The Community General Store houses two complimentary collections of goods that members are invited to explore in the shop, and borrow for home use. Our selection of items for these two collections has been guided by thinking about the many ways that we are all nourished by the objects in our lives.

In this analogy, the collection of Helpful things provides the majority of the calories. These things enable us to be active in world; to build things, both in work and play. The collection of Luminous things provides the bulk of the nutrients. These things enable us to be active within ourselves; repair and maintain our complex inner systems, to learn and grow. Like the many parents planning menus filled with superfoods, we are most excited by objects that bridge the divide between usefulness and beauty. We hope that you are as delighted with them as we are!

Curating the collections is a collaborative process and it is always ongoing. If you would like to learn more you can view the current version of our selection rubrics. As a member, you will also be invited to offer up objects that you own, request objects that you need, and join a curatorial committee.

We strongly encourage all of our members to join one of Seattle’s non-profit tool libraries. These libraries do a great service for their communities, and deserve our support. They also provide members with access to items (mostly larger/messier/”toolier” things) that are not included in the collections at CGS. All tool library members qualify for a 10% discount on membership at the CGS.