Repurposing Expo at Kiwanis Clothes Closet

RIMROCK - Kiwanis Clothes Closet has a new look. The atmosphere resembles an upscale boutique instead of a nonprofit thrift store.

Everything is fresh and clean and artfully arranged. Store manager and local artist Eileen Conn has hand-painted black and white op-art designs on the walls which stylishly set off the clothing. Display racks and chairs have been painted white to enhance the items displayed.

KCC also has a new motto. Repurpose, Renew, Revise is painted on the wall in large letters against a black and white background, expressing a philosophy of giving a new life to the things in the store.

A Repurposing 2015 Expo will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the store on Beaver Creek Road next to Family Dollar. Customers will be directed to the rear of the building and the adjacent lot for parking. Several of the business and local vendors represented will be involved in the process of repurposing (the use of something for other than for its intended use), turning trash to treasure.

Repurposing thrifty and has a positive effect on the environment by reusing items instead of throwing them away. Some customers regularly stop by the store to look for items for arts and crafts projects. Plan to stop by on Saturday to learn how.

As you enter KCC, to the right, jewelry is creatively displayed. In the front of the store are mannequins dressed in outfits which are changed weekly, racks of reasonably priced designer women's clothing, and accessories such as bags, belts and scarves. On the right-hand wall is a variety of men's clothing. On the left wall are shoes for the entire family and accessories.

In the center of the store are racks of women's tops, skirts, pants and sleepwear. Prices start at $1 or $2, with some higher-quality or new items priced accordingly.

The Kid's Corner wall is painted black and hung with brightly-colored children's outfits. On a chalk board is a quotation which is changed monthly. There is a good selection of clothes for babies, toddlers and youngsters. Books, toys, stuffed animals and coloring books are provided in an area where kids can "hang out" while their parents shop. Nearby is up-to-date clothing for older children and teens.

Children's clothing is 75 cents or two for $1 and tween/teen clothing is $1 each (with some quality items a little higher), very affordable for families on a budget.

KCC was founded five years ago by the local chapter of Kiwanis International to provide an affordable place for families to purchase clothing. The first manager, Wyona Jaffe, also intended that the store would be a center serving the needs of the community, and it continues to do so. Besides shopping, people come by to donate clothing, post community activities and business services, advise of needs in the community, plan upcoming events, or just to visit.

For some customers, the shop is a home away from home.

We are proud that our prices are the lowest in the Verde Valley. All proceeds beyond space rent and utility bills is used for Kiwanis projects in the Beaver Creek community. There is little overhead since the shop is run by volunteers. Besides the managers, there are nine volunteers who are usually there once a week. The store can always use more volunteers who can spare a few hours a week. Call Eileen Conn at (928) 300-6072 if interested.

Eileen also leads the K-Kids, fourth- and fifth-grade children from Beaver Creek School. They meet at the store in small groups on Saturdays and Wednesdays. They work on arts and craft projects, some of which are used at Kiwanis events. They are learning civic responsibility and social skills by helping in the store and taking part in Kiwanis activities. Children are a priority with Kiwanis, whose motto is "We Change the World - One Child & One Community at a Time".

KCC accepts donations of gently used clothing, which may be dropped off at the shop on days it is open. (Please do not leave donations outside as they may be affected by the weather.)

Many people make New Year's resolutions to clean out closets and donate items that are no longer needed. People also donate unsold clothing from garage and estate sales. Clothing not selected for the shop is taken to Old Town Mission in Cottonwood or given to other organizations to be distributed. The store has a limited amount of space and has to be devoted to clothing only. Kiwanis may be able to use other items, but call and ask first by contacting Assistant Manager Rosemary Coker at (928) 300-2640.

Kiwanis Clothes Closet is located in Rimrock on Beaver Creek Road in the mall next to Family Dollar Store. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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