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Let’s Rummage for Good Thank you

Well, WE DID IT! The first (now annual:)) EHD ‘Lets Rummage For good’ sale is over and my goodness was it satisfying on so many emotional and physical levels. It combines so many of my favorite things: 1.) My love of thrifting and garage sale-ing, with 2.) Using my platform to benefit others with 3.) Gathering a community that thinks about serving those less privileged and 4.) Meeting and engaging with so many of you. It’s honestly the perfect recipe for my happiness. Plus the kids came and I ate delicious chicken sandwiches. But my experience and feelings aren’t really what are important here.

I can’t begin to put into words how thankful I am for all the time and energy everyone involved put into this sale. From Pen + Napkin (the non-profit) tirelessly picking up donations to Gina, our incredible event producer, putting in hours of work outside of her actual paying job – GOD BLESS YOU GINA. Then Abby from The Ruby Street for making sure everything went smoothly at the venue plus Lourdes and Zack donating this beautiful space and ALL the volunteers who gave up time out of their weekend to dress up in chambray and help us organize the mountain of donations we had from dozens of very generous people and companies.

And of course, the 600 people who came and shopped the sale to help raise almost $15,000! Yes you read that right. $15,000 was raised with 100% of it going back to such an incredible cause. The Ladies of Pen + Napkin (Catie and Ellyn I love you) were audibly sobbing when they tallied up the final number. I was clearly a wet-eyed mess as well seeing their reaction. With this money, they are going to be able to help so many more families who are transitioning out of homelessness feel loved, safe and secure.

It was full of items no longer needed by some but desired by others. My guilt about the amount of waste in my life disintegrated. It was a good day.

There are SO many people to thank and fun things to talk about so let’s get into it:

Emily Henderson Pen And Napkin Team

First off, these are the AMAZING ladies of Pen + Napkin. Catie, Jess, Ellyn and Debbie. In case you missed the other blog post, they design and furnish homes for people and families transitioning out of homelessness. The stats are pretty staggering with the percentage of people without furnished homes who end up homeless again versus those who have furnished homes. It just goes to show that putting time and love into your space is not for nothing. These ladies spent weeks coordinating and doing pickups for the sale all while still installing homes for the families they were already working with. Did I mention that Catie the founder was pregnant doing all of this?! They are a true inspiration to me and I am so excited for our partnership to continue and for us to help many many more. They are absolute examples for me.

Not to get on a soapbox about this, but we simply don’t care enough about human beings in this country. We look at the economic disparity and wish it were different but not enough people are prioritizing change. Catie and her husband have been doing this for FOUR YEARS. Volunteering for four years to help decorate homes of families with nothing is pretty incredible. Not only do we need to help the families, but we need to make sure that what she is doing is sustainable for her family (aka – people who run non-profits are simply not paid enough and in order for their service to be sustainable we need to help them).

Emily Henderson Rummage Sale 17

This wonderful angel of a person, Gina, reached out after I first posted about the sale and volunteered to help coordinate since she had experience in such an event. There are two kinds of people in this world – the people who come to meetings with a detailed agenda of priorities, todo’s and next steps (GINA) and then those who arrive scattered, with no pen or paper in sight (ME). She took over, became my boss and while I was involved with the large decisions obviously, even the day before the sale I was like ‘Gina, what should I be doing’. I can’t thank you enough and hope to work with you forever.  The world needs more people like you.

The week of the sale mother nature decided that LA needed a sprinkling of rain, and by sprinkling, I mean flash flood warnings.  Which isn’t completely ideal when you are planning a giant rummage sale and need to load and unload trailers full of furniture, electronics, and clothes. It was comical for sure but didn’t stop us. Look we were even smiling.

Rummage For Good VolunteeringRummage Sale Volunteer Donations

Now when I say people generously donated I wasn’t kidding. Den Mobler, a wonderful 20th century design furniture design store in LA, donated HUNDREDS of amazing design books.

Den Mobler I appreciate and thank you so much.

Denmobler Boxes Of Donated Books

Then we got an email from Makers Mess, an art studio in Silver Lake that also holds design and art classes, that they had 20 colorful chairs to donate. Catie jumped at that because if we didn’t sell at the sale (which they did) she wanted to use them in homes as dining chairs. Win, win. THANK YOU.

