Going animal at Do Good Co.
“That couch has a pretty good story,” Adam McGill tells me, grinning.
I’m standing in the middle of Do Good Co., the shop McGill owns with his wife, Krystal Pina-McGill. Both of them are stylish and attractive in an effortless, nonthreatening way — at least I’m pretty sure they’re not judging the leggings and baggy “nama-stay in bed” T-shirt that have dominated my wardrobe since I gave birth to my son two months ago. I’ve been eyeing the plush, bluish-gray sofa in a way that’s admiring bordering on covetous — not an uncommon reaction to the merchandise in this “nonprofit lifestyle store.” That’s McGill’s phrase, and if it — or both partners’ conviction that everything for sale at Do Good comes with a story — sounds a trifle silly to you, then you haven’t shopped here yet.
Originally from Anthropologie, the luxurious lounger had, McGill explains, endured a little extra love from someone’s pets and needed to be reupholstered. Someone offered to dress up the sofa for free before donating it to Do Good, where it looks classy and inviting in the warm natural light that spills in through the large windows facing busy West 39th Street. I just bought a new couch a couple of years ago, but I can’t help imagining this one in my living room, where it would definitely get a little more love from my own pets.
“A lot of our donors are pet owners,” McGill tells me. “But now it’s like a brand-new couch.”
Most everything at the shop is “like” brand-new, having arrived by way of donors, both corporate and private, who tend to be well-heeled. All of the store’s proceeds, over operating costs, benefit KidsTLC and KC Pet Project.
“I’m really passionate about animals and animal welfare,” Pina-McGill says. (She’s a proud cat owner.) “I’ve always wanted to put my skills to use doing something good.”
The racks are lined with designer duds at affordable prices — think Marc Jacobs, Armani and Diane Von Furstenberg, as well as pieces from boutiques such as Free People, Madewell and Anthropologie. The space is also stocked with home furnishings and accessories. But make no mistake: Do Good Co. is not a thrift store.
“We spend a lot of time going through donations,” McGill says. “We’re a curated-goods store. It’s an affordable way to get designer clothes.”
Pina-McGill says donations have come in steadily, which is a good thing considering that business has been brisk since opening day, this past June. Back then, she assumed they had enough inventory — a backlog of items collected by KidsTLC and KC Pet Project board members over about three years — to last into 2018. (It was those board members who started planning Do Good Co.; having volunteered at KC Pet Project and the local SPCA, Pina-McGill knew some of the folks who wanted to open the store, and says the opportunity for her and McGill to run it “totally fell into our laps.”) By July, stock was running low. To keep the racks fresh, Pina-McGill, who has a background in retail, accepts donations not only from the Kansas City area but also from small boutiques across the Midwest, adding new items every Wednesday.
“We don’t want to oversaturate KC with the same brands,” she says. “We have a really eclectic, revolving inventory of designer apparel and high-end home furnishings.”
The shop’s philanthropic reach extends beyond Kansas City. As I’m browsing, I notice that the shelves are peppered with colorful, handmade wicker baskets. When I ask Pina-McGill about them, she explains that they were made in Kenya, with 75 percent of sales benefiting the Africa Network for Animal Welfare, which promotes the humane treatment of animals on the other side of the globe. Most of the warm fuzzies stay right here in town, though.
“We want to create a unique avenue for people to help,” she says. “People can come in, buy a $28 shirt, and feel good knowing it’s helping kids and pets.”
As I run my fingers across a soft striped sweater I’d like to buy, I realize it’s also helping class up my lazy wardrobe. I feel good about that, too.
Do Good Co.
1320 West 39th Street, 816-216-1526, dogoodkc.org