Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prom Dress Swaps

Why spend a king's ransom to look like a princess for your prom this year! There are many prom dress swaps around the country so if you want to save some money and still feel like Cinderella this is the way to go. Hey even movie stars swap clothes! The Wilmington Health Access for Teens in the Greater Wilmington, NC region will hold it's annual Prom Dress Swap on March 5th at Independence Mall from 4-8pm. Bring a dress to exchange for a different one or pay just $20.00 for one of the dresses there. You can't beat that price. There will be raffles and great information so don't miss this wonderful opportunity.

We are gathering information on other regional prom dress swaps and will get that information out as soon as we have it.

If you have evening and cocktail dresses you aren't using please consider donating them to this great cause. In Wilmington you can contact

Friday, January 15, 2010

Think Spring!

As with most of the rest of the country we've been in a pretty deep chill here in Eastern NC. Way colder than usual but nothing like the below zeros in ND and heavy snows in the West. Today is warm and sunny here and I'm definitely thinking spring! We'll be involved in a lot of great projects this spring and continue to grow the site everyday with new members and new regions. Thanks to all of you who are helping us with this great venture! Wishing you all a sunny day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time and Transitions

In our newsletter yesterday we published a very cool picture one of our reps. in Arizona, Katie Woodard, took of the Blue Moon on New Year's Eve in Sedona. I realized after we sent the newsletter out that my husband emailed me a beautiful picture of the sunrise from our back porch on New Year's morning. We live on the East Coast. These two pictures capture time, change and transition from across the country and evoke a lot of interesting thought. Thanks for sharing Katie and Bob.

Blue Moon, Sedona, Arizona, New Year's Eve, 2009 by Katie Woodard
Sunrise, Wilmington, North Carolina, New Year's Morning, 2010 by Bob Eldridge

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

We all have them. Exercise more, lose weight, stop eating chocolate (that's one that has never been on my list), keep in touch more.....! This year I really wanted doable, motivating goals for Community Swap Shop and for me personally. First, I'm planning to simplify my life as much as possible. My husband and I are downsizing and getting rid of a lot of "stuff" and it feels great! Less to clean, less to maintain, less to move. We will have more time to concentrate on business, take long walks, visit with family and enjoy our hobbies. Hopefully we will save more money, grow another successful vegie and herb garden this year and maintain good health.

In the day to day life of building this website I have resolved to do more speaking engagements and encourage our mission of buying, selling and trading locally to minimize our footprint on the earth and support our friends and neighbors. I have come across a couple of important websites that I think will be helpful to all of us. One is Take their quiz and you'll be shocked at the drastic impact we all have on the Earth in our lifetime! Another that just came across my computer today is called Move Your Money. A group of well known writers got together over the holidays and wondered what the average person could do to help this financial crisis we're in and stop big banks from taking taxpayer money to pay for big bonuses. The answer is simple. Move your money, or at least some of it, away from the big banks and to local community banks. Check out their video on YouTube,, which compares the story of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life to exactly what we are experiencing today. Not only will you support yet another local business but you maintain some control and bring power back to the people where it belongs.

I am determined this year to make other people's lives better in whatever way I can. So many people have helped me through the years--some I knew, some I did not. My family and friends have helped me through both profoundly happy and profoundly sad life events. A stranger once stopped on the side of the road and helped my family when the gas gauge broke on our car (we did not realize this) and we ran out of gas. This past spring and summer my neighbor helped me better understand the timing of my vegetables in my garden as he's 75 and been doing it a lot longer than me.

We cannot get along in this world without the help and support of others. It's that simple. So please help out these small businesses who struggle during this continuing tough economy. Wouldn't you rather know that your favorite local shoe store stayed in business instead of some big CEO getting yet another gazillion dollar bonus? Or doesn't a nice ripe red tomato from your own garden sound a lot more appetizing than the one shipped from Mexico ladened with pesticides? Every time we open our wallet and spend our money outside of our community we lose control. Try trading with your neighbors and using your own form of "exchange". We're pretty sure you'll have a much more "prosperous" New Year as a result.

