We are not alone!

Since getting more actively involved in FabMo’s Facebook postings I have spent and absurd amount of time on Facebook. I have joined a number of groups, because sometimes, I have to admit, inspiration does not strike and I - for the life of me - can’t think of anything to post. Enter those creative groups and their creative members that are (almost) always good for some tip, article, creative idea or meme.

One of the groups I joined is a worldwide one, though it seems to have started in Australia, given the number of posts from people living in places called Toowoomba, Wagga Wagga or Coongoola. It is a very active group and so, the other day, I couldn’t help myself, I had to inform the worldwide community of happy upcyclers that they are missing out - like majorly, because, we lucky people have FabMo for almost all our crafting needs.

I had to let them know that sentences about frequenting regular sewing and crafting supply stores among the FabMo crowd tend to start with “I can’t believe that I am saying this but the other day I had to go to [enter name of fabric chain store here], because I urgently needed a [enter name of some very infrequently used specialty item here].” The answer will inevitably be something like “Oh no, that’s terrible!”

I couldn’t help myself.

I should have just sat that urge to show off out, because “retaliation” was swift. The comment section was full of “Oh, I love the idea” , “I just wish we had something like that in Wagga Wagga.” and - most fatefully: “I live in Toowoomba, do you know of a similar place near by?”

Toowoomba looks quite pleasant, now if they only had a FabMo …

Toowoomba looks quite pleasant, now if they only had a FabMo …

Ehm, no, not really, because until ca. 20 seconds ago I was blissfully unaware of the fact that a place called Toowoomba even exists and that is despite at least 4 trips to Queensland. But they kept coming: how about Portland? Northern Virginia? Melton Mowbray (landed in the UK)? Cumbermauld (made it to Scotland)?

Still, no, no, no and no.

I had kicked off an avalanche and now I had to tame it. So I started a new thread asking people to provide names and addresses of all the places they know that have a similar mission as FabMo - keeping good stuff out of the landfill and making it available for creative reuse.

I thought I’d get maybe 5 replies, 10 if I am lucky and 15 being wildly optimistic which I tend to not be - being German and all, we don’t do wild optimism.

Boy, was I wrong. The thread exploded (at least by my standards) and after a day and a half I ended up with 37 places in the US and another 20 plus overseas which I haven’t even had the time to deal with. None in Toowoomba, so far, I am afraid to say, but Woolloongabba has one.

Are they all as fabulous as FabMo? I doubt it, some seem rather small mom-and-pop type outfits - but to be honest, that’s how FabMo started, sort of a Hannah-and-Jonathan type outfit.

What did I learned from all of this?

Firstly: we are not alone - there are others like us out there doing the good environmental protection plus creative reuse work.

Again, couldn’t help myself, this just called for a sci-fi themed picture

Again, couldn’t help myself, this just called for a sci-fi themed picture

Secondly, should I ever I end up in Woolloongabba I’ll have a place to go.

Thirdly, crowdsourcing is a powerful way of collecting information. I knew this - intellectually. Now I really know it.

Finally, this info needs to be shared, ‘cause I might never make it to Woolloongabba but one of you, dear readers, might.

So here is a link to a Google sheet with the US locations (international ones to come later). This is read only.

Here is another because it is entirely possible, likely even, that the Aussie-heavy group missed a few places in the US. If you know of one, this sheet can be edited - so edit.

I have been in business long enough and have spent enough quality time with lawyers to be just ever so slightly paranoid hence my disclaimer:

There is no guarantee that this info is correct. Please check the link and address of a store/organization before you set out on a road trip. I have done some checking but not comprehensive or exhaustive. Please, don’t buy a ticket to Woolloongabba before doing your own research.

And finally: if you ever make it to one of those places, please report back, some of us have vacations to plan!


GreenTina Baumgartner