City Speak | New nonprofit opens home furnishings retail outlet that teaches youthful folks in foster program get the job done, lifetime abilities | Information, Sports, Positions



photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-Globe


Addison Shockley, founder and CEO of Prepared for Superior Co., talks about the store’s products and the nonprofit’s mission on Friday, April 22, 2022.


Forrest Gump can spout all he wishes about life remaining “like a box of sweets,” but a new Lawrence nonprofit thinks a box of unassembled household furniture might be far more apt.

In a smaller warehouse in North Lawrence, a group of about 10 “transitional youth” — young ones usually 16 to 24 decades outdated who have been or are in the foster treatment process or the juvenile justice method — await a truck to pull up to the overhead door.

In it is overstocked, weakened or returned home furnishings goods — all in pieces. Placing them all back again jointly is the two a enterprise enterprise and a existence lesson for these who are aspect of the new nonprofit Completely ready for Good Co.

“Most of the time, it will come with an allen wrench and directions,” stated Addison Shockley, founder and CEO of Prepared for Very good Co.

Subsequent guidelines is just one everyday living lesson. Typically, the household furniture is destroyed a bit, necessitating the young people today to learn some basic carpentry or mechanical competencies to resolve the merchandise. The will need to master new expertise is another everyday living lesson.

And then, there is economics. The nonprofit sells the things each as a result of an on the internet shop and an in-human being retail place that it operates at the warehouse, 1410 N. 3rd St. That involves pricing the product, composing a description for its on the internet listing, getting photos, and employing know-how to get the item posted and promoted on the web.

As for the in-man or woman retail procedure, there is a great deal to understand about hard cash-handling and customer provider.

All of that from opening up a box of unassembled household furniture.

“There’s a ton of opportunity to get a variety of competencies,” Shockley mentioned.

photograph by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-Globe

Addison Shockley, founder of All set for Great Co., walks earlier packing containers of home furniture that await assembly by the youth the nonprofit serves.

The youthful folks also get dollars. The nonprofit pays them $8 an hour for their get the job done, Shockley stated. When the revenue is vital, Shockley explained the competencies are additional significant. But there very likely is another aspect to the procedure which is even a lot more vital than the expertise the youth discover. It is the associations they variety.

Shockley worked for five yrs delivering situation coordination at O’Connell Youth Ranch, a Lawrence-based mostly nonprofit that functions with youth in the foster treatment method. It was a tricky task, evidenced by the substantial turnover fees between staff members users there and in other social assistance businesses.

Such turnover creates all varieties of operational concerns for an organization like that, but it also results in a real issue in the life of the youth.

“A real hurdle for them is not owning a dependable connection in their life,” Shockley said.

Shockley commenced pondering that an organization like Prepared for Very good Co. could present that form of partnership. The thought is that the corporation wouldn’t check out to do every little thing that a put like O’Connell need to do. The ranch is liable for delivering housing, food stuff, security, training and so a lot of other factors for the youth, which can make the undertaking mind-boggling for all people included, Shockley reported.

“Part of the emphasis in building Prepared for Fantastic Co. was let us just get a chunk out of the pie and consider to educate them position abilities and psychological competencies,” Shockley reported.

That is what the organization has been performing due to the fact it acquired its 1st truckload of furniture in early April. Now the nonprofit is spreading the word about how the public can turn into included, which is mainly by being shoppers.

Now immediately after just one truckload, the store has a great total of merchandise, ranging from outside household furniture to sofas to chairs to floor lamps and really a little bit far more. Offered that the goods is overstock or returned objects, the store’s small business model is to provide the objects at a significant discounted as opposed to the suggested retail price tag.

“The notion is that the selling prices will be genuinely very affordable and the stuff will be genuinely nice,” Shockley mentioned.

picture by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-Earth

Completely ready for Fantastic Co. in North Lawrence sells a assortment of furniture, which includes both indoor and out of doors household furniture.

The proceeds go to fork out the youth and to fund the other operations of the nonprofit, which will consist of some class work and seminars.

“One of the bread-and-butter components of our program will be to present them classes on how to build a résumé and how to job interview for a task,” Shockley stated.

The in-person retail keep is open up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday by means of Saturday at 1410 N. 3rd St. If you are owning a tough time picturing the spot, it is north of the Kansas Turnpike. You’ve perhaps observed a sign for Paul Davis Restoration. The retail store is in that complex of retailers and warehouses.

The on the net retail store operates at

When Shockley stated he’s absolutely in the household furniture small business for the fantastic it can do for the youth, he also reported he thinks the retail store will fulfill an significant require for very affordable home furniture in Lawrence. He appreciates that is a business enterprise that can be productive since he watched his mothers and fathers, and now his brother, operate a furnishings retail outlet in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

It was while shelling out time in that home furniture retail outlet — which sells some overstock merchandise but doesn’t have the youth ingredient to it — that the idea for a new furniture-based nonprofit struck Shockley.

So significantly, the idea has not dissatisfied him. The youth are mastering, and the packing containers retain coming. The store’s next semi-load came a short while ago, and the packing containers await opening in a storage location. Shockley reported most of the shipments include things like some non-home furnishings items that the shop puts in a distinctive miscellaneous corner. The very first cargo, for instance, involved a children’s boxing bag established.

“It keeps it exciting since every single time anyone will come in, they can hope to discover a ton of home furnishings and some exciting, random stuff,” he said.

Or, as some goofball philosopher the moment explained, “you never ever know what you are heading to get.”

image by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-Entire world

Ready for Superior Co. is located in little warehouse space in North Lawrence at 1410 North Third Avenue.


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