Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Evans

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Evans

 

Each month, we highlight one of the incredible folks who help to keep Austin Creative Reuse running. This month, it’s our HBIC – Jennifer Evans! Jenn works tirelessly behind the scenes as the Executive Director of ACR. She started out as a board member several years ago and loved it so much, she joined the staff in 2020. Over the last year, she has overseen the rapid growth of ACR, steered us through a pandemic, and spread the reuse gospel to anyone who would listen. Here’s your chance to learn more about the woman behind the scenes! Also, be sure to check out her tutorial for a DIY weaving board!

 

How did you find Austin Creative Reuse?

My first visit to ACR was as a shopper at our first space in The Linc.  I fell in love immediately with the colors and the textures and the treasure hunt.  I applied to join the Board of Directors that day and spent the next three and a half years as ACR’s Sustainability Chair before joining the staff in 2020.

 

What’s your favorite part about working at ACR?

The JOY.  Being eco-friendly often means making a sacrifice, but at ACR being green is fun and accessible.  Every donation we receive and every visit to our center is a joyful contribution to making a more sustainable future for our community.  

 

Are you an artist, crafter, or maker? What mediums do you work with?

I don’t feel like a natural-born creative, but our staff and volunteers have definitely helped me learn to get comfortable with experimenting with art and trying new things.  You really can’t do creativity wrong.  My kids love to create, especially with natural materials.  We’ve rolled beeswax candles, made bath salts, printed fabrics and made lots of homemade strawberry jam from my grandma’s secret recipe.

 

What do you do when you’re not working at ACR?

My family bought a van last year, which we are converting into a camper for our family of five.  We’re doing the work ourselves, so I’m learning my way around power tools, insulation, carpentry and wiring diagrams.  Traveling the world has always been my joy, and this is a way for us to continue exploring with three young kiddos.

 

What’s the craziest thing you found in donation mountain?

I love it when donors include personal notes about what they donate.  Knowing that an object came from a beloved aunt or was brought back on a family trip gives an insight into the object’s story.  

 


About Jenn:

 

Jenn spent much of her childhood traveling up and down the east coast from Canada to Florida in the back of her parents’ baby blue 1970s Econoline camper van. While it might have been frowned upon by today’s standards (there were no seats in the back of that van, let alone seat belts!), her fond memories of days on the beach, hikes in the woods and nights spent around the campfire started her down a path toward environmental stewardship that she now hopes to instill in her own children and share with her community.

Jenn is a graduate of Duke University’s Environmental Science & Policy Program and the University of Chicago Law School. She previously served four years on ACR’s Board of Directors, and was the Deputy Director of Austin nonprofit Families in Nature and an environmental law associate at the global law firm Allen & Overy LLP. She sits on Austin ISD’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee and is active in the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative from the National League of Cities. Jenn founded Nature Playdate, a nature community for Austin families, and is active in several other local environmental and community groups.

When she’s not out promoting the beauty of creative reuse, Jenn can be found chasing around her three wild kids and working on their old camper van with her husband, Kelly. She digs travel, the ocean, cool mountain breezes and admiring the creativity of all the folks who pass through the doors at ACR. You can reach Jenn at execdirector@austincreativereuse.org.

You can also follow her on Instagram @natureplaydate

 

Jenn’s (and her kