IWE Success Stories
by Ben Kvigne, Area 3
Businesses that are starting up or relocating need furnishings and fixtures, and to buy new is often outside the budget. With the help of the Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE), things like desks, chairs, shelving, displays and other necessary fixtures can often be found at little or no cost.
When Bill and Nancy Black retired, they joined family members in opening Home Again, a furniture consignment store in Oelwein. They purchased a former Hallmark store at 24 S. Fredrick Street, and began renovating it. The Blacks contacted the Area 3 IWE Resource Specialist, Ben Kvigne, to help clear out the old fixtures, including Hallmark card racks and glass shelving.
On the IWE database, Kvigne found a need for shelving at a business in Decorah called The Game Exchange, which buys, rents, and sells used video gaming consoles, cartridges, controls, and other video game related equipment. The Hallmark card racks seemed to be ideal for video game cartridges, and Kvigne contacted Tim Borseth, one of the store owners. The call to The Game Exchange was perfect timing since they were moving into a new location which would need some good displays. Kvigne referred Borseth to the Blacks to make arrangements to view and possibly pick up the shelving. Borseth was pleased with the displays, and he and his son Rex filled their van and trailer with all they had room for.
They altered the displays to suit their business. Tim said, “We painted the card shelves black and they hold all the old cartridge games. I used the stand-alone shelves to hold my gaming consoles.” Their new store has a new name, Games XP, and is located at 118 East Water Street. Games XP also has a room for gamers to kick back, relax, and try out different games. Tim stated, “The shelves have enabled me to create a professional quality feel to a primarily second-hand game store. I love ‘em!”
While Games XP enjoys their new store furnished with attractive displays, Home Again benefits from the space created in their store as a result of Kvigne’s efforts. The products sold there include new and used, but primarily consist of repurposed or refurnished pieces done by very talented people whose work is of great quality. Nancy Black stated, “We are so thankful that we contacted Mr. Kvigne initially with our need. We worked diligently, exploring several avenues and making many contacts. It is a double blessing to have our necessary space and for the Borseths to have the fixtures they need for the new venture. We applaud the state of Iowa for their efforts to reduce waste and highly recommend that others contact Mr. Kvigne with their needs.”
So if you find yourself in the peaceful downtowns of Decorah or Oelwein, be encouraged to take time and enjoy the shopping. If you are looking for items to furnish your small business, office, or retail shop, please contact your area Iowa Waste Exchange, Resource Specialist.