There’s magic in the air at Upcycle Parts Shop in Cleveland’s historic St. Clair-Superior neighborhood. The nonprofit has been a fixture in the neighborhood since its opening in 2014, becoming a place for people to donate and shop secondhand art supplies, and create art through various programs and workshops.
As Upcycle Parts Shop has grown within its community, it’s also grown out of its current space, leading to the expansion the nonprofit is currently working on. By February, Upcycle Parts Shop hopes to open its expansion, creating a program space that is more accessible on the ground floor than their current second floor one, and has more room for creating not only art, but relationships.
“We're kind of building a community here in our place as well,” says Nicole McGee, co-founder of Upcycle Parts Shop. “So a larger space that is accessible on the ground floor allows us to really nurture those relationships and create more relationships and invite people to have a seat and work with the materials they just bought or come for a workshop on our ground level where retail is also happening. That's been the dream.”
The expansion, which will more than double Upcycle Parts Shop’s current size, will allow the shop to process more donations, host more volunteers and field trips, offer more workshops and programs without the hindrance of stairs and provide open tables for customers, neighbors, and groups to sit and create.
“We know our customers have shared with us that they want to come and sometimes they want to hang out —sometimes they want to try something out or learn how to crochet, and there's somebody in the shop, like, ‘Hey, I know how to crochet and we have some yarn.’ We just don't have the space for that to all happen,” says McGee. “Now, we hope to facilitate those natural connections that already happen and support those kinds of natural moments between neighbors or between a customer and a neighbor. Just that relationship building.”
After the expansion opens, Upcycle Parts Shop plans to continue business as usual and keep working hard for their community. Apart from fundraising for the expansion, the nonprofit is currently also collecting donations for a program called Saturdays on St. Clair, where one Saturday a month, artists from the neighborhood or staff will lead a workshop.
“The idea of a place where people can reserve their spot to bring their family and just be in a community and be welcome here, that's our goal and that's the consistency we envision,” says McGee.
Find more details about the shop, located at 6419 St Clair Ave., at upcyclepartsshop.org.