SMART Art Store adds a store

I have been in love with the SMART arts and crafts store in Berry Hill since it opened almost two years ago.

I mention it whenever I can, just because I really want people to know.

SMART is such a winning concept on so many levels, offering artists and crafters a chance to purchase supplies at incredibly low prices, giving those of us who need to get rid of “stuff” a great place to donate, while supporting a voucher because the store provides funds to Progress Inc., which works with adults with developmental disabilities.

SMART (which stands for Scrap Made Art Supplies) is celebrating the opening of its small artist shop in a corner of the store, where 15 local artists have consigned their creative works, most of which incorporate some of the store’s quirky inventory.

I’m talking about cool and very affordable art, mostly made from odds and ends salvaged from store shelves.

“We’ve always wanted to shop and connect artists to our store,” said Laurel Sprague, who runs the store. She said most of the artists in the store are SMART customers. “We want to promote artists and works of art that use reclaimed materials. It exposes people to the possibilities of what you can do.”

Sprague said you’ll find returnable jewelry, wall art, dream catchers, greeting cards, key rings, decorative wooden spoons, trays, handmade bags and more , at prices ranging from $3 to $200, in the corner shop. She said all artists must submit work to be considered for the limited consignment spots.

“It gives us a chance to show people that these artists are using this ‘waste’ to make art and make a living. There are some really good uses for this stuff,” Sprague said, adding that the shop should also generate additional revenue. for the store.

The overall concept of SMART is that individuals and businesses donate all kinds of arts and crafts supplies, or really anything that could possibly be incorporated into a work of art, and then artisans and artists buy those items at very low prices. In addition to supporting Progress programs, SMART literally keeps tons of “stuff” out of the landfill. His estimate is that more than 200,000 items were kept out of the landfill in the first year of operation.

A stroll down the aisles of the store is illuminating from a shopping and donation perspective. You’ll see everything from traditional art supplies like canvases, paints, brushes, cardstock, fabric, and quirky notions to “what do you do with them?” items like bottle corks, wine corks, license plates, old photos, gift bags, ribbons, doll pieces, game pieces, dress patterns, golf balls , trophies, x-rays, 35mm slides, zippers, lamp shades, mason jars, cassette tapes, vinyl, buttons, aluminum pull tabs, party decor, paper towel rolls…the list is long. And prices start at a penny, with most items $5 or less.

At SMART, it’s about redirection, raising money for a nonprofit, creating jobs for people with special needs, getting rid of things we don’t need, and supporting a store where we can enjoy doing original business.

And I have to say I’m glad they opened this little shop because it gave me another chance to write about SMART in hopes of getting the word out to buyers and donors!

Stay cheap!

Contact Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and at Tennessean.com/mscheap, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”

If you are going to

What: SMART: art supplies made from scrap

Or: 4 Buchi Court in Berry Hill. From Bransford Avenue, turn onto Fessey Park Drive, then left onto Buchi Court and up the hill to the turquoise SMART building.

When: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

Make a donation : If you have items to donate, the best days are Friday and Saturday or by appointment. It’s best to contact the store about possible donations to be sure they can accept what you have.

Details: 615-454-5808 or www.smartsupplies.org

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