The salvage world in Seattle has changed. Well, somewhat.
Back in April, the owners of the RE Store decided to focus on their flagship Bellingham location and to shutter their beloved Ballard space, known for its cluttered collection of second-use treasures.
With their futures suddenly up in the air, RE Store’s Seattle operations manager Pat Finn Coven and salvage manager Joel Blaschke stepped up, determined to reopen.
“I couldn’t think about doing anything else,” Finn Coven said.
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After a hectic month scrambling for funding, a new for-profit business license and all sorts of other details, they did it. Ballard Reuse opened June 15.
But don’t expect a whole lot to change under the new owners. Their mission is the same: Keep as much out of the landfill as possible and help people find creative ways to reuse materials. The space is the same. The prices are the same.
But now designer James Taylor works full time building furniture out of materials the company salvages, which had been only part of his job before. The goal is to reuse more material that otherwise couldn’t be sold, such as small pieces.
Taylor made this outdoor lounge chair, for example, with lath from a local salvage and 2x4s from Dunn Lumber. It could make a lovely addition to your backyard for $125. He also takes some custom orders.
With the new business license comes a new partnership; Ballard Reuse will be teaming up with Seattle ReCreative, a local nonprofit with a mission quite similar to Ballard Reuse, but with a focus: the arts. Fiscally sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, the group aims to have art classes and workshops for both children and adults, as well as exhibition space.
After the whirlwind changeover month, Finn Coven is encouraged by the response from the community. “We found out people really love this place, and we have a lot of supporters,” he said.
Ballard Reuse is in full swing, accepting donations and filling up its inventory. The store is at 1440 N.W. 52nd St., Seattle; 206-297-9119; www.ballardreuse.com.
Paige Collins is a Seattle Times features producer. John Lok is a Times staff photographer.