Why Small Businesses Matter: Danbury Restore

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Danbury Restore!

Three questions with Diana Arfine, Manager of the Housatonic Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Danbury.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Habitat for Humanity ReStores traditionally sells new or gently used appliances, building materials, and home furnishings. We are fortunate to receive regular donations of new products from both local companies as well as national chain stores, which we then sell to our customers at discounted prices. We also rely on the generosity of our community, with donations of gently used items from private individuals. We now offer a free local pick-up option, which has resulted in even more community donations, providing us with an expanded and eclectic offering on our showroom floor. We depend on the generosity of our donors, and our sales change according to what is on the floor. However, furniture items and building supplies remain top sellers.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

The Danbury ReStore is a program of the local Housatonic Habitat for Humanity chapter, and both rely heavily on the time and talents of many local businesses and non-profit organizations. Volunteers from Ability Beyond, the National Charity League, Boy Scouts, and many others regularly help out at the store, restocking merchandise, reorganizing our showroom floor, and assisting customers with loading or unloading furniture. Others like Home Depot, Ring’s End, Clark Construction, Creative Bath, Lowe’s and more donate goods and services. Local contractors and landlords shop in our store in search of quality building materials – windows, doors, lighting fixtures – at very affordable prices.

Have you “reimagined” your small business?

When the Housatonic Habitat’s ReStore was briefly closed last spring due to the pandemic, our staff spent the time reimaging our space. We cleaned, painted, and reorganized. It was a herculean effort made possible by the efforts of our dedicated staff and loyal volunteers. When we reopened in July, it was true to a new look and a new feel in our store that first opened 10 years ago. What was once a simple warehouse has taken on more of a showroom feel, complete with high-end furniture, more home goods and accessories, and a dedicated “Contractors’ Corner,” featuring new or gently used windows, doors, tools, and appliances? While the building materials our customers have come to expect are still here, we have expanded into other areas. This change has led to a new clientele, with shoppers coming from as far away as Brooklyn, Dutchess County, and even Pennsylvania!

The Housatonic Habitat ReStore recently started a series of shopping events for our customers, including a Kitchen Expo in February which featured generous donations from a local cooking magazine’s test kitchen. The lines were out the door! We donated a portion of our profits from this sale to the Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare to help fight food insecurities in our community.

Upcoming events include a series of Earth Month Celebrations in April, starting with the Upcycle Challenge, where we invited local artisans to select an item from our ReStore to give it a makeover. The restyled pieces will be highlighted in our showroom (and social media) and then offered for sale on Saturday, April 24, with 100% of the proceeds going to Housatonic Habitat for Humanity. On May 1, we will host a workshop on how to create your own Pollinator Garden, along with the opportunity to get rid of old paperwork/files for a small donation during our Eco Shred Event. Then on Saturday, May 8 we will feature an Outdoor Living Expo with high-end outdoor furniture, grills, beach chairs, gardening items, and more!

All of the proceeds from ReStore sales go directly to fund Habitat’s affordable housing mission to put working families in their first homes throughout Fairfield and Litchfield counties.

Diana and her team would like to nominate Clark Construction to participate next!

Danbury Restore is located at 51 Austin Street in Danbury. To learn more on the ReStore and the Housatonic Habitat for Humanity go here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!


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