Share and Be Happy: The Beautiful Store



If you came to (한양대학교) more than a year ago, you might have heard of “the Beautiful Store” which was located on the first floor of Hanyang Alumnus Hall (동문회관) next to Hanyang University Hospital (한양대학교병원). Sadly, the store went out of business last year after a ten-year service. It is a pity that now you cannot visit the Beautiful Store inside of the campus, but you can still find them in Seoul easily. There are as many as 27 stores only in Seoul (서울) and 120 stores in 16 cities across the whole country. (Even there are two shops abroad.) You now must be wondering what the Beautiful Store is, and what it sells. Here goes the introduction.



What is The Beautiful Store?

The Beautiful Store is a charity shop. It is founded from The Beautiful Store Foundation which is Korean NGO (Non-Government Organization). The store earns its profit from recycling and upcycling[1] and use of it for charitable and socially beneficial activities. The start of the Beautiful Store was in Anguk (안국), Seoul in 2002. In almost 14 years of history, the Beautiful Store Foundation has opened more than 120 stores in Korea and has generalized the idea of recycling and upcycling in Korea. The stores serve as local meeting places for people to work together to bring about positive change in their local communities. The workers of the Beautiful Stores are mostly all volunteers and they participate in many local volunteering activities as well.




You Can Contribute Too!

Give what you don’t need more value and meaning by donating it to those who can use it! The items you donate are sold at the Beautiful Stores and profits generated from the shops are used to support the neighbors in need. The donating procedure is simple and straight-forward. First, look for the goods that you do not use anymore but someone might find useful in your room. Second, put them in a bag. Third, find the closest store to your house on the webpage ( Fourth, bring, visit and donate! Fifth, find yourself in indescribable satisfaction. As a helpless shopping-lover, I find a lot of items at home that I don’t need any longer but still are usable. When I did not know about the charity shop, I felt guilty every time I had to throw away those items. For now, I feel contentment knowing that the items that I donate would benefit the society. Additionally, when you go to the Beautiful Store to donate your used-items, you can shop too! Although the goods are mostly second-handed, they are still as good as new and incredibly cheap. Sometimes, you will catch a luck to find a new product.





WeAJa Market (위아자 나눔장터), the 12th Charity Flea Market

WeAJa Market is one of the biggest flea markets in Seoul, founded by the Beautiful Store Foundation. On Sunday October 16, WeAJa Market will open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The venue will be Gwanghwamun Square (광화문광장) and Sejong-daero (세종대로) in Seoul. The event serves to sell donated goods and uses the proceeds for charity. You can participate as a vendor in the market. The application form for the participation is provided on the webpage ( The vendors are recommended to donate 50% of their proceeds for charity as the market has a characteristics of charity projects. The event is co-hosted by the JoongAng Media Network (중앙미디어네트워크), the Seoul Metropolitan Government (서울특별시), the Busan Metropolitan City (부산광역시), the Daejeon Metropolitan City (대전광역시) and the Daegu Metropolitan City (대구광역시). It is only a one-day event, so hope you do not miss it.




Beautiful Bookstore: the Secondhand Bookstore (아름다운가게 헌책방)

Along with the Beautiful Stores, there are also the Beautiful Bookstores where used books are donated and sold. The virtuous cycle of old books through sharing and donation happens in this place. Since it became really common to sell books on online these days via Aladin and Yes24 bookstores, it is not easy to find somebody donating their books willingly. However, the success of the Beautiful Bookstore shows us that there are still many people who put more value on social benefits rather than their own. In the Beautiful Bookstores, you will see many kinds of books from comics to English-written novels. The atmosphere of the bookstore is comfortable and relaxing, and the price for the books are very cheap. You can find the Beautiful Bookstore in Daehak-ro (대학로), next to Marronnier Park (마로니에공원). The nearest station is Hyehwa Station (혜화역). Daehak-ro itself is a place worth visiting where many plays are run on a daily basis and cute cafes and pretty restaurants are located, so do not hesitate to go!

[1] Upcycling: Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. [Source: Oxford Dictionary]


Article by Ahran from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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