Meet the Entrepreneur: Sue Older-Mondeel of Tanglewood Works

Small Business Saturday is right around the corner, and the Hyattsville CDC is catching up with some local entrepreneurs to ask what their businesses mean to them, how they got started, and why shopping small is important for our community. First up, we sat down with Sue Older-Mondeel of Tanglewood Works, a retail space specializing in upcycled furniture and other handmade and sustainable goods.

Sue is vibrant, bubbly, and courageous. She took her passion for art and sustainability and turned it into one of the first pure retail stores to open in Downtown Hyattsville, nestled between Franklin’s, Pyramid Atlantic, and Vigilante Coffee. She grew from hobbyist, to consigning in Community Forklift, to opening her own storefront. Tanglewood Works, in its second year of operation, consistently hosts events, provides opportunity to fellow artists and entrepreneurs, and teaches online upcycling classes. Sue and the Tanglewood team are constantly in motion, making the business as experience-oriented as possible. Currently, they’re host to a used bookstore popup, My Dead Aunt’s Books, and have a myriad of events planned this fall and winter, including a literary music series, live demos, and more.

After having moved from the California Bay Area, she filled her new house with salvaged and upcycled furniture, a sustainable and affordable way to furnish an entire home from scratch. She quickly fell in love with the process of giving old pieces new life. She’s now able to share her passion with the Hyattsville community everyday through Tanglewood Works and a series of online classes. She hates waste, and while she doesn’t see herself as an “eco warrior,” her business empowers customers to shop sustainably and create their own upcycled works. Sue continues, “I love these classes because of the joy that seeing someone do what they thought they couldn’t brings. I think everyone is creative, they just got the one mean art teacher that told them because they didn’t color within the lines, they couldn’t make art.”

Tanglewood Works is a store unlike any other; the majority of their items are salvaged and from local artists and small businesses. They are participating in both Small Business Saturday as well as Green Friday, an alternative to Black Friday that encourages shoppers to consider their impact on the planet during the holiday season. On Green Friday, they will feature a full day of activities, called “Green is the New Black.” About Small Business Saturday, Older-Mondeel says, “Don’t limit shopping small to just Saturday! We should support small business every day.”

The Hyattsville CDC is proud to work with so many local entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and grow their business. If you’re an entrepreneur in need of assistance (or just want to say hi!),  please stop by our offices or fill our our business assistance questionnaire.