From pop-up to landmark: This nonprofit seeks to provide ‘something unique to the region’

(left to right) Beth Romo and George Arbogust co-run the center with the help of many volunteers. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)
(left to right) Beth Romo and George Arbogust co-run the center with the help of many volunteers. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)

NORFOLK — A newly opened craft supply thrift store, 757 Creative ReUse Center, just recently moved into the space that used to host Mix Galleria.

Co-owners of the nonprofit, Beth Romo and George Arbogust, wanted to provide something unique to the region and found that a place for used art supplies would best serve the community.

“Our mission is to promote sustainability and environmental awareness in the arts,” Romo said, adding the store is a place for used and new art and craft supplies to be resold for a fraction of the price.

“There are about 50 stores across the country that are similar to this so it’s really not a brand new concept but it’s catching on,” Arbogust said.

Both Romo and Arbogust have dabbled in the world of arts in the past and in addition to running the store and they hope to bring affordable art classes to the community.

“We wanted to complement what was in the area, not compete,” Arbogust said.

The closest store of its kind is in Richmond, called Scrap RVA, and the Norfolk store has gotten overstock supplies from them as well as donations from individuals, Romo said.

They started out as a pop-up in the back of their current space which used to house Mix Galleria.

757 Creative ReUse Center used to be the location of Mix Galleria. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)
757 Creative ReUse Center used to be the location of Mix Galleria. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)

Once the owners of Mix Galleria moved on to a new space on Colley Avenue, 757 Creative ReUse Center took over the full space.

Romo and Arbogust have plans to partner with teachers and schools, running workshops on educatio– teaching the schools how to use arts and be sustainable at the same time, Romo said.

“This is a unique organization because we can hit on a lot of priorities in the region,” Arbogust said.

The two have also partnered with various community organizations such as the D’Art Center, Coast DIY Bar, Bearded Bird Brewery, Lynnhaven River NOW and the NEON District.

In addition to finding craft and art supplies, the two have a collection of small, eclectic pieces that no longer have a home by themselves but could be combined to make a unique project.

They have instrument parts from the now closed Brass Pawn Shop, tile samples, a box of combs and so much more.

The grand opening of the space will be on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1904 Granby St.

The center has a backyard area for outdoor-friendly crafting. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)
The center has a backyard area for outdoor-friendly crafting. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)

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