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Rebuilding Exchange was started by Elise Zelechowski in partnership with The Delta Institute to address the fact that the sprawling Chicagoland area has a lot of building materials ending up in the landfill that shouldn't be. What started as a 15,000 square-foot green construction supply warehouse in Brighton Park has over the course of two years evolved into a multifaceted company that now not only sells pre-loved wood planks but teaches furniture making classes and sells housewares made by 22 formerly incarcerated adults. The ReBuilding Exchange has become so successful that they made over one million dollars in sales in two years which has allowed them to move into a new larger warehouse space on at Ashland and Webster and will celebrate the move this Saturday by hosting a grand re-opening bash.
The new 30,000 square-foot warehouse showroom, will feature more of a retail space for the housewares such as mirrors, benches, tables that have been fabricated of oak, and cedar, 150-year-old Douglas fur. An expanded selection of antique doors, toilets, and lamps are also available in the new space. The majority of tables crafted by ex-inmates cost from $15 to $85 but some pieces, depending on quality of the wood and intricacy can be priced as high as $200.
These products, and the raw materials have grown in popularity by being utilized in restaurant interiors like The Southern, Longman and Eagle, and The Girl and The Goat, as well as at institution spaces like The Field Museum. As a result of this exponential growth, The ReBuilding Exchange has been taking more custom orders and small projects.
Saturday's christening event will take place from 6-10pm and feature the raucous punk-rock jazz band Black Bear Combo. All furniture and construction materials will be for sale and drinks are provided by Bell's Brewery, Half Acre and Candid Wines. Tickets are available on their website.
· The ReBuilding Exchange [Official Site]