You did it! We've hit our $15,000 goal and can't wait to purchase some awesome woodworking tools and finish building out our shop! Thank you to everyone who pledged to help build a bigger and better Perennial. We met our goal 3 days before our campaign ends -- awesome! That means we still have time to reach some of our stretch goals! You can still pledge to help us procure even more amazing resources for the STL community. Check it out:
So, together folks have pledged $15,000, but you still want to give? Do it! If we surpass our goal there are even more awesome things that we can add to our new shop!
- $16,800 – Purchase a desktop computer and printer to be added to our DIY library for folks to use to research project ideas, edit photos, etc.
- $17,100 – Purchase a flat screen TV for classroom presentations and to display updated class listings to visitors.
- $17,600 – Purchase sealing storage bins for basement back stock!
- $19,000 – Purchase salvaged materials from local sources such as reFAB and ReStore to build out new tables, sturdy workbenches, and beautiful seating and storage. Typically we salvage our own materials, but with extra funds we’ll be able to save time and labor associated with searching and excavating!
- $20,000 – New signage! Our building has a large sign painted on the southern exterior wall. With this last push, we'll be able to rent a lift and hire painters to change the sign from Chippewa Products to Perennial!
After 4 years in our current workshop, Perennial is moving! We are building out a 3,600 square foot shop at 3762 S. Broadway in St. Louis, MO. Our new location is more than double the size of our current space and will house a new wood shop, dedicated areas for textile and paper arts, and better storage for all of our project supplies and materials.
Even though this project is called “Perennial: Our New Workshop” it’s really YOUR new workshop. With more space, we’ll make new tools and equipment accessible to everyone, we’ll offer almost double the educational programs, and we’ll be a better resource for folks to discover salvaged materials for all their DIY needs.
Perennial is a 501(c)3 organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible minus the value of any rewards you receive.
Perennial is community workshop and store in St. Louis, MO that transforms trash into amazing items and teaches the community to do the same. A non-profit social enterprise, Perennial’s mission is to build a creative culture of sustainability in which discarded items are transformed into valued and cherished resources.
1. Educational programs all about creative reuse. These include: A) public programs that are open to all and range from free to fee-based, and B) free outreach programs with local agencies that serve women who are homeless, formerly incarcerated, survivors of domestic violence, and more.
2. DIY Kits and Tools designed and handmade by Perennial and sold to raise funds to support our educational programs.
How will we use all this money? Here is how our $15,000 goal breaks down:
The biggest thing that Perennial's Kickstarter will fund for the new shop is $5,000 in tools and equipment, which include: table saw, drill press, dust collector with fittings and hoses, air filtration machine, planer, washer and dryer, and a stove top and oven. The $4,800 in building alterations and repairs will add new electric where we need it, build an ADA bathroom, and extend the plumbing and HVAC to essential spots in the space.
How will we get it done? We need to be out of our old space and into our new home by October 1st, which means we need to start some of the work on the new space before our Kickstarter campaign is wrapped up. We are confident that you’ll come through, and we will meet our fundraising goal. Thus, we are hitting the ground running and pushing forward with some of the essential build out so we can host programs in October. Here is a general timeline for our space and for your rewards:
Check out all the fun Perennial-inspired rewards below! Different pledge levels offer one of these items or package up a few. You can see all the different pledge levels and select your favorite to the right.
If you're interested to learn more about the Perennial-made DIY Kits, you can check out Perennial's Online Shop. If you're interested in pledging for a class pass, you can find all of our upcoming programs on our website. If you're interested in becoming a Founding Member, you can find out about membership HERE!
Perennial was founded in 2011, and that year we engaged 90 people in our creative reuse programs. Four years later in 2015, we engaged close to 2,000 people in our programs!
Perennial has grown into a resource for diverse populations to learn new skills to make the things they need from items once considered trash, repair and rework what they have, and incorporate sustainability and creativity into their lives with ease. We’ve accomplished a lot with a small staff, dedicated board and volunteers, and a humble shop! Our new space will allow us to grow each of our organization's arms:
- We will have two separate rooms; one for a wood shop and one for textile, paper, and glass work. This will help contain the dust of woodworking and allow us to offer two classes at once.
