When undertaking refurbishment projects, one concern is always quick to present itself: What can be done with the leftover, decommissioned furniture? With a waste crisis currently sweeping the globe, there has never been a higher demand for alternative solutions that benefit both people and the planet alike. Enter Furniture Reuse Solutions, a women-led collective that aims to leverage its solutions and connections to empower disadvantaged communities across the world. Spearheaded by its Founder and CEO, Megan Draper, Furniture Reuse Solutions has brought a new meaning to sustainability and social responsibility.
Specializing in the art of repurposing furniture left behind following decommissioning projects, Furniture Reuse Solutions is a consulting firm that has already made its presence known throughout the United States and various other nations alike. With connections spanning from nonprofit to humanitarian organizations, the collective has managed to accumulate a vast reach that, to this day, continues to touch the lives of many communities across the globe. Despite only having three years under its belt, Furniture Reuse Solutions is consistently demonstrating an excellence beyond its years, resulting in a firm that has transcended the constraints of distance, age, and background to improve the lives of all who collaborate alongside it.
However, if one were to attribute the firm’s rapid success to anything, it would be to the decade of industry experience held by Founder and CEO, Megan Draper. Before launching Furniture Reuse Solutions in 2020, Megan had spent much of her life deeply immersed in the art of helping others. Initially raised in a small town in New England, Megan made the move to California in 2016, equipped with a unique perspective that gave her the boost she needed. After all, Megan had gone above and beyond throughout her career, resulting in her finding herself working in every corner of the US. Due to her on-hand experience and seasoned background, it was only natural for the creation of a firm such as Furniture Reuse Solutions to become the next logical step.
Megan Draper truly is a fascinating individual, possessing attitudes and ideals that completely transcend simply wanting to help. When presented with the choice to step away from committing to a plan that could ultimately spell disaster, Megan recognized the potential she held, should it not flourish in the way she’d hoped. She understood that, if she didn’t take the step, the chances of someone else doing so were incredibly slim. Megan had the necessary talents to reshape the world, and expressed how, when speaking with her peers about the possibility of founding Furniture Reuse Solutions, “We can’t just walk away from this.” It takes a great mind to identify one’s own capabilities, but it takes further dedication to commit these capabilities to a cause greater than any one person. Megan is one such person – someone who knew that she had something special and decreed to do something truly meaningful with the talents she had amassed.
Although, to truly understand Furniture Reuse Solutions’ impact under Megan’s careful guidance, we believe it essential to delve into some case studies. Available on the firm’s website, these case studies represent the best of the collective. Most notable is its partnership with San Diego State University in the summer of 2022. As an entity wholly committed to sustainability, when San Diego State University’s Chapultepec Hall underwent a complete refurbishment overhaul, it sought out a means to manage the surplus of decommissioned furniture. The answer was, naturally, Furniture Reuse Solutions, who was contacted to help divert almost 3,000 surplus items from the university’s dormitories away from landfills.
Taking the inventory into account was no straightforward feat. As expressed within the case study for San Diego State University, the resale value of dormitory furniture is practically indiscernible, and the disposal costs that partner such a staggering inventory are incredibly high. In addition, recycling the furniture is also a challenge, resulting in limited avenues for the university. It’s for this very reason that Furniture Reuse Solutions was contacted – the firm was already renowned throughout the local area, with word of mouth consistently praising it for its straightforward, charitable solutions. Though the volume was huge, the project soon found resolution using charitable reuse, wherein Furniture Reuse Solutions matched the inventory with nonprofit organisations within and outside the US.
The result exemplifies everything that Furniture Reuse Solutions, and Megan, stands for – the university generated 2,925 furniture items for reuse, ranging from bed frames and mattresses to dressers, chairs, and cabinets. By enlisting the assistance of Furniture Reuse Solutions, San Diego State University successfully managed to avoid producing 100 tonnes of landfill waste. In turn, this resulted in massive cost savings, while simultaneously maximizing the positive social impact of the team. Furniture Reuse Solutions’ team ensured these items went to domestic nonprofits for community and thrift store distributions, including shipments that found their homes worldwide – in Africa and the Caribbean.
This very outcome is just one manifestation of Megan’s ultimate dream for Furniture Reuse Solutions. Thanks to her eye for identifying who would benefit the most from the unneeded assets of others, she was able to lend a helping hand to every type of individual. Furniture Reuse Solutions fostered hope in ways that these people may have never expected, from those struggling with monetary challenges to schools and refugee aid programs. In particular, the San Diego State University project ended up increasing fundraising for affordable housing throughout California, Kansas, and Missouri, distributing furniture to disadvantaged communities in Oklahoma, providing for trade school student housing in Swaziland and the Dominican Republic, enhancing fundraising for addiction recovery programs in Lebanon, and assisting refugee aid in Spokane.
Furthermore, from May 30th to July 21st, 2023, classroom furniture was decommissioned from 20 schools in a northern California school district, meaning Furniture Reuse Solutions had a big job ahead of it. Furniture Reuse Solutions sent 36 shipments to charities and non-profit organizations across 12 countries for those eight weeks, working alongside the installation team in the intense summer heat.
This sustainable solution presented by VIRCO ensured that the school district could uphold its sustainability goals, which resulted in positive outcomes for the community and, of course, the environment.
