Open Source Business Model
Where you'll find documentation and procedures to help you open your own upcycle exchange.
There are a few main ideas that are important. Upcycle exchanges are:
- Operated as separate individual small businesses
- Offer structured incentives for drop-offs, such as purchase credits
- Located no closer than 100 miles to each other, pending a consensus of existing stores in the vicinity
- Focused on collecting craft supplies, vintage ephemera, durable disposables and household goods that are used with consensus by crafters (popular materials for Pinterest projects and among indie crafters). Though many supplies may be appropriate for teachers and children’s projects, the nature and quantity of materials often needed in a classroom setting are not always appropriate for this venue.
- Organize and display inventory in dignified setting. Shops should have the feel of a lovely large craft studio or curated boutique rather than a salvage warehouse or commercial thrift store.
- Multi-faceted – they often offer classes, events, sell handmade crafts and kits, supplemental retail supplies, and many aspire to be fab labs with digital fabrication equipment.
- Can start out as pop-up shops, events, or set up tables at craft shows to start getting the word out and collecting inventory.
- Give attribution back to Autumn Wiggins and The Upcycle Exchange in St. Louis, MO when explaining the origination of the concept to print publications and other media.