Second Use recently signed a lease to move the business to a new location in SoDo. The property formerly served as the corporate headquarters for Alaska Copper and Brass. We don’t have a grand opening date to announce yet, there’s some construction that needs to happen first, and a whole lot of stuff to move, but we’ve set up a dedicated page on our web site, you can stay up to date with the progress and latest news. Additionally, we have an e-mail address, [email protected], to field any questions, concerns or ideas you’d like to share with us.

We did not begin this process with the goal to leave our South Park community, which has been our home for the past 15 years, but the fact of the matter is, no other property we previewed lined up as well for the future of Second Use. With this move, we will effectively be doubling the square footage of our current location, and radically improving our accessibility to customers and suppliers alike.

For me, the seeds of this move were planted (at least in my imagination) some years ago, when I was managing the break down and bug out of our auxiliary storage space that we rented from the Port of Seattle. Our lease was up with the Port, and as I was forklifting and trucking load after load of material from one offsite storage facility to the next, I started to fantasize about a bigger store, and a consolidated operation – Second Use under one roof. With one address…. Oh, and plenty of parking. That muse continued nagging, and growing and now, its promise is “Coming Soon.”

Another big driver motivating the idea to move was accessibility, or lack thereof. Our company’s mission statement starts: Second Use is committed to making salvage intuitive and accessible…” Accessibility, both conceptually and literally – geographically – had become a growing concern for us, as we operate one drawbridge away from being marooned on an island… at least from the north. If I had a dollar for every labor hour we’ve spent over the past 15 years talking in another hopelessly lost customer from the wilds of Marginal Ways, well…. you get the point. The charm wore off that tap dance long ago.

To further illustrate just how much inaccessibility is woven into the fabric of our identity, a few years back we held a staff contest to come up with a slogan for a Second Use bumper sticker. The winner was: “Hard To Find, Easy To Love.” (BTW, the runner up was, “My Salvaged Door Is Smarter Than Your Honor Student” – Brilliant! But I digress.) The point is, we are defined at least partially, by the geographic challenges inherent in finding us…! This is something we can, and will improve.

Second Use is a community-based business. Our success is directly related to the relationships we build, and maintain within the community. We do not have a vendor list, or dedicated supplier chain. There’s no number to call when the widgets are running thin. I don’t even think we have any widgets (but you could check back next week…). We have people and places, projects and stories. A growing tribe of like-minded folks, committed to salvage and reuse. We could not have come to this point without all of your support. Our friends, neighbors, customers, partners, suppliers and boosters who’ve helped shape the identity of the business, and been instrumental in defining our direction and strategy going forward.

We’re counting on all of you to come with us. In fact we’re saving seats on the truck for you, as we load up this salvage circus and push 3.6 miles north later this summer.

3223 6th Ave. S. in SoDo

That’s where we’ll be setting up shop for the next era of Second Use. Hopefully there, we’ll all meet some new friends, neighbors, partners and customers to join in, and help us create the new look of used.

Patrick Burningham
Co-owner of Second Use

Posted 5/2/2012