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About Us

Who We Are

Based in Urbana, Illinois, The Idea Store is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to employing and encouraging "Creative Reuse" in support of education, the arts, conservation, and environmental stewardship.

Yusuf showing off an eclectic selection of inventory
Vases, glasses, and bowls in a store display

Why We Exist

Art matters. It tells stories that bring people together, enrich our lives, and challenge the status quo. It’s essential to social change, and that’s what we’re about. We aim to take it even further—we believe making art through creative reuse saves money, helps conserve natural resources, and keeps materials out of the trash.

Whether you’re a customer, donor, or volunteer, we appreciate you.
You help make our community a more creative place!

So...what's creative reuse, exactly?

Glad you asked! Creative reuse means taking non-traditional materials and items and using them for your arts, crafts, and educational projects. Think transforming coffee tins into cool planters, using old paint swatches for a self-portrait, making puzzle pieces into earrings…get inventive!

A bucket full of plastic easter eggs
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