This month, TBL celebrates our 25th anniversary: a quarter-century of “inspired collaboration.” Our friends, family and partners play an integral part in our world. For this, we are keenly aware of the importance of social interdependency – and the role it plays to allow us to produce our best and most thoughtful work.
As part of this milestone, our team knew we wanted to partner with My Friend’s Place (MFP) for a second time (see 2018’s project here). This Hollywood-based resource center knows the value of working together for a better outcome. MFP assists and inspires over 1,400 homeless youth per year to build self-sufficient lives – by providing day shelter, meals, showers, counseling and crisis intervention, life skills and employment programming, creative workshops and much more.
We were inspired to put our studio’s skills to use by re-designing their clothing “shop,” which gives clients the opportunity to choose needed apparel and also experience the act of shopping. The existing clothing and donation room lacked functional organization for the volume of visitors each day, and the brevity of their visits. We volunteered to devise a plan for a welcoming space that was efficient to restock and maintain.
As with our new home projects, we began with a site visit to better understand MFP’s needs and to measure the space. We were able to quickly determine our vision for the room once we realized the impact it made on their clients: to provide a true shopping experience and a safe and convenient space to navigate by staff and volunteers. With our goals clarified, we created a floor-plan to scale and a 3-D rendering of the proposed layout/organizational system. It illustrated the carefully chosen durable materials, separating masculine and feminine clothing by size, along with separate areas for accessories, shoes and specialty items. We also designed the system to be easily taken down and reinstalled in a new space if MFP were to ever change locations. Once we gained MFP’s approvals, the materials were ordered.
At 7 a.m. on installation day, the MFP staff and the TBL team were eager to bring the design into reality. Installing the hanging systems; assembling shelves, racks and bins; sorting clothing; and building the new security cabinet kept us busy, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm.
By 5 p.m., we were finished, and took a step back. What we created with MFP changes the experience of giving and getting badly needed clothing – today and for years to come.
We’re committed to delivering a lasting impact to this important cause. As we embark upon another year in the TBL story, we ask our friends and family to consider how you – perhaps with the collaboration of others – can impact lives, and our planet, for the better. And, with gratitude, we reflect on the 25 years of inspired collaboration thus far.