This past weekend, my mama and I had a long-overdue date. There was an antique fair in Cowpens, so I headed over there first. The antique fair was really cute and if I had more money and room in my house, I could have easily walked away with several awesome furniture pieces!
But where we went after the antique fair was the most unique and intriguing part of the day. I've never seen anything quite like it and it got me thinking.
Our next stop was the Brown Roof Thrift Store in Spartanburg, SC. Mama had been in the day before and knew I would love it! The atmosphere was really cool. At the entrance, there was wall art made out of painted corks from wine bottles. The signs for the clothes were made out of wood and the prices were listed in chalk.The best part though, was the coffee shop on one side of the store.
The coffee shop was adorable. It had an upscale, urban feel, just like you would expect from a hipster-y, stand-alone coffee shop. There was plenty of seating, and despite the fact that it's located in a thrift store, there were people sitting down talking or on laptops. And it's no wonder, because it definitely had a great vibe!
I also asked the barista a few questions and loved what I learned!
Their coffee comes from three different roasteries. One came locally from Spartanburg, another came from Charleston, and though I cannot remember where the third roastery was, I know it was at least as close as Charleston. Since I love supporting local roasteries, I thought this was awesome.
Plus, the barista told me that the thrift store and coffee shop are a non-profit that supports five other local non-profits. How cool is that?! A non-profit that makes money to support other local non-profits!
What Would I Do? What Would You Do?I was really impressed with the Brown Roof, and that got me thinking: If I could run a non-profit, what would I do? What would it be like, and what would it support?
I think I would really enjoy creating a bookstore/coffee shop hybrid. I would want to carry a variety of books, including educational resources. I would want to have a large enough sitting area in the coffee shop that anyone (particularly people who need to escape an unsafe after-school situation) could come and study and be safe. This would be a tough non-profit, because books (in print) are not valued as much as they used to be. However, the coffee shop/bookstore model is really cool, and when done right, can be a wonderful thing.
I would want the proceeds to go towards feeding and rehabilitating the homeless population.
Of course, this is all hypothetical. At this point in my life, I don't see myself starting my own non-profit. But who knows? That could change. And regardless, thinking through this hypothetical is actually very beneficial, because it shows us more about ourselves. It reveals what we are passionate about and it reveals who we are most concerned with helping.
And we can help. We may not be able to start our own non-profits, but we can take steps to help those around us who are in need.
I have a project I'm working on that I will be posting about in the next week or so that has to do with just that!
So what about you? If you could start your own non-profit, what would it be? Who would it help? And, even if you cannot start your own non-profit, what can you do right now to aid those people you'd like to help?