Inspiring Business Series: Trashed, A Creative Recycling Studio

This is the first installment in a new series of blog posts that I will be writing oriented toward inspiring and innovative businesses.  The main requirements for coverage via this series are that the business must be inspiring and innovative in some way and that it must provide some positive benefit to the community that it serves.

The first business I want to highlight is Trashed, A Creative Recycling Studio located in the

A sample Trashed Studio Recycled Art Project

Photo Courtesy of the Trashed Studio Blog

heart of downtown Concord, NC.

Vital details:

Business Name:  Trashed, A Creative Recycling Studio

Location:  38 Union St. South – Suite 204, Concord, NC  28027 (upstairs)

Phone Number: 704-791-7441


Business Owner’s name:  Jessica Garmon

I have an affinity for historic downtowns.  In most southern towns there is an old downtown area full of buildings usually dating back to the early to mid 1900s.  These downtowns were once the bustling center of action but were almost made extinct when shopping malls and strip centers began to flourish in the 1970s and 1980s.  The good news is that many of these old downtown areas have rebounded or at least are trying to.  The town where I live, Concord, NC is an example.  So when I walk down Union Street (the heart of downtown Concord) I really admire the businesses and their owners for revitalizing this quaint part of what is now my hometown.

I was tuned into this admiration one day last fall when my 10-year-old daughter, Kira, and I were walking down Union St.  As we were window shopping a small group of kids along with their parents exited onto the sidewalk in front of us through a door that we normally would have missed.  The kids were carrying what appeared to be art projects of some sort.  That is when we saw the sign on the sidewalk in front of the door that read Trashed, A Creative Recycling Studio.  Our interest was piqued.  Later that day I found the Trashed website and also “liked” Trashed on Facebook.  While I knew I liked the sound of Trashed I wanted to really get the vibe of the business.  In March our whole family visited Trashed during a downtown arts festival and really liked what we saw.  At that point, I knew I wanted to write about Trashed on StevesThinkingSpace and from there the Inspiring Business Series was born.

Trashed is exactly what the name describes.  It is a creative recycling studio.  Something like an art studio that specializes in helping people make art from items that would have otherwise ended up in the trash.  I was able to meet with Jessica Garmon at Trashed Studio on Monday, May 21.  My mission was to get a bigger, more overall feel for the business.  What I found is that Jessica really walks the walk of recycling.  Everything about

Image Courtesy of the Trashed Studio Facebook Page

Trashed is recycled.  All the furniture was salvaged from curbsides or from the dump and then refurbished.  The workbenches are made from old wooden crates.  The building itself, being an old downtown building, is enjoying the new life being pumped into it by this unique and vibrant business.  I mean, WOW, even the paint on the walls (a great color of green) was slated to be thrown out at a local hardware store because someone had returned it after having it custom mixed.

Trashed opened most appropriately on Earth Day, 2011.  It is the creation of its owner, Jessica Garmon, who has a degree in interior design but also always had a passion for finding new ways to use things.  Like so many entrepreneurs, Jessica had this nagging feeling for years that there was something more she could do.  Something that would allow her to use her creative design skills while also incorporating her desire to help people learn to become less wasteful.  Slowly, the idea of Trashed Studio began to take shape until on New Years Day, 2011 she told her husband that when it came to making Trashed a reality that “she couldn’t not do this.”   She further explained that, “my soul will not let me turn away from this.”  (authors note:  I was thrilled when I heard Jessica say this because that is the exact same feeling I have about my writing).  She knew everything was not exactly lined up perfectly for her to start Trashed (example – the upstairs loft location) but she also realized that it was something she had to do and now was the time to take action.  She took the leap of faith with a strong feeling that Trashed would grow and would change organically as the business took itself where it needed to go.  And so just a few short months later Trashed was born on April 22, 2011 (Earth Day).

