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Like many local small businesses, the Price Center has been hit hard by its COVID-forced closure since mid-March. The inability to rent venues and host public art and cultural activities has threatened the Center’s financial stability and forced the facility to look at alternative ways to remain present, viable, and productive. As a result, the fundraising effort to offset losses and help the facility shed some of its older and unused furniture and belongings that began in June has grown into a new, fulltime resale shop operation now called SHOP 1893. The unique store sits in the historic 1893 Chapel and is now open daily for browsing, shopping, and/or dropping off donated items for the Center to resell.

The two-story, 127-year-old chapel provides a stunning backdrop for the eclectic shop which features a wide variety of items ranging from small furniture to household goods, home decorating items and hardware to architectural salvage, original art, upcycled goods, collectibles and more! 100% of sales proceeds from donated items go to the Center, and a few additional hand-picked vendors help flesh out the retail shopping experience and generate additional rental and sales commission income for the Center.

“You might say we’ve made lemonade from lemons, said Clay DeStefano executive director. “Between our daily shoppers and several donors each week, the shop has proved to meet several needs,” he added. “From providing a social connection, entertainment, and some very special goods at great prices, to providing a worthy cause to donate your unwanted items, to generating real funds to support the Center’s operations, the SHOP is truly performing on multiple levels.”

The resale idea is not new to the Center; items have been for sale at the monthly San Mercado community market for several years now. An effort to recruit more donations beginning last fall helped expand the variety and collection of items for sale. The COVID closure provided the perfect opportunity to retool and expand the concept into an ongoing activity.

SHOP 1893 is currently open Mon., Wed., & Fri., 10 - 3 and Tues., & Thurs. noon – 3, and every second Saturday (during San Mercado) from 9-2. With the limited re-opening of Bowerbird and Twice Blessed resale shops – both located less than half a block away – shoppers can make a mini excursion of their visit by hitting all three shops!

The SHOP is not the only change at the Center to come about because of the crisis. The Center’s Board of Directors and Arts Committee took on the task of renovating the first floor gallery venues with a fresh paint job and new flooring to replace the carpet that has adorned the main floor of the facility since the early 2000s. The Arts Committee members and few extra dedicated volunteers took on the gargantuan painting job and a fundraising campaign initiated at the beginning of summer helped raised enough funds to replace the flooring.

The Center is planning to re-open for private events and more of their own offerings beginning Mon, Nov. 2. For more information, please call 512-392-2900, stop by the Center at 222 W. San Antonio St., or visit or Facebook @ Price Center & Garden.


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