It all started one day last January when my wife phoned me at TRP’s Los Angeles store. Wendy had been on a popular Los Angeles blog and learned that readers were up in arms about the demolition of the beloved author Ray Bradbury’s home. She wanted to know if it was one of our jobs. It was.

Thus began a creative journey that in August came full circle.

The ReUse People Specials

Most readers are probably familiar with the power of eminent domain. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives government the right to take private property for public or civic use, provided the owner is justly compensated. Without eminent domain we wouldn't have highways, railways and many public buildings.

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"Build it and they will come." For the past 20 years, that has been my reply when asked if a retail warehouse for used building materials has any chance of succeeding in the inquirer's geographical area.

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Something Special This Way Comes…

Now available for purchase and immediate shipping: 451 Ray Bradbury Bookend Sets made from Douglas fir salvaged during the recent deconstruction of Ray Bradbury's 1930s-era Los Angeles home.

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

When an item is worth reusing, it's often worth reusing again. And again. Furniture is handed down from one generation to the next. Clothing is passed through the sibling ranks. Books make the rounds among reading friends. And valuable antiques typically outlive multiple collectors, appreciating in value as they age.

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

The biggest challenge in running a retail establishment for salvaged building materials is not attracting customers, or pricing merchandise, or staying competitive. And it doesn't have much to do with storage, display or making used materials look attractive. Although all of these things are important, the biggest challenge is simply obtaining sufficient inventory.

While this may not be true of reuse stores selling furniture or high-end architectural pieces, it is almost always true for stores and warehouses, such as TRP, whose mission is to keep reusable materials out of overburdened landfills by reclaiming and returning to the market as much of it as possible.

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

You've heard of promotional teasers-those advance tidbits about upcoming movies, TV shows and hot new products. They're intended to start a drumroll, whet appetites, build anticipation, bring people to the edge of their seats.

Well, that's what this month's post is — a teaser. I'll even tell you what it's for — bookends.

The ReUse People SpecialsI remember when the arrival of spring triggered a sweeping (no pun intended), top–to–bottom housecleaning. In many places, it still does. However, these days many of us must regularly assess and renew not only our physical space, but our online presence as well. Just like houses, websites get messy and gradually lose their effectiveness.

At TRP, we increasingly rely on our website to connect with, inform and persuade the public regarding the benefits of building–materials salvage and reuse. So, this spring we plan to take a careful look at how the TRP website is working and make some needed changes.

By Ted Reiff

Another successful National Reuse Contest has come to a close. Hundreds of entries were submitted to participating stores. Each store selected local winners and forwarded those to The ReUse People for final judging. National winners were chosen in late December.

The complexity and uniqueness of projects increased again this year, in keeping with a trend that has been building since the contest’s inception.

The ReUse People SpecialsTRP began 2014 in a decidedly lackluster manner. The slump could be felt in every aspect of the business and, quite frankly, I was concerned. Happily (and largely inexplicably), the outlook began to change in early July. In the final analysis, TRP's 21st year proved to be the most successful in the company's history.

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