Photo courtesy of the Trashed Studio Blog

Trashed is located in a quaint upstairs studio with windows facing Union Street below.  Jessica’s interior design background is evident as soon as you walk in the door.  The decor, the colors, the whole feel of the space all combine to bring out your creative energy while simultaneously making you feel comfortable and at home.   Jessica hosts regularly scheduled classes like the Girls Night Out (focused around a specific theme) and the Literbugs group for elementary school aged kids.  Birthday parties and corporate events can also be scheduled by appointment (she hosted six birthday parties the week prior to our meeting) and this summer she is offering two summer camps at Trashed – one for elementary school aged children and one for middle schoolers.

All parties, classes, and get togethers have the theme of making art from what would traditionally be considered trash.  Jessica’s goal is to help people look at everything differently.  To give them a place where they can express their creativity.  To help people be less wasteful while having fun at the same time.   She hopes that experiences at Trashed will help inspire people to explore and trust their creative side.  After taking a class at Trashed, one of Jessica’s recent clients actually was inspired to pursue further art education so that she could incorporate more art into her own business!

Jessica is a firm believer that everyone is creative and she loves helping people find their creative abilities.  She finds that at least 50% of the people who take a class or attend a party at Trashed claim from the start that they are not creative and she loves seeing how full of joy and pride they all are in what they have created by the time they leave.

If you are looking for a fun, creative, and innovative experience for you, a group of friends, or for someone who you love, I definitely recommend that you give Jessica at Trashed a call.  She will get you started on a combination art and recycling project and she will help you look at everything with a new degree of life.

***Many people in the community help Jessica out by donating items that they no longer need to Trashed for future project use.  Items of need include such things as buttons, t-shirts, men’s ties, yarn just to name a few.  For a more complete list of donation ideas check out the Trashed Donations Page.


Steve Strother

About Steve Strother

I am a student of life and therefore I am a lifelong learner. I believe we are all here to evolve spiritually and doing so, and helping others do so, is my ultimate quest. I currently write at The Road to Peace about people helping other people because I believe helping others is a path to peace and also spiritual growth. I am currently developing a coaching program to help men connect to joy in life - specifically through understanding the the characteristics they exhibit (and can access) through the four main masculine archetypes as well as through helping them connect more authentically to the feminine - both within themselves, in the world around them, and with women.
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6 Responses to Inspiring Business Series: Trashed, A Creative Recycling Studio

  1. sherry says:

    Wishing Jessica well! What a great idea…my hope is that Trashed flourishes! I will definitely check it out next time I’m in downtown Concord.

    • It is a great idea and I think Trashed is doing well. You will want to either call Jessica in advance to set-up a time to meet or go at a time when Trashed is open during a downtown event. I suggest signing up for the Trashed email newsletter (which you can access from the website) in order to stay informed about Trashed events.


  2. Dena Harris says:

    I love the name “Trashed.” Great blog and blog idea. Informative and inspiring.

    • Thank you Dena! It means a lot to hear that from someone who writes for a living! I really like the name “Trashed” as well. It is obvious that Jessica put a lot of thought into her business plan. Everything from the name of the business, to the interior design of the studio and how it all ties back to repurposing and recycling, the Trashed website, the classes she offers, etc. Thank you for visiting Steve’s Thinking Space and for your words of encouragement!


  3. We need more places like this, with the schools cutting so many art programs kids need to keep in touch with their creative sides and not be afraid to work with their hands and make mistakes. I know by experience in working with kids and adults and seeing their hesitancy in creating from nothing. I own Future Fashion Designers in downtown Mooresville where we teach students to sew and sketch fashion designs. Sewing has seemed to skip a few generations and along with it creativity and building things. I just discovered Trashed through Living Social and am so excited to attend the Thursday night event, problem is 2 hours won’t be enough!

    • Thank you for visiting my blog Shawnelle and for commenting on my post about Trashed. It really is a great place. I hope that you enjoyed your visit there on Thursday night!! Jessica has great energy and is so committed to helping people learn to creatively recycle and repurpose. I like the sound of your business as well!! I look forward to learning more about it by visiting your web site! Have a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


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