IDEA store plans move to Lincoln Square

IDEA store plans move to Lincoln Square

URBANA — The retail branch of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation is ready to graduate.

The IDEA store, which launched in 2010, announced Wednesday that it will be moving to the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana later this year as it becomes an independent nonprofit.

"We decided together that the missions of the store and the schools foundation were drifting apart and both organizations would be better served by being separate from each other but offering each other continued support," said Jessy Ruddell, the store's manager. "The schools foundation is about excellence in public schools, and while the IDEA store was able to support that by offering low cost materials to teachers and families, the mission of the store has really always been about keeping stuff out of the landfill and using it creatively."

The store plans to move over the summer and open at the mall in the fall. It will remain open at 28 E. Springfield Ave, C., during the move.

The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation plans to remain at 28 E. Springfield Ave., at least for the time being.

"At this point, we'll remain here," said Kelly Hill, the foundation's executive director. "We're considering options of what might be the best fit for us. We don't need all the space. We're in the lower level, they're upstairs."

She's excited for the IDEA store's move.

"The IDEA store was initially created to provide some additional revenue to the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation, and it's grown and changed," Hill said. "It made sense. They're ready to follow their own mission."

Ruddell said the store will have more space in the mall and more foot traffic.

"Our lease is up at the end of this year, and while we did think about staying where we are, and we've had a great seven years here, the retail space where we are is just too small," she said. "Right now we have about two-thirds backroom and one-third retail. Moving to the new space will flip that ratio."

Hill said the IDEA store has been growing since it was started by Gail Rost and Carol Jo Morgan.

"It's grown steadily since its inception," she said. "We're the proud parent, and we're excited to see them spread their wings and fly."

The IDEA store sells reused school supplies and other materials to teachers, families and artists.

"I'd say our customer base represents a cross section of the community," Ruddell said. "Teachers and students of course, lots of families come in, there are artists who shop here regularly, and people who want to make improvements to their home or are just looking for school or office supplies."

It will be moving into the former Art Mart location at the Lincoln Square Mall.

Sections (3):News, Local, Business