Reduce, reuse, and recycle aren’t just mere words at Houston’s second Habitat for Humanity ReStore, located at 5280 W. 34th Street near Highway 290. As their website says – the ReStore is both an improvement store and a donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more at a deep discount.
Mark Wisnoski, the ReStore manager at 34th, said it’s only the third week they’ve been open but that they are getting a great response from the community.
“We have heard nothing but good things from our neighbors in the shopping center,” said Wisnoski. “Salon in the Park has been our biggest advertisement as they have been spreading the word that we were opening in June since I made contact with their property manager back in March. Customers are excited about our selection of home décor mixed with home repair products, and they rave about the low prices.”
Because ReStore’s partner vendors have requested that they remain anonymous, the store honors their wishes. However, a cursory walk around the store will give you an idea of the type and quality of merchandise.
“The couches and loveseats that we currently have in store would sell for $1,500-$2,000 at a retail store, [and] we sell the couches for $500 and the love seats for $400. It is a tremendous savings for the customer, and goes to help further our mission of working hard to build homes for low-income Houstonians.”
Proceeds from the store’s sales go to fund the new homes that Habitat builds for qualifying clients.
Wisnoski said that approximately 25 percent of local Habitat work is funded through their first store at 6161 South Loop East.
“We hope to bump the number to 30 to 35 percent with the addition of the [new] store,” he said.
The ReStore is very well organized with an eye to aesthetics and that is intentional.
“We wanted it to be a boutique feel,” said Wisnoski, who was tapped to come over from the South Loop ReStore to open the 34th Street location. Wisnoski grew up in the Oak Forest area and got early retail experience working for Michaels as a store manager for more than ten years.
To achieve the look he was going for, Wisnoski interviewed extensively before making decisions on staff. Jeremy Layman, the assistant manager, grew up in the grocery business and has many years of remodel experience. Lead Sales Associate Dianora Faulkner came with years of retail experience with Michaels, Home Goods, and Total Wine. Faulkner worked with Wisnoski at Michaels as the replenishment presentation manager for five years.
Daniel Griffin, Katherine Edmiston, Jennifer Loera, and Alex Matthews also have extensive retail experience with Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Home Depot, and Michaels.
In addition to donations from companies. The ReStore is also happy to accept individual donations. They accept everything but clothing and mattresses.
“We rely heavily on donations, both through our corporate partners and our neighbors in the community,” said Wisnoski. “We are always happy with the products that we receive from both entities.”
One place items do not come from currently is demoed homes. Wisnoski said that their affiliate, Houston Habitat for Humanity, does not participate in many home demolitions at this time.
“In the past we were very involved with this type of project,” he said. “The need for repairs to current Habitat homes that were damaged in Hurricane Harvey and new home builds have limited our opportunity to assist with demoed homes. We do, however, still have some products from these types of interactions.”
For more information, visit https://houstonhabitat.org/.