Arts & Culture » Culture

Hamtramck junk store full of treasures

One man’s trash

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There is nothing pretty about Recycled Treasures, and once you leave the resale warehouse situated on Joseph Campau in Hamtramck, you're going to have a strong urge to spend at least 25 minutes washing your hands.

But don't let that put you off shopping at this nonprofit resale shop. There are some spectacular items on its shelves.

Recycled Treasures is a nonprofit resale shop that was founded in 2007 as a way to help low-income families get access to household items and furniture at dirt cheap prices. Since it opened, the board of directors that runs the shop has helped hundreds of families through their Emergency Furniture Program, the Give Away Program, and Beds For Kids Program. The 3,000-square-foot store is packed with dining room sets, rocking chairs, headboards, entertainment centers, couches, dishes, silverware, lamps, lighting fixtures, jewelry coffee mugs, clothing, books, luggage, shoes, decor, a ton of buttons, and a host of other items. All are marked with highly negotiable price tags, and they're often on sale for as much as 80 percent off the ticketed price.

We scooped up a large coffee mug, a Scotch plaid Aladdin thermos, a decorative oval mirror, and a small candle holder, and left without spending $10. A friend purchased a black leather backpack and a My Little Pony bag for her daughter, which came with a free stuffed animal. The staff was friendly and obliging.

Other items we spied included a floppy disk holder, a mountain of VHS tapes (priced competitively at 50 cents each), a broken turntable that could probably be fixed by able hands, a tufted leather computer chair, a fur-trimmed coat, and many other treasures.

The store seems oddly untouched by hipsters, which was really surprising given its hefty stock and ironic glassware, coffee mugs, clothing, and electronics. And perhaps that's due to its complete lack of all aesthetic appeal and slightly offending odor (something unavoidable in shops like this). We're hoping they don't catch on, either. We rather enjoyed perusing the shop for hidden treasures and cast-off goods without fending off enterprising bohemians.

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