Modern Rainbow Case Made Chair

I was initially concerned that we weren’t going to have enough stuff to sell, but this is what the space looked like pre-sale. It was stacked top to bottom with so many good products and items.

The Ruby Street Rummage For Good Sale

And your eyes do not deceive you. Those are brand new OhJoy! products. My dear friend Joy, owner of OhJoy! donated a ton of adorable pillows, furniture, rugs, you name it. Thank you Joy!

The Ruby Street Rummage For GoodThe Ruby Street Vintage Stain Glass WindowMakers Mess Vintage Modern Chairs

All of our volunteers were amazing and willing to do anything we asked with a smile. How did we get so lucky? Here’s the first group of volunteers that came at 7am decked out in chambray:) Some were even there helping the night before. THANK YOU!

Emily Henderson Rummage For Good Volunteers

And of course, my wonderful team Sara, Jess, Julie and Brady were there too, helping prep the event as well as the helping the day of the event.

Emily Henderson Design Ehd Team

If you are wondering about pricing on items, I am a big believer in keeping pricing simple at large sales. It’s too chaotic otherwise. So we made color-coded posters to help with the majority of pricing questions. $2, $5, $10, $15 is what the majority of everything sold for. ‘Garage Sale’ prices made it so fun and successful.

Julie Rose Ehd Team Rummage For Good Brady Tolbert Ehd Rummage For Good

And that sale was filled with good stuff.

Volunteer At The Rummage For Good SaleVolunteering At The Ehd Rummage For Good Sale Vintage Shoes For Sale Rummage For Good SaleVintage Pottery Rummage Sale

I was overwhelmed by the quality of items we received.

A local east side hair salon, Establishment LA, donated all of this brand new Aveda makeup. Needless to say it went fast.

The Establishment La Aveda Donation

And remember when I hosted that Target event at Olive and June earlier this year? Well, Target being the insanely wonderful and lovely company they are donated all the new Project62 products we had at the event to the sale.

Target Copper Blush Soap Dispenser Rummage Sale

The biggest surprise was the insane amount of clothes that were donated. I am talking bags and bags of great clothes. Everything from vintage to new with tags. Also my wonderful friend Jen, owner of donated boxes of brand new clothes. Thank YOU Jen!

The volunteers that helped sort through all of it are truly saints.

Sale Yarn Wall Art The Ruby Street Clothing On Racks

You may have seen on my insta-story that last minute I decided to donate two of my large-scale oil painting portraits. It was a hard decision but well worth the profit we got for Pen+Napkin. I seriously donated so much and I feel soooooooo good about it. I finally have my garage back!

Vintage Oil Paintings Rummage SaleThe Ruby Street Furniture Rummage SaleDonated Books Rummage Sale

Every time I have an event I get a major case of ‘what if I threw a party and no one came.’ Well luckily people came and it was awesome.

The Ruby Street Converted Church Event Space

The early birds (those who donated or volunteered) started lining up at 6:45 in the rain! If it wasn’t my sale I probably would have been one of those too. The really good stuff always goes super fast.

Rummage For Good Early Bird Entry

I was overcome with joy when I saw the other line (which wrapped around the corner). I knew it was going to be a good day.

Waiting In Line At The Rummage For Good Sale

The shopping started and the fun was underway.

Shopping A Rummage Sale

I can be quite the saleswoman and was convincing this sweet couple they NEEDED this fine gentleman in their home. Did you see my insta-story poll on it?

Emily Henderson Man Oil Painting

And you bet I was successful. What a happy family:)

Vintage Oil Painting Of 60s Man

For the record I LOVE meeting, hanging and yes even taking photos with readers. Don’t ever hesitate, PLEASE. It makes me feel good and reinforces what I should be doing every day.

Emily Henderson Readers Shopping

People didn’t hold back on the purchases. This is just one person’s loot!

Buying Vintage At A Rummage Sale

I still can’t believe it was pouring rain and those people stayed in line and waited to come in (we had a maximum capacity in the room – all day long). Those definitely aren’t forced smiles… You also may be wondering why we had them all standing outside in the rain, and the only reason was we couldn’t let them all in at once due to the buildings capacity and the fire marshall potentially shutting us down. Thank you for sticking through it everyone that came and had to wait in line.

