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Tuesday, November 5, 2013



You’ve probably heard the old saying “What goes around comes around.” That sentence perfectly describes the architectural salvage and deconstruction business called Second Use Building Materials, with a retail store at 3223 6th Ave. S. in Seattle. Here’s why:
1.)         The good people at Second Use, along with their customers, prevent perfectly usable building materials, fixtures, furniture, hardware, lighting, and more from ending up in landfills. Instead, these leftovers from demolition or remodeling projects “come around” again as they find new homes and sometimes new uses in the hands of creative people.

2.)         If “What goes around comes around” refers to karma, Second Use can look forward to an increasingly happy future. This business with a conscience understands that the more good we do, the more we give back to society, the more we encourage others to care about the planet, the more positive things will “come around” to us again.
According to Outreach Coordinator Mary Anne Carter, the mission of Second Use is, " ... to make salvage affordable, accessible, and intuitive for the community.” With these goals in mind, the business has planned three exciting events well worth attending. They are:

·         A Salvaged Gift Workshop on November 17—11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

·         A Black Friday Sale on November 29

·         A Handmade Market on December 1

Salvaged Gift Workshop

Here is a way for you to create or buy wonderful holiday gifts without following along with the crowd and spending your hard earned money at a big box store.

Second Use Staff Member Sheena McNeice will teach the coat hook/jewelry holder part of the workshop.
“Although building materials comprise the bulk of our inventory, there is no limit to the resourcefulness of our customers,” Carter said. “Shutters become magazine racks; window sashes become greenhouses; bowling alleys become coffee tables; hardware becomes jewelry, bathtubs become planters and ponds.”

She wants people to realize that greater use of salvage means diverting waste from landfills and increasing the community’s self-sufficiency. It costs nothing to observe the workshops. If you want to make a project, there is a modest $10 fee for materials. Second Use has this notice on their website: Registration will be limited to 45 guests and will fill up quickly! Please register online today. Kit fees will be required prior to the event and can be paid by check, cash, or credit card. To pay with a credit card, please call Second Use at 206-763-6929.
Dirk Wassink, one of three owners at Second Use, says the business not only reclaims materials but also passes along some of their stories. How true. Our house in Tacoma has a beautiful and very unusual vintage glass light fixture in the entry, bought at Second Use for far less than what it would cost in an antique store. Someone remodeling an old house in West Seattle thought it was junk and wanted to get rid of it. Now it has a happy new home where it is appreciated. My husband has used bricks from Seattle’s early streets for garden paths and flower bed edgings. I could tell you plenty of personal Second Use stories.

Do you see the potential in these materials? The staff at Second Use does. See below.

You never know what you’ll see when you visit as it changes all the time. They have everything, including the kitchen sink! That could mean a marble fireplace mantel from a mansion, interior doors from an elegant old hotel, or vintage school desks. You can even conveniently check out the inventory online.

Wassink is amazed by the creativity of the store’s customers when it comes to finding new uses for the vast array of objects and materials in stock. He invites everyone to discover the rewards of repurposing would-be waste for gifts or your own use.
Make candlesticks from recycled turned wood!
“Our Salvaged Gift Workshop on November 17 provides an invitation to those of us who might otherwise hesitate to make something cool from salvaged materials to go ahead and jump in,” Wassink said. “Each one of us has creativity, and this workshop helps nudge that creativity along with just enough guidance and materials."

He believes that when people become involved in making the things they use and give as gifts they take, "... a powerful step to balance out the consumer orientation we encounter so much elsewhere in our lives." He suggests we put a little of ourselves into gift giving this season.
McNeice will guide you through every step.

Stay tuned for another post on Good Life Northwest about the exciting Black Friday Sale on November 29, and the Handmade Market happening on December 1.

Note: If you already produce handmade items to sell, and would like to do so at the Handmade Market event for only $15 per space, you can access the vendor application here. Don't wait too long. They are only accepting twenty vendors.

Doesn’t all of this sound like fun? Thank you, Second Use!

Second Use Building Materials has moved to 3223 6th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134. Phone (206) 763-6929 Click HERE for a map and directions.

Photos by Mary Anne Carter

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