An Earth Day birthday

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This weekend, Greenovation will host an event in celebration of both Earth Day and its 10-year anniversary.

Kimberly de Prez, the nonprofit’s executive director, took over company operations after years of volunteering for the store and refers to it as “a baby I never asked for, but could never live without.” 

De Prez is confident that the St. Paul Street store will someday be celebrating its 20th birthday too. There have been plenty of doubters along the way, she says, including her time with the Jobs Kitchen Accelerator program. 

“It was a wonderful experience with lots of these retired businessmen offering their help getting everything set up,” says de Prez, who had no prior business training and appreciates their help. “But I did also have multiple guys tell me, ‘You’re not going to succeed.’

“But guess what? We’re still here,” she says in a sing-song tone. “I think it’s because our goal is not to make money. Well, maybe enough money to pay the rent. But our real goal is to keep things out of the landfill.”

Beyond offering secondhand goods, Greenovation also promotes environmentally conscious initiatives, waste diversion, and education in an effort to strengthen local communities and reduce the amount going into landfills. Items are gathered from donations or local vendors who refinish or upcycle furniture, antiques, decor, collectibles, and art.

The nonprofit also exhibits its own particular flair with floor space, pairing sets to create vignette displays, showing the possibilities for a room.

A vignette display at Greenovation.
(Images: Greenovation)

“We tried lining them up, like all the sofas together, all the chairs together, like that, and it really didn’t look appealing to us,” de Prez says. “I like how we create little vignettes because it shows that things don’t have to be matching or from the same set to look good.”

Some of those vignette sets will have special discounts this weekend as part of the Earth Day Birthday event. Greenovation is offering sales, entertainment and refreshments.

“We’re going to have artists, musicians, a maple syrup vendor, a bagpiper, candle making, tie dye, tarot card readers, so many things,” de Prez says. “It’s a hodgepodge group of people because it’s everyone who loves Greeno and we’re a wide-ranging bunch. Everyone from the inner city to the affluent suburbs comes to Greeno.”

Greenovation’s Earth Day Birthday event begins today at 10 a.m. and will continue through the weekend.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.

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