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Usful Glassworks in Boise to close after seven years

Usful Glassworks tells its story

In this video, Usful Glassworks tells its story. The nonprofit turns used glass bottles into new products, including drinking glasses and pitchers that can be found in restaurants around the Treasure Valley. It provides job training and experience
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In this video, Usful Glassworks tells its story. The nonprofit turns used glass bottles into new products, including drinking glasses and pitchers that can be found in restaurants around the Treasure Valley. It provides job training and experience

Usful Glassworks, a Boise nonprofit that turned used wine bottles into new household items, will close May 31.

Usful (pronounced “useful”) operations were staffed by Treasure Valley residents, including refugees and homeless individuals, who needed job training and experience.

The closure comes after a fundraiser failed to generate enough donations to allow Executive Director Carlyn Blake to hire more employees who could help her manage the nonprofit’s operations. The nonprofit ran on a tight budget for years, with only a few paid employees.

“For over seven years, Usful Glassworks has provided jobs training, coaching and guidance for over 300 people in the community, many of them unemployable without our help,” Blake wrote in an email announcement of the closure. “Thank you to everyone that donated during the All In Crusade and Idaho Gives this year in an effort to help us keep our doors open. Rest assured that we will use your donations to close our nonprofit with dignity and grace as we pay our bills and take care of our loyal, hard-working employees.”

Blake said Usful will continue to process existing orders until May 25. It is not taking new orders. “We are hoping that everything currently in the queue will be completed,” she said.

The organization is now in liquidation mode. Usful glassware is now being sold at a 25 percent discount, increasing to 50 percent on Monday for whatever is left, she said. The office at 5858 W. Franklin Road, Boise, is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday until it closes Wednesday, May 31.

Usful also is selling its equipment and office furniture, including a laser etcher, lapidary, kiln, fire polish machine, tile saw, ladder, commercial dishwasher, office chairs, desk, cubical walls and shelving, refrigerator and microwave. Email carlyn@usfulglass.com for details.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @audreydutton

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