Style By Emily Henderson Rummage For Good Sale

But once everyone was in the rain was a distant memory:)

The Rummage For Good Sale At The Ruby Street

I really wanted parents to feel free to bring their kids and for the day to be more of an event versus just a sale. I don’t give up time with my kids on the weekends so I didn’t want anybody else to as well. Since The Ruby Street had this amazing outdoor space I wanted to have some fun games that kids could do so they would let their parents shop with the promise of fun later. Enter Joymode and ResisterhoodLA. Joymode is an experience rental company here in LA and they donated these awesome oversized games. Then ResisterhoodLA, a class pass for volunteering organization, offered their services to oversee the games and help in any other way we needed. Having both companies there made the day so much better. Thank you!!

Joymode Toys And Games Resisterhood VolunteeringJoymode Resisterhood La Rummage For Good

What would a rummage sale be without a food truck right? A bunch of starving, grumpy shoppers. Peaches Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen came and served up some delicious food namely those fried chicken sandwiches with strangely amazing pickles. Seriously if you ever see them on the street stop immediately and stuff your mouth with any of their amazing sandwiches. You and your belly won’t be sorry.

Peaches Bbq Truck EventPeaches Bbq Pulled Pork Mac And Cheese Fried Chicken Sandwhich

Now that we had Peaches as our food truck I reached out to Amy from Leaf and Love Organics. They make delicious organic lemonade juice boxes with no sugar, are gluten free and vegan. Basically, the best lemonade options for kids and my kids love them.

Leaf And Love Lemonade

But in case the adults wanted some fancy spa-like water to help them hydrate during the shopping frenzy, The Surface Library donated these lovely pitchers for us to use.

The Surface Library Hyrdation Station

Speaking of my kids, Brian brought them over so we all could be a part of this together. They are still a bit too young to really understand what this day meant to others but the more they can be around it the better.

Emily Henderson Family

Plus a vintage blue belt and blowing bubbles are an easy way for at least Elliot to be very interested.

Emily Henderson Daughter Elliot Henderson

Elliot Henderson Rummage For Good Bubbles

And Charlie was very concentrated on his fishing game.

Charlie Henderson Rummage For Good Sale

Originally I thought that the sale would go until 4pm. Then I realized I was crazy and no sale I have ever had has lasted past 1pm – due to everyone buying everything. And as you can see by noon the merchandise and crowd were dwindling, as almost everything had already sold.

End Of A Rummage Sale The Ruby Street

The Ruby Street Stained Glass Windows

Here is a before and after GIF to show you the shopping damage that was done.

Before After

To think how packed this place was and we hardly had anything left at the end. To say thank you feels incredibly insufficient. But THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Pen And Napkin Team

Pen + Napkin are going to do absolute wonders with this money and please if you have furniture or time to donate to them throughout the year they want it and will put it to good use.

There it is. The first (of hopefully many many more) ‘Let’s Rummage For Good’ sale. THANK YOU again to Pen + Napkin, The Ruby Street, Gina, all the collaborators, donators, shoppers and my team, of course. This sale made all of us feel amazing, as giving back typically does, so I am planning to have it be an annual (or semi-annual) event. If you, someone you know or any companies want to be involved in the next one please email

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5 years ago

So lovely! Wish I could have been in Cali to help.

5 years ago

So special to have your kids there!! They’ll most likely remember snippets of it (or if you continue doing it theyll never remember a time when it was not an annual event! Bc it’ll be part of your family culture!). Its so important for littles to be a part of real-life, big things even when it can’t be fully grasped at the time. Totally heartwarming! Congrats to all on the success of the sale!

5 years ago

Congratulations! You’re a gem of a person Emily.

5 years ago

Congratulations on such a successful event! On an unrelated note: seeing Birdie with her bangs and so many pictures of you without makes me want an update on your recent hair update.

5 years ago

This is so inspiring! Will this be with Pen and Napkin every time or will it be a different charity year to year?

5 years ago

This made me want to cry and run from my desk and go thrifting

5 years ago

What a wonderful day! I live in Kansas but am reeeeallly tempted to come for a vacay next year (look at all that good loot!).

