of our campaign (January 15) to schedule. Please be sure your email is listed with your donation to participate.

Fundraiser Update!

Thanks to the generous support of our customers and fundraiser guests, we are moving along towards our goal!

As of right now, between our Ioby contributions, fundraiser sales, and in-store donations, we are at $6,855 and only $3,145 from a $10,000 match from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation!


You’re invited to our Fundraiser Event!

When: Thursday, December 9
Time: 6 - 9 pm
Where: 1628 LTD | 11 Garfield Place 

Come dressed to express and enjoy the following!

  • Silent Auction (featuring goods from your fave shops/businesses)
  • Photo Booth w/ Hailey Bollinger
  • Portraits drawn by Joe Bailey, Karen Boyhen, Anissa Pulcheon
  • Short order Poetry with Kay Moore, Marcus Donaldson, Taylor Byas
  • A Creative Reuse Jewelry Bar w/ Sidney Cherie Hilley


Buy your tickets here!



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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