In 2005, Steve Feldman founded Green Demolitions in Greenwich, Connecticut. Green Demolitions has now spread its wings to become Renovation Angel, which is America’s premier recycler of luxury pre-owned kitchens and renovation items. But that’s not all…
This company has three amazing missions:
1. Create Jobs
2. Protect the earth
3. Support high-quality non-profits
Renovation Angel’s mission and goals are to help others in this world. What I found even more inspiring is the founder Steve Feldman’s life story and how he started the company.
“I spent eighteen years in the rock-and-roll radio business, originally as a disc jockey and then when I left I was a senior marketing manager for two clear channel stations in Providence, Long Island.
I did that for eighteen years and I’m also a recovered addict for 30 years. Teenage alcohol and drug abuser. I had a couple serious bouts of depression.
I got my recovery from that in 1988. Then, when I left the radio business I was working in Greenwich, Connecticut and doing fundraising for different charities. It took me a couple years to find a good donor and when I did, my good donor lost 30 million dollars in stock markets in one week, so she was unable to give me more money towards my fundraisers and I had to think – Now what?
When I came out of that meeting I saw a “Demolition in Progress” sign at the former residence of Farah Pahlavi, the Last Empress of Iran, who had lived in a 10,000 square foot Rockefeller Mansion. The gates were open, so I drove up.
The house was gone…so I had an idea…why not start a demolition donation program and earn the money rather than ask for it?
So that was the whole idea. The concept was to offer people a tax deduction and free and professional white glove removal. I was telling the real estate agents in Greenwich about this idea and they all agreed that it was a great idea. They told the Greenwich newspaper about my idea and I got an article written about us in 2001. It was very miraculous because this was all just an idea. I have never done a mansion demolition before, but we got 36 phone calls from it. It was the right time and the right place.
For the next 4 years I was building the program and experimenting how to sell the kitchens different ways and I was also selling some on eBay. In 2005 I started doing this full time.
I set up my non-profit organization solely based on the recycling purpose of the kitchens and to create jobs, protecting the environment and to earn money for the charities.
I started in 2005 with one and a half employees and within 3 years we had 3 stores and 40 employees. We were recycling hundreds of kitchens and then the banking crisis hit. We basically reinvented ourselves and started going beyond Greenwich into New York City, into Long Island, and into New Jersey. We ended up moving our whole retail operation from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and upstate New York to New Jersey and opened up one big store there. We branded the donation program as ‘Renovation Angel’.
“So far today we have recycled 5,700 kitchens, we have earned 2.2 million for charitable projects and we have created over 20 million dollars worth of jobs. That’s really the main thing that we do, is the job creation program.”
“I believe that if you want to keep it, you have to give it away. If you want to keep the help, you have to give it away. I believe in ‘Win, Win, Win’ where everybody benefits. The donors and the industry professionals that brings us the job benefit, environment benefits, the charities that we support benefit and ultimately the people who buy from us benefit.”
If you have a luxury kitchen or any other luxury item that you would like to donate you can reach Renovation Angel three different ways: through their web form, email or by phone. Once you have contacted them they will request that you send them pictures of the project. They will then evaluate the photos to decide if they will be pursuing the donation project. If they decide to move forward, they will give you an estimate for your tax deduction and coordinate the removal day. Renovation Angel has background checks performed on all crew members by the full-time manager at the CIA. Their crew is fully trained and insured.