- We are building out our woodshop with power tools. In our current shop we use basic hand tools, but with our new fully equipped wood shop, we’ll be able to teach new skills and projects that we were not able to before.
- Built out for private events. We are designing our new space with events in mind! We’ll be able to host private parties as well as our own fundraising events which will generate more revenue to support our operations and programs.
- Our new address. Our new shop is located right on a bus line and is more central to more of our outreach partners.
- Private storage for class materials. Four times a month our instructors visit one of our outreach partners for a workshop. In our new space, there will be dedicated areas for our outreach instructors to store their class materials making it easy for them to pack up and go without worrying that someone ‘borrowed’ some of their materials.
- Project storage. We’ll have dedicated space in our basements for participants' personal projects from our Outreach ReCreate Studio program.
DIY Kits and Tools for Creative Reuse:
- Better storage for salvaged materials. We have more space in the main shop area to store and display materials like wine corks, reclaimed wood, furniture parts, hardware, and more. This will make it easier for the public to find and purchase these materials for their projects through our ‘pay what you wish’ system.
- Basement Space. We’ll be able to set up our retail production and back-stock in one of the basements, which will allow us to continue developing this arm of our social enterprise model without getting in the way of the programs happening in the shop.
Perennial's new shop is located at 3762 S. Broadway, 63118. The space has roughly 3,600 square feet of space on the ground floor. The building is equipped with a loading dock and overhead door in the rear, and has two basements for 2,400 square feet of extra storage.
The main room will include a:
- DIY library and research area
- Small retail space
- Sewing and textile classroom
- Storage for salvaged materials such as fabrics, corks, paper, etc.
- Kitchenette and break area
- Large working table for sorting and searching for materials
- Welcome desk
The wood shop will be located in the room directly to the south of the main room. In this space we will have:
- Wood and furniture part storage
- Sturdy workbenches
- Hand tools
- Power tools and a full air filtration and dust collection system
In the basements, we will keep:
- Back stock of salvaged materials
- Peoples in-progress projects
- Adminstrative and event materials
- Retail back stock
PS- One other exciting opportunity at our new shop is that there are three apartments upstairs that are included in our lease. These apartments have not been used since 1980 and need new plumbing and electric, so we have no plans to use them in the short term. However, we have visions of artist studios, artist residencies, offices, and more! They were a unique addition to this space that other properties did not offer.
Risks and challenges
We are updating a building that was constructed in 1897 and has had many renovations over the last 100+ years. There is always the possibility that we will run into something unexpected that will increase our estimated costs for altering the plumbing, electric, and HVAC. We are working with an experienced general contractor and multiple architects who are volunteering their expertise to make sure that our plans for the space are feasible and within our budget constraints. Our organization prides itself on our creativity and resourcefulness (we practice what we teach) so we are confident that we’ll find the perfect solution to any problem that might arise!
While your pledge goes directly to building out our new shop, there are some risks that arise after the build-out is over. Moving Perennial into a larger space encompasses more than just the upfront costs of building out a new shop, it means overall increased operational costs too. While our Kickstarter project will raise the funds Perennial needs to make our new space beautiful and functional for our programs, we are also taking on a larger monthly rent, increased utility costs, and greater maintenance costs than before. Perennial will also need to increase employee hours to keep the shop staffed during the expanded programming we plan to offer in our new space.
Our board and staff made it clear in our 2015-2018 strategic plan that moving into a larger space was an essential next step for the growth and expansion of the organization. We are committed to making sure Perennial’s success continues in this new larger home. When we signed the lease for our old shop in 2012, it was a huge leap for Perennial as a new organization. Moving into that shop was the first time we had monthly bills to pay, but it also allowed us to offer consistent programs, partner with more organizations, and reach more people. Because of that space, we were able to increase our programs over 1000%.
Taking on the increased operational costs of our new building feels similar to when we signed our first lease. It’s a big step, and one that isn’t cheap, but Perennial is up for the challenge of taking on these expenses and the risks associated with them. We have no doubt that our staff, board, volunteers, and members will seize all of the opportunities that a larger space has to offer and work tirelessly to continue to grow Perennial.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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