Life On Its Own

Life On Its Own

During the Covid, I volunteered at a food pantry run by a non-profit organization called Hour Children, in the midst of big housing projects in Long Island City, Queens, New York. About one year later, I found an opening at their thrift shop.

It was not difficult to figure out that no one wanted to take the job. It only paid $15/hour, and required to receive 40 lb donation bags, sort out the donations, replenish merchandise as needed, and help customers who are mostly residents of the projects. 

Being a small Asian immigrant, I was wondering whether I could work in the tough neighborhood. The demographic was mainly black and hispanic, and I grew up in a totally different cultural area, Japan. But I didn’t have a job and needed money desperately.

With the help of my coworker, Eva, I was able to get a hang of it. The experience became one of my strong assets and a motivation to start Scrap Artisan.

This time I went back to the thrift shop to shoot this video. The place is as lively as it was, and still has plenty of good deals. This place definitely has a life of its own. 

Be aware that unlike many fashionable NYC thrifts, this one is not curated. It’s more like Salvation Army thrifts, but much cheaper. You need to invest your time, and have to have good eyes to pick good deals. But if you are looking for materials for your crafts, this is a great place to pick something.

12-10 30th Avenue
Long Island City, Queens
Monday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


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