This Isn’t “Goodbye”


They say, “It’s not ‘Goodbye,’ it’s ‘See you later!’”
I certainly plan for that to be the case. In fact, over the last few months the only thing that made this decision easier is knowing that it won’t be forever.

In short, Indy Upcycle will be closing December 17th.

Effective immediately, we will no longer be taking donations. If you need help re-homing your materials, feel free to email Mandy for suggestions.

We will have “percent off” sales from December 3rd through December 17th, and we will be selling most of our furniture too. (More info on that will come later this week.)

The plan is to be closed for 6-18 months while I re-evaluate how to evolve Indy Upcycle to be sustainable. In the meantime, Indy Upcycle will continue to expand its online presence on Etsy and eBay.

That was the short story. I could leave it at that, but I know my fans. I know that there will be a lot of disappointment about this news. You are the reason Indy Upcycle exists! You are the reason I want Indy Upcycle to be the best it can be. For a more detailed story, please keep reading.

What went wrong?

Nothing went wrong. In the last year, donations have increased in frequency and quality. The sad days I experienced in my first two years when there wasn’t a single customer all day are long gone. Now, every day is filled with many visits from long time customers & first timers both shopping and donating. If anything, the problem is that things went so right. It sounds stupid, but that’s a fact. Indy Upcycle has, I’m proud to say, created quite a following and it has become obvious that we would greatly benefit from having employees, extending our hours, increasing our space, and even adding things like classes or a crafting center.

My mind buzzes constantly with ideas, fears, possibilities, and logistics behind what needs to be done to push Indy Upcycle forward instead of continuing to hold it back. It’s a lot to think about and I have a lot to learn! Last summer, I took a leap of faith and hired my first paid employee even though I didn’t think I could afford it. As it turned out, it was one of the best decisions I had made! Mary’s pride in Indy Upcycle helped it become cleaner and more orderly than I was ever capable of making it. Her unique outlook and point of view helped me validate things I was doing right and change things I was doing wrong. I am grateful that she came along and all the more sad that it was so temporary. It is because of her that I have come to realize that I am stronger with help and it’s OK to let go of things so they can become better.

Why now!?

This summer, I had a make the choice to renew or terminate my lease in Broad Ripple, which runs out December 31st. I had been questioning whether or not I wanted to move to a bigger space or a different neighborhood, but I couldn’t find the right fit. As the clock ran down, as series of personal and business events happened that made me realize that the universe was telling me to stop struggling. So far, no good solution has presenting itself to me, and maybe that’s because I don’t know what that solution will look like. I wish it wasn’t this way, but sometimes the right answer can only be discovered if you stop resisting the clues. If I had taken the easy route and renewed my lease, the most likely outcome would have been that Indy Upcycle would not get any bigger or better for another 3-4 years. Given that possibility, I trust that Indy Upcycle has a better chance of survival if I close down for a little while to re-evaluate and evolve.

So what will you do in the meantime?

I will spend time doing things that I haven’t been able to do while running the store:

  • Go to meetings, shows, conferences, etc. with like-minded people
  • Develop my artistic voice using a “nothing new” philosophy
  • Learn more about the legal and paperwork side of business
  • Establish an online presence that will compliment a physical store
  • Develop a growth plan for Indy Upcycle
  • Consider/Initiate a crowdfunding campaign
  • Stay connected to Indy Upcycle’s fans!

Please understand that I do not think of Indy Upcycle as going out of business. I look at this hiatus as part of it’s evolution. Believe it or not, we almost closed our doors way back in 2012 until Indianapolis Monthly featured us in their “Best of Indy” issue. Indy Upcycle is not just a store, it’s a community, a movement, a vision. Indy Upcycle isn’t going away, the walls are just disappearing for a while.




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