That is the motto for Furnishing Solutions, the resale furniture store located in Morris Plains.
In the case of the consignment shop, the karmic phrase is meant literally as well as figuratively. As a fundraising arm of the Homeless Solutions, a Morristown-based non-profit organization that has been helping those in need for three decades, the money generated by the sales are used to fund shelter, services, and supportive housing to homeless and low-income people throughout Morris County.
“Homeless Solutions really does a great job using the money to fund their programs,” said Furnishing Solutions co-manager Donna Miller. “The government helps out where it can, but it is nowhere as efficient as Homeless Solutions.”
Miller and co-manager Blake Cook have been managing the store since it opened a year ago, but the preparation began back even further.
“We began collecting material back in March of last year,” Miller said. “And at one time we had amassed 15 storage units worth of goods before we moved them in here.”
The decision to pull the trigger on the storefront was made in response to difficult economic times.
“Government support in the form of grants were down, as were donations. So Homeless Solutions developed a business plan in response,” Miller said. “So after seeing the success Habitat for Humanity was having with their ReStore the decision was made to open a furniture outlet.”
The proceeds from the 17,000 square foot retail center directly benefit the mission of HSI providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and outreach services to families and individuals in the Morris County area.
The store, located where the old Drug Fair was in Powder Mill Plaza West, has proven to be a bigger success than Miller thought.
“The store has done tremendously well. A lot of that is due to the great location and the traffic we get from Route 10,” Miller said.
Initially all of the items were picked up from donations after estate sales.
“We drove around and handed out cards every weekend for weeks,” Miller said.
Now, many of their donations are coming through customers as words of mouth about the business has spread.
Currently, Furniture Solutions is accepting donations of:
· Artwork and Pictures
· Curtains and Drapes
· Decorative Items
· Fine Table Linens
They cannot accept:
· Children’s Items
· Computers, TV’s
· Mattresses and Boxsprings
· Entertainment Units
· Sofa Beds
· Exercise Equipment
Volunteers are also needed to help in the store. Typically volunteers help greet customers as well as clean and price sales pieces, but there is also a need for more skilled craftsmen.
“I would love to get an electrician who could fix some of the lamps we have here,” Miller said. “Or someone who could hit some of these pieces with stain or repair some of the little things we have damaged.”
Miller said volunteers could also be trained on other retail skills and could assist in the loading and delivering of some of the items for sale. Those interested can shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the same token, those who are interested in donating items can send an e-mail with a photo of the item they are looking to donate to email@example.com.
“That way we can see the item and tell them if we are interested,” Miller said. “We can say yes, or no or not right now.”
And beyond the benefit of helping those in need, Miller said those who donate may see their items take a famous turn.
“We have had some television and film crews purchase items from us,” Miller said. “The television show The Americans was a recent buyer.”
Furnishing Solutions is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours Thursday night to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 973-998-0322.