5 years ago

Gahhhhh, this is awesome and so inspiring to see all of these groups and people come together to make this happen. So glad you posted this update for all of us who couldn’t make it. (Darn you, East Coast.)

Cris S.
5 years ago

Such an awesome thing to do! Thank you to each of the companies and people who donated items, space, and time!!!

Mary Lou
5 years ago

Great job. Hopefully others in their community will take a page from your successful sale for charity. Kid friendly + food truck is genius.

5 years ago

Reading this post made my heart sing!! What a wonderful way to use your platform, Emily! I just love seeing people come together, like this, for the good of others!! Give yourself a giant pat on the back because this was goooood stuff!! So very inspiring. *** On a more superficial note, where are Brian’s boots from in the pic?? I would love to nab some for my hubby!

5 years ago

I’m thrilled to bits for Pen & Napkin and all your volunteers! It looked like so much fun on your insta stories. This a great example of using your public platform to do good. And support the people and charities that do a whole lot of good.

5 years ago

Such a great charity to support! Through my work, I have helped move homeless people into homes, and trying to get a home set up when you have absolutely nothing is so overwhelming! Acquiring things as simple as cups, pots, towels, sheets, a blanket, not to mention having an actual place to sit, is totally overwhelming! This is an amazing thing to do for people, and inspires me to look for opportunities to replicate it in my hometown. Thanks for, once again, being to inspiring!

5 years ago

Wonderful job, Emily (and volunteers)!

5 years ago


5 years ago

Birdie’s bangs! I die. She is so freaking cute.

5 years ago

That’s amazing, Emily! Congratulations!!

Julie Brown
5 years ago

can you come to the deep south like as in Mississippi and do this…. I want this and our state could use something like this!!! ha

5 years ago

Amazing! Thank you for using your platform to make a difference!

5 years ago

So inspiring! The good you do lives on after you.

5 years ago

What a cool day.

5 years ago

Love this so much! It would be my dream job to be on your team. I love how you combine whimsy and design with actual, tangible, quantifiable generosity. I am inspired!

Gina Battista
5 years ago

I donated the fishing game that Charlie is playing! Yea!

5 years ago
Reply to  Gina Battista

Loved seeing that…it was one of my daughter’s favorite games (18 or 19years ago), and we have a great Christmas story about it. Anyway, just wanted to say it touched me too

Paige Mitchell
5 years ago

I’m going to assume that the very cute navy and white plaid deer head sold? Do you know where someone might be able to find one? Thanks. Congrats on a successful sale?

5 years ago

Such an incredible special day! I was so happy to be part of the volunteer crew.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jodi

Now THAT is doing it for GOOD! Congratulations for turning your inspiration into making a a tangible difference in the world!
P.S. Aren’t you vegetarian?

5 years ago

Now THAT is doing it for GOOD! Congratulations for turning your inspiration into making a a tangible difference in the world!
P.S. Aren’t you vegetarian?

5 years ago

This is so inspiring! Will this be with Pen and Napkin every time or will it be a different charity year to year?

5 years ago

Amazing, bless you and your gorgeous giving heart, your enthusiasm and bless your team. You rock!!

5 years ago
Reply to  Gabrielle

Amazing, bless you and your gorgeous giving heart, your enthusiasm and bless your team.

5 years ago

Congrats on a wonderful event! You ladies are a true inspiration and we can’t wait to see more from you.
Keep inspiring

5 years ago

Well done! you did it! wishing you all the best and more for the next events!

5 years ago

Emily, I love that you take time to do good things for people in need, but I love even more the effort that you put into making sure that everyone involved is properly recognized for their contributions. As a full-time event planner, who sometimes does pro bono work, I can’t tell you how much of a difference a little bit of appreciation makes. Gratitude for a job well done is often the best form of payment. Thank you for recognizing the time and talent of these awesome volunteers and donors.

5 years ago

I hope people will send you some cute instagrams of where their loot ended up in their homes! If so, please do a roundup post to give us the final update! <3

5 years ago
Reply to  SSM


5 years ago

AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME!!!………duh…….knew it would be all the way from Texas!!!!!!!! (jelly….)