Discount art supply store, a ‘first’ of its kind in San Antonio, opens on North Side

Want to be more creative in 2021? Here’s where to get deeply discounted arts, craft supplies

SAN ANTONIO – A new type of thrift shop has opened in San Antonio.

The Center for Creative Reuse by the nonprofit Spare Parts, which features an array of used arts, crafts, fashion and office supplies, opened its doors in late 2020 on the North Side.

B. Kay Richter, who is on the Board of Directors for Spare Parts, told KSAT that it is “the first store of its kind to open” in the Alamo City.

And it’s at the perfect time, too, now that we’re somewhat “forced to stay home” during the pandemic, she said.

Richter said the store is comparable to other creative reuse stores in Austin, Seattle and Portland, in that they sell pre-owned and donated supplies for teachers, artists and other creatives while helping the environment.

“People start projects and maybe they just don’t have time to finish, or maybe they move on to something else,” she said. “People would normally throw these things away.”

Among the “crazy things that people donate” are supplies and knick-knacks that can be used for projects.

Supplies for sale include art books, coloring books, crafting supplies, old calendars, old magazines, old photos, art brushes, paint, glue, primer, canvases, crochet supplies and yarn.

Click through the gallery below to see some of the supplies you will expect to see for sale:

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The Center for Creative Reuse by the nonprofit Spare Parts is located at 13491 Wetmore Road. The brick-and-mortar store is open by appointment only on select days.

While the store does not take clothing like a regular thrift store, it does take buttons and fabric, as well as sewing supplies. Richter said someone even donated a watch.

Richter added there’s a “mini office supply section” with staplers, rulers, note cards, highlighters and other items for sale.

“Everything you can possibly think of,” she said, adding that items may sell fast.

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, the brick-and-mortar store is closed to the public but is open for VIP members on select days.

A $25 fee buys an annual VIP membership, which includes a 10% discount on purchases online and in-store for one year and access to schedule future shopping appointments.

VIP members can shop in the store for 30-minute private sessions.

The next VIP shopping experience is set for Jan. 16-17.

Customers can also shop online or on Instagram any day of the week, and pick up via curbside on Saturdays or Sundays.

Prices vary by item, Richter said, but some supplies are “dimes and nickels type of pricing.”

For more information on how to donate items, click here. The store does not accept bedding, clothing, flammable or hazardous materials or Styrofoam, among other items.

Richter said the store has been several months in the making, and it came to fruition after they toured a reuse center in Austin.

She said after they visited the store, they had “more of a grasp” on the importance for teachers and other creatives to have access to deeply discounted supplies.

“That’s when we thought, OK, we need to do this,” she said.

Spare Parts is located at 13491 Wetmore Road, near Thousand Oaks Drive.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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