From all of us at Community Swap Shop, Inc. we wish you all the best in 2010 and look forward to seeing you on the site as we continue to grow!

Terry E.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Wonderlands

I was like a little kid this past Saturday when I was visiting family in the beautiful town of Frederick, Maryland and woke up to see snow falling. Living on the coast of NC we don't see snow very often and unless we head back to Massachusetts (where I grew up) for the holidays it's a rare event in our lives these days. The town of Frederick is really quaint-something straight out of Charles Dickens and the family we were visiting live in a row house in the center of town where everything is decorated and lit for the holidays. It really was like stepping back in time. That's part of what we try to do with this website. Step back in time a little bit and do things the way they used to be done. It's been really interesting to hear how local cobblers and seamstresses are doing a booming business as people are repairing shoes and clothes instead of going out and buying new ones. Consignment stores are also doing well whether they sell clothing or furniture and local mechanics are seeing a boost in business. We are finally repairing and recyling all these material things instead of replacing them. There are those that would argue that without mass production our economy will continue to stagger and faulter and yet without small business how will it do? There is room for both. I tend to lean towards the smaller more locally owned places with unique goods, in most cases higher quality goods and as is often the case, a relationship with the owner. Whatever your personal preferences there is bound to be something for you on our little "old fashioned 21st century" site that will interest you. If not now, later. I guarantee it.

Hope you are all getting through that holiday shopping, spending lots of time with loved ones and giving back in whatever way you can.

For now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cha Cha Cha Changes

Well we're having a really good time around here making things better. We've updated and redone our blog and will be adding more interesting and fun things to it on a regular basis. We'd love to add any thoughts or ideas you have for Community Swap Shop so feel free to email us if have something you'd like us to share. You can send us your Money Saving Tips, any good stories you have about trading with people, tell us about events going on in your area you think we should know about or send pictures of yourself with that great find! We'd love to hear from you and really get this site crankin'!

And even though we're small, I myself have made over $1000 already on the site just getting rid of "stuff" I don't need or want anymore. Actually some of it I didn't even remember I had. Since my husband and I will be moving in a few weeks I'm sure there will be plenty more (hint--I live in Wilmington if anyone is looking for some good deals). Need some really nice rocking chairs for your porch? They're only $25.00 a piece.

So have fun poking around and if you're interested in a Community Swap Shop in your area let us know. You can email your requests and anything you'd like us to consider posting on this blog to

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Changes to Website/Thanksgiving

After lots of thought and consideration we have decided to make some exciting changes to our website. We are really listening to the input that our users give us and appreciate your thoughts and feedback. So we are very happy to let you know that real estate listings are now free to post. With the ongoing housing slump there's no doubt people need an extra boost in getting that property sold so we hope this helps. We have also decided not to have job listings posted on our site and wish we could do more in that regard to help with all the unemployment but it's a task beyond our current abilities. We have chosen instead to list Special Events going on in our various regions that we feel are important and helpful to local communities. That link will be up and running by the first of the year.

I personally want to tell you all how grateful I am, whether I know you personally or not, for all the support and enthusiasm surrounding the launch and growth of this website and it's mission. There is no doubt that we hope to make a living from it eventually but we also care very deeply about what's going on in the world and hope that somehow we can do something to put a little extra money in someone's pocket, help someone find that special "something" they've been looking for, bring new customers to small businesses and make our communities stronger. This economy has taken it's toll on many people including my own family and yet there are so many things to be grateful for. The wonderful people in our lives, the sunshine and rain and as my grandmother used to say, our memories. No matter what--no one can ever take away your memories. I myself keep a grateful journal and although I don't write it in as often as I should I am always amazed on what seem like the most difficult of days, how much I am able to put in that journal. It's all about perspective. So I hope this finds all of you who read this well and happy and grateful. From all of us at Community Swap Shop, Happy Thanksgiving and we wish everyday for Peace in the World.