Bazar do Lar
“Lar dos Velhinhos” is a nonprofit organization, which operates since 1906 as a rest home, supporting, aiding and housing the elderly, in the city of Piracicaba/SP. It is widely recognized as Brazil’s first “Geriatric City”, functioning for over a hundred years.
Ten years ago, a group of residents decided to take entrepreneurial action and be responsible for a store of second hand products, such as clothes and furniture.
The store currently contributes to the total income of the institution, which is used to aid all the 500 hundred dwellers sustained by the rest home, including the volunteers. In july alone, the “Lar dos Velhinhos” budget deficit went up to 450.000. All of the revenue is spent towards the well being of the elderly.
The store still sells items nowadays, but not as efficiently as it could. The products, which are donations, are disorganized, not being displayed and stored correctly. The volunteers also suffers from health hazards, from lifting weight, dealing with dust and constant robberies.
“Bazar do Lar” is a project developed to boost the institution’s sales initiatives, in order to achieve a self-sustainable business model. It is divided in two steps: reforming the clothes store with the volunteers, who are over 50 years old, and subsequently empowering them through workshops, trainings, as well as building a solid and more efficient marketing plan. By increasing their autonomy, our team expects to improve their livelihoods, using their idle time to stimulate entrepreneurship and prevent depression, as well as integrate them back into society.
In order to accomplish an innovative approach to tackle these issues, our team developed, along with architecture and interior design students, a new architectural plan for the store, using mostly reused materials. We are currently working with the beneficiaries, to gather the materials needed for the reform, as well as aiding them with management issues, such as customer service. We also designed a plan to guide, organize and optimize the workflow of the volunteers. These changes were developed to ensure the continuity of the project, so that the women can keep working efficiently even after the project is done.
In order to stimulate the entrepreneurial will of the volunteers, they are required to cooperate by help gathering the materials needed, keeping the store clean and organized, as well as participating on trainings offered by our business students.
The project focus is to ensure the community sustainability in the long run. With more fixed revenues, the rest home will be able to pay for its costs, reduce their debt, as well as aid more elderly. Most of the volunteers who work at the store have no previous knowledge on retail, and suffered from psychological issues before volunteering. The project will ensure that they’re working in a healthy environment, educating themselves in productive activities.
The store activities also prevent the clothes disposal, by selling them at lower prices to those in need. By receiving and selling more clothes, they will be able to reduce even more waste. Additionally, environmentally friendly actions will also be made, such as the replacement of fluorescent lamps with LED alternatives.
Lastly, to raise awareness and promote the Ford partnership, our team plans to increase their reach on social media, newspaper and television, as well as create a partners channel, to approach the community with potential volunteers.