Steve Feldman, Founder and President of Renovation Angel, is hitting the hammer on home renovation. Instead of tossing luxury kitchens and other high-end fixtures out with the proverbial bath water, these items are collected by the non-profit donation program, turning wasted items into something that benefits the greater good. Seems like a pretty smart and conscientious alternative to throwing it into the dumpster.
We recently sat down with the visionary to discuss the ins and outs of luxe recycling.
Recycling designer kitchens—what a brilliant concept. What inspired you to start Renovation Angel?
Why did I start Renovation Angel? I wanted to “give back” after my life was given back to me. Here’s my story – I am a recovered addict whose life was saved 28 years ago. I was in the radio business for 18 years, winding up as the Senior Marketing Manager for Imus in the Morning Clear Channel station in Providence, RI. I left radio in 1998 to do fund-raising for the outreach projects that saved my life.
In 1999, I was introduced to my first donor in Greenwich, CT. Unfortunately, the market crashed in 2001 – so the donations disappeared. I saw a “Demolition in Progress” sign at the former residence of Farah PahIavi, the Last Empress of Iran. I drove up the driveway to discover the 10,000 square foot Rockefeller Mansion was gone. So I had an idea … why not start a demolition donation program and earn the money rather than ask for it? In 2005, I started Renovation Angel with a little “seed money,” It was just a part-time administrator and myself. Today, we are the premier recycler of luxury kitchens throughout North America.
The organization has a very unique process. How exactly does it work? What are the benefits for recycling a kitchen?
Donors receive four valuable benefits with our luxury recycling program: 1) thousands in tax savings, 2) free, white-glove professional, insured removal/pack/transport, 3) reduced disposal costs, and 4) supporting life-changing outreach programs.
“What many people don’t realize is that a luxury kitchen may have more value to that homeowner through the removal saving and tax deductions than a 6-year-old Mercedes-Benz,” says Feldman.
Let’s say they we have a kitchen we are ready to part with. Can you walk us through the process?
The process begins with an evaluation to determine if a luxury kitchen qualifies for the Renovation Angel program. Kitchens that qualify then go through a complete inspection by our experienced professionals. Then, Renovation Angel provides a proposal with an overview of the financial upside. The next step is the free, professional, insured white-glove removal, pack, and transport, which is completed in one day in most cases. The project is completed with the client’s receipt of all donation paperwork.
Currently you are based in New Jersey. Any plans for a West Coast operation?
We are already operating on the West Coast. We’ve completed projects in Beverly Hills, Corona del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, and West Hollywood, as well as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Austin, Chicago, Palm Beach, and many more luxury addresses throughout the United States.
We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of luxury kitchens. What has been your favorite project to work on?
Our favorite project was referred by a West Hollywood designer. It was a 5-year-old Neff kitchen with beautiful white marble from a North Las Vegas mansion (Kitchen new cost- $400,000).
You’re not just recycling kitchens; you’re also creating jobs. Can you tell us more about this?
Since 2005, we have recycled over 4,300 kitchens to achieve our charitable mission which is three-fold: 1) creating jobs, over $14 million in jobs have been created 2) protecting the earth, over 24 million pounds have been diverted from landfills, and 3) supporting high-quality outreach programs, over $2 million has been distributed to charitable programs.
What’s next for Renovation Angel?
Expanding – recycling more luxury kitchens, creating more jobs, earning more funds for charity. We achieve our goals by growing our referrals of luxury recycling projects.
Renovation Angel is North America’s premier recycler for luxury pre-owned kitchens, renovations, and demolitions. Recycling your client’s luxury kitchen and high-end renovation fixtures is a smart alternative to throwing it out in the dumpster. Learn more at Coldwell Banker Concierge.