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Craft thrift shop nonprofit signs lease in Brookland

No longer 'for lease'-- the future home of SCRAP DC

A nonprofit that diverts craft supplies like paper, fabric and yarn from landfills is moving to Brookland, where it will more than double its space and expand its hours.

"We're really excited about it," SCRAP DC director Heather Bouley says. "Ever since we moved into [SCRAP DC's current location], we outgrew it."

SCRAP DC opened its doors in 2010. The nonprofit collects donated crafting materials and sells them to the public at steep discounts.  As SCRAP's website says, "Name another place in DC where you can buy fabric at $2/yard. Just try to beat artist-quality paint brushes starting at 10¢." The nonprofit also holds craft fairs and classes and sells products made by local reuse artists.

SCRAP has been operating out of a basement space at 52 O St. NW, a warehouse that was converted to art studios in the 1970s. But at only 250 square feet, the nonprofit ran out of space fast. Really fast, actually.

"The second day we were open, we got 900 pounds of donations in the first 20 minutes," Bouley says. "It filled up half the room."

The nonprofit has leased a 2400-square-foot building at 3101 12th St. NE, which it will occupy starting Aug. 29, but isn't planning to use all of it. Instead, SCRAP DC will double its retail space with a 500-square-foot central room. It'll also use the front reception area as an "open crafting space or gallery space," says Bouley. Besides those rooms plus a conference room and kitchenette, SCRAP DC will be subletting four offices as artists' studios and offering space that local groups can use for parties or events.

"Since there's such an arts presence [in Brookland], I think it's going to be a really exciting place," says Faraji Whalen, vice president of Washington Property Management, which leased the building and will be helping SCRAP DC sublease the art studios.

The move also comes with more regular hours for the scrappy nonprofit, which currently is open Thursdays and some Fridays and Saturdays. This fall, Bouley says, SCRAP will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays each week.

The Brookland neighborhood is indeed a growing hub for the arts. It is also home to Dance Place and the nascent Arts Walk and studios at the Monroe Street Market.

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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