Kristen Harrower has made the quintessential reuse of retail space on Pierpont Avenue. Re-Find Goods is Utah’s first and only store that exclusively sells recycled, upcycled and repurposed merchandise.
Mindful shopping represents an aspect of shifting social attitudes. Grandma may have saved soap scraps with which to make new full-sized bars, but thrift was most likely the motivation. Today, easing the burden on the planet prompts many consumers’ choices, a sensibility that Kristen calls “conscious consumerism.” Whether or not you fully understand the differences among items labeled recycled, upcycled or repurposed, the bottom line is that materials otherwise destined for the landfill are used to make functional or decorative contrivances.
“It feels good when I see that there are other stores like this in other places in the country,” Kristen says.
Perusing the store’s merchandise is an opportunity to explore creativity. In some items the “cycled” original is apparent, but looking at, for example, the mixed-metal money clips, there’s an “aha” moment when you discover that they’re made from reworked percussion cymbals or the ingeniously constructed shoulder bags made from deployed automobile air bags. “I love it when people look at each thing and appreciate the materials,” Kristen says.
Kristen stocks jewelry fashioned from salvaged auto metal. Shiny movie film strips have been artfully crafted into gift bows. Held up to the light, you can try to make out the composition of individual frames. Cut-off ski tips serve as wall-mounted bottle openers.
The store’s overall theme has meaning for Kristen, too. Finding herself at a time in her life where she felt like she wanted to “give back,” Kristen identified a retail niche that was “different, new, fun, something I could grow with, and something I was passionate about.”
Kristen sells a wide range of merchandise. Home decor, jewelry, accessories, clothing and small furnishings both capture shoppers’ attention and stir imagination. “I have things available at every price point.”
Re-Find Goods is located at 329 S Pierpont Ave, SLC. Open Tues-Fr, 11am-6pm, Sat. 10am-5pm