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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
And that sale was filled with good stuff.
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.
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.
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 Ban.do donated boxes of brand new Ban.do clothes. Thank YOU Jen!
The volunteers that helped sort through all of it are truly saints.
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!
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 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.
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.
The shopping started and the fun was underway.
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?
And you bet I was successful. What a happy family:)
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.
People didn’t hold back on the purchases. This is just one person’s loot!
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.
But once everyone was in the rain was a distant memory:)
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Plus a vintage blue belt and blowing bubbles are an easy way for at least Elliot to be very interested.
And Charlie was very concentrated on his fishing game.
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.
Here is a before and after GIF to show you the shopping damage that was done.
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 + 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.