Furniture Reuse Solutions has shipped a wide range of unique items, from Tripp Lites to recycling barrels and, more recently, sizeable folding cafeteria tables. Having already repurposed over 24,722 items across the Long Beach Unified School District alone with more still to ship, Furniture Reuse Solutions has been able to divert well over 290 tons of items and materials from landfills. Before the end of 2023, the business even found a charity able to use linens from UC Santa Barbara – demonstrating its commitment to the environment.
Thinking outside the box and finding new uses for everyday items is a unique challenge and talent. Overall, the team at Furniture Reuse Solutions has assisted in moving over 6,000 shipments, which is no small task!
Further expanding on the aid that Furniture Reuse Solutions has provided, the Jordanian Refugee School Furniture Aid case study exemplifies Megan’s determination to spread her firm’s kindness beyond the US’s borders. When a middle school in the Pacific Northwest opted to upgrade its furnishings, more than a thousand decommissioned items were left with no further purpose within the school district. As such, the school turned to Furniture Reuse Solutions, which connected with an international charity that is committed to providing disaster relief to international communities. Once all 1,161 pieces of furniture were loaded onto two 40’ ocean containers, they were set on their way to Amman in Jordan to be used in refugee schools within the area.
With such a pressing refugee crisis that is still ongoing to this day, Jordan has been in dire need of assistance in almost every vein. Included among humanitarian organizations such as Helping Hand for Humanity, Furniture Reuse Solutions has made it exceptionally clear that it is willing to go the extra mile to give what it can to communities that will cherish the items they receive, regardless of whether or not they’ve been used. So long as furniture is in good enough condition to confidently serve its purpose and withstand the transit, Furniture Reuse Solutions is determined to get it where it needs to be. Of course, this all stems from Megan’s initial wish: to create a conduit for making the world a better place than it was when she came into it.
Megan has helped make a difference for over 65 schools nationwide, with many more scheduled through the end of 2025. Whether she’s creating connections with nonprofit and humanitarian organizations in desperate need of the extra assistance or helping collectives with their furniture sustainability solutions, her ambition to look back and see that she’s done an excellent job is never-ending. Furniture Reuse Solutions is a selfless firm that has changed how individuals across the US perceive the process of relocating unneeded furniture items, with their decommissioned assets often restructuring the lives of those in need. What started as a selfless goal has transformed into a collective making a difference worldwide, spearheaded by Megan’s avid love for encouraging real change through furniture.
Though some may believe that having furniture in a space is a small concept, to some, it can mean the difference between having to learn in a barren space and being enriched by a fully furnished environment. Delivering a means to excel the quality of life of individuals around the world is what Megan has always wished to accomplish – something that has persisted over her time in manual labour and office work. It has flourished into something tangible; Furniture Reuse Solutions is bringing a new light to people’s lives and is truly becoming the go-to for furniture sustainability solutions. Used furniture serves no purpose in a landfill, but when given to the right people, it holds the power to provide them with new hope.
First and foremost, Furniture Reuse Solutions revolves around sustainability. Finding new uses for old furniture is where it has excelled in the past three years, and it’s clear that this talent has only grown as the firm has thrived. Though she would never claim it to be solely due to her leadership, it’s undeniable that Megan’s role as CEO has played a huge part in the firm’s success. From how she handles her staff, down to the collaborative efforts that she’s made with various organizations on both a national and international scale, Megan demonstrates an acute understanding of how to identify every person’s strengths. From there, she has expertly amplified the capabilities of her firm and workforce, resulting in a cohesive collective of highly skilled individuals.
This individuality, partnered with its women-led nature, sets Furniture Reuse Solutions apart as a firm concerned only with increasing the wellbeing of different communities across the US and the world. By proving that women are beyond capable of making such a staggering difference, Megan has become the role model that she wished she had when she was younger. Not only that, but she also brings a voice to women who are passionate about what they do while simultaneously protecting those who may have found themselves in unfortunate positions or circumstances. Megan’s work is important because it showcases that women can and should pursue their dreams. As such, it’s no wonder Megan has earned herself such renown as a female CEO.
Despite its young age, Furniture Reuse Solutions has served to completely transform the situations of disadvantaged individuals in many corners of the globe. With a fantastic reputation built on the mutual trust between the collective and its collaborators, it has garnered the power to provide furniture sustainability solutions to a myriad of clients. Of course, every firm has a heart, and Furniture Reuse Solutions’ heart is undoubtedly its Founder and CEO, Megan Draper. Megan has done something that no other CEO in her field has managed – not only has she helped some of the world’s most struggling communities, but she has done so with uncontested levels of compassion. Her aptitude is second to none, and we’re so incredibly proud to present her with the title of Furniture Sustainability CEO of the Year 2023: Megan Draper.
To close, we’d like to share some words from Megan herself on what she believes to be her crowning achievement throughout her brimming career: “Starting Furniture Reuse Solutions and watching it grow these past three years into a firm our clients respect and recommend and seeing the charities we partner with ultimately benefit from our hard work. Watching others become recipients of what can ultimately be perceived as a highly complex process that we break down into manageable steps is very satisfying.” With such impressive resolve backing her, we’re certain that Megan Draper will only continue down the road of greatness as we progress through the new year. We simply can’t wait to see where Megan takes Furniture Reuse Solutions next.
For business enquiries, contact Megan Draper from Furniture Reuse Solutions Inc. on their website – https://furniture-rs.com/