BY BRIANNA RHODES — Dumpster Diva Sue Mondeel is bringing upcycling to the Arts District in Hyattsville for the holidays.
Mondeel, the owner of Tanglewood Works in Edmonston, recently opened a Tanglewood Works pop-up shop on Route 1, across the street from Franklin’s Restaurant.
Mondeel hosted the grand opening of the shop on Sunday, Nov. 6, for visitors to check out the store.
Customers are able to shop for a variety of upcycled items such as furniture, art, jewelry, home décor, paint, architectural salvage, and clothing.
“We’re about everything that can be reused, recycled and upcycled,” Mondeel said. “You’ll find everything here: journals, cards, gifts, anything you can think of. Our focus is upcycling. That’s our means and the result is a very wide variety of products and prices to choose from.”
Mondeel explained that upcycling is creating and reinventing a piece to give it a greater value.
“Recycling is just using something, melting it down and using it again,” Mondeel said. “Reusing is not even changing its form; it’s just using a bottle as a bottle. Upcycling is taking that piece and elevating it through art. There are a lot of different terms for upcycling, but basically the people in my business, that’s how we see it. We’re taking something and we’re not just reusing it in its current purpose. We’re bringing it to a higher level of interest of beauty, and of use.”
Mondeel decided to open up the pop-up shop on Route 1 to gain more visibility for Tanglewood Works.
“I’ve been searching for ways to promote our business in Hyattsville and I noticed an empty building and I asked the landlord if I could put in a window display,” Mondeel said. “From that negotiation we were able to create an entire pop-up shop.”
Mondeel said she wanted to open up a retail shop in the Arts District where people could shop on a daily basis and also to create a community space to connect artists, artisans, and residents. She said she also wanted to create a space where people could gather, sit on the couches, and talk strategies to discuss the development of Hyattsville.
“While we were at Tanglewood Works in Edmonston, we were often asked where to go in Hyattsville for the Arts District and I didn’t know where to send them,” Mondeel said. “Because, well, there’s a tremendous amount of art and there’s a lot of art energy, but given a regular Thursday afternoon, where would I send them? There was no ‘there,’ there. There was no destination there of a retail space open during regular business hours, open to the public selling art for artists in Hyattsville and I saw a void and I wanted to fill it.”
Justin Fair, the Economic Development Coordinator for Hyattsville Community Development Corp, said he believes that the Tanglewood Works pop-up shop has a lot to offer to the Arts District and the city of Hyattsville.
“She [Sue] has been active in the Arts District, engaging in helping people’s homes and providing a stable business resource for the community and driving a real stable example of delivering artisan works to residents and to area stakeholders in a way that because she works in retail is a very welcome creative force for the city,” Fair said.
“She is choosing to locate on that corridor in a space that is heavily trafficked across from Franklin’s to the post office to Pyramid Atlantic. She’s recognizing the opportunity for an eye-catching appeal. It’s a very notable corner and I think that you can’t just have anyone there, Fair said. “It requires something innovative and I think that it’s great that she is doing this for the holiday season.”
The pop-up shop will be open until New Year’s and the current hours will be Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. But, Mondeel said she is looking to extend hours. Customers can check the website for updates. The shop also has the potential to stay permanently.
“We have been invited by the landlord and our neighbors to continue as a permanent business here in Hyattsville and we’re strongly considering that,” Mondeel said. “It’s highly dependent on the patronage of our city and the support of local artisans. So if we feel like people really are benefiting from our store, and supporting our store, and patronizing our store, we will absolutely do our very best to continue on permanently in this location.”