Adam visits Tinkertopia, Tacoma’s creative reuse center and supply store for artists and crafty types.

I visited R.R. Anderson & Ms. Darcy’s awesome arts & crafts venture, Tinkertopia, and I was floored by what I found. If you live in or near Tacoma, you should check it out! If you’re a far away type, maybe you should start something like this in your area?



ADAM: Hello, Earthlings! You’re watching Adam the Alien. Today is October 17th, 2013, and I’m at TINKERTOPIA!


R.R. ANDERSON: Welcome to TinkerSPOOKIA!

ADAM: As part of my visit to Tacoma, I decided to come see R.R. Anderson’s brand new excellent storefront thingie, Tinkertopia, and it is amazing! I’m having absolute blast in here. It’s like kid in a candy store stuff. In fact, there was a kid in the…toy store…candy store…I’m losing track of what I’m saying. Anyway, but here it is!

RR: Hi! Welcome to Tinkertopia! The creative reuse center and alternative arts and crafts supply store! I’m R.R. Anderson, Creative Reuse Specialist and Deputy of the Tinker Patrol.

DARCY ANDERSON: I’m Ms. Darcy, and I am Creative Reuse Specialist here at Tinkertopia!

RR: This is Tinkertopia!

DARCY: Tinkertopia is a place of inspiration, and upcycle creative reuse.

RR: We’re a creative reuse center.

DARCY: Odds and ends of random stuff that we’ve collected and scavenged and received donations.

RR: All of our materials are salvaged or donated and prevented from entering the waste stream. And we offer them in bulk as alternative arts and crafts supplies at a discount.

DARCY: So that we can give people ideas of what they can do instead of just throwing things away.

RR: Most of the stuff we sell by the bulk bag. You can select from three different bag sizes: small, large, or humongous! Some of the more rare vintage things we’ll individually mark. And you just wander around the store, filling up your bag full of alternative arts and crafts supplies.

ADAM: What are we doing here?

RR: We’re going to enhance this lifeless fire hydrant. Gonna breathe life into it. ‘Scuse me.

Thus, we have personified a fire plug and bring life to a lifeless object. We are gods!

DARCY: Both my husband and I, R.R. Anderson and myself, are artists, and I have a background in early childhood education. So, growing up with teachers and people that try to reuse things and give kids an opportunity to use things in ways to stretch their imagination. For example:a cork. What could a cork be? What could a milk cap become?

So there’s this kind of…expanding the imagination, when it comes to just an ordinary thing that could have been thrown out. And so that was a lot of inspiration behind it: just being an artist, wanting to reuse things creatively, and also giving children an opportunity to think beyond it’s normal purpose.

So we decided that we were at that point where it was time to do something that inspired both of us, and here came the store.

RR: In Tacoma, we have an amazing program called Spaceworks Tacoma. They are a program that fills empty storefronts with crazy, artsy, hippie business ideas that normally wouldn’t get the time of day from, like, a square landlord.

The university donated this empty storefront, which was, like, a nasty sandwich shop that’s been empty for quite some time. So they donated it to the Arts Commission, and then the Arts Commission selected, from a stack of applications, our project: Tinkertopia.

We got in here and set everything up and we have the space for six months to try and work out our business ideas, business model, adjust prices, and make a go of it! Make a sustainable business.

ADAM: So, if you are in Tacoma or anywhere near it or ever visit it, come to Tinkertopia! There will be a link in the doobly-doo to where you can find Tinkertopia’s website and more!

Until next time, I’m Adam the Alien. Fare thee well!

Writer. Actor. Director. Chalk artist. YouTuber. Nerdfighter. Traveler. Pansexual. Genderfluid. Millennial. Socialist. Living a complex life beyond those words.

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