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Arc’s Value Village

College of Design Students, Alumni, and Friends Thrift for a Good Cause

By Anna

ARC Group Volunteer PhotoDesign Forward, Design Student and Alumni Board’s annual day of service, takes design students and professions out of the studio and into the community. A group of students, alumni, staff, and friends of the College of Design spent last Saturday morning sorting through donations, preparing items for the sales floor, and putting their design skills to work at Arc’s Value Village.

Ashley Ochiagha (Interior Design) sorted through buckets of jewelry on a team of six. They priced the pieces and created sets to increase the likelihood of sales. “Because the group was a mix of retail merchandising and interior design students and professionals, it was interesting to compare our perspectives. We were able to use our sense for fashion and style to appropriately combine different jewelry pieces,” she explained. They also put their business, efficiency, and time-management skills to work by creating an assembly line.

Sarah Kendzior (Retail Merchandising) was given the task of redesigning end cap displays to create more appealing product assortments. “I was able to apply knowledge from my retail merchandising and design classes such as creative problem solving and visual merchandising to create cohesive displays with limited items directly from the thrift store’s sales floor,” she said. “Watching customers being drawn to our displays and actually picking products directly off of them solidified the meaningfulness of the hard work that we had completed.”

Their work and the related proceeds will directly benefit The Arc Greater Twin Cities, serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The volunteers appreciated helping an efficient and effective organization. Arc staff put a dollar amount to the group’s work and introduced them to the individuals they were helping. “That helped us feel a sense of accomplishment in how we spent our time,” explained one volunteer. And in addition to feeling good, everyone had a blast. “I loved the camaraderie and the energy of the group,” another volunteer said. “We all loved the results of our work. Time flew by and we all had a great time. I would love to do it again!”

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