Dumpster Diva Turns Trash to Treasure

denim heartNo matter how much money she has in her account, Sue Older-Mondeel prefers to stay frugal. That’s what gave her the idea to start Tangelwood Works, where artists gather to take discarded or broken items and upcycle them, or give them a new, more beautiful life.¬†

Her proclivity for dumpster diving has earned Sue the reputation as the “Dumpster Diva” of Hyattsville, MD, a town not far from Washington, DC. Recently, she did an interview with the Hyattsville Wire, discussing how her passion for upcycling began.

A Life of Upcycling 

Sue learned many of her ways from her mother. She can recall a time when a pair of pants floated down the creek in her backyard, and her mother washed them for Sue or her sister to wear. Rather than replace the aging linoleum floor in her kitchen, Older-Mondeel and her mother hand-painted flowers and leaves over the cracks.

During her college years, Sue once transformed an old refrigerator into a a stereo cabinet with the albums in the crisper, turntable on the shelf, and speakers on the roof. Today, she uses her years of experience to inspire others to make their own transformations. 

Save your treasured items from the dumpster! If you want to learn how to upcycle your furniture, check out Sue’s online courses.