After graduating from college, Morgan moved back to Bloomington-Normal and decided to invest in her first house in 2014. She spent the next year and a half renovating her townhome, which is how she found her way to the Bloomington ReStore. She was originally searching for floor tiles and light fixtures as a way to save on those major expenses, but she ended up getting hooked on the ReStore treasure hunt. She checked back weekly, reclaiming everything from statement pieces to the tiny details that make a house a home.
Although this was Morgan’s first time as a homeowner, she comes from a long line of DIY-ers. “We find the fun in DIY. My dad likes to reinvent things and use them in a new way. The renovation was really a family affair.” Even her aunt, who works in interior design, helped get the house looking magazine-page perfect.
Finding inspiration wasn’t too difficult — Morgan had a clear vision of what she wanted. Visits to the ReStore also got the decorating wheels turning in her head. “I was especially inspired by the unique frames and light fixtures. I wish more people went to the ReStore — it’s great just to get ideas.” In fact, her favorite project was sprucing up a ReStore chandelier with a fresh coat of paint. The light fixture now hangs proudly in her entryway. “I love how everyone can see it through my front window when it’s lit up at night.” Morgan is such a fan of the ReStore model that while visiting her sister in Nebraska, she purchased another ReStore light fixture and lugged it all the way home to Illinois.
Her relationship with the ReStore runs deeper than simply being a loyal customer. During her home renovation, she donated all the existing items from her house that she was replacing — doorknobs, toilets, light fixtures, you name it. Once her house was complete, she even became an advocate when she hosted an Alpha Xi Delta alumni event to highlight the work the ReStore is doing in the Bloomington-Normal community by supporting Habitat for Humanity of McLean County.
While it might have been the discounted prices that first drew Morgan to the ReStore, it’s the mission that keeps her coming back. “Why would I go to a big box store when I can support local families while I shop? To give back to the community is the best part of shopping at the ReStore.” Sustainable shopping is also important to Morgan — she feels good knowing that she’s giving a second life to something that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
Her biggest advice for ReStore shoppers? Be consistent. "Frequency is the key. Some weekends you might not see anything, the next, the perfect item is sitting there waiting just for you. There are definitely treasures, you just have to look.”
Morgan furnished her home with all these items from the ReStore:
So tell us, how many — and what — ReStore items do you have in your home? Or if you’ve never visited the ReStore, what treasures are you hoping to find?
Interview by Ashlee Sang. Thank you to Morgan for opening up her home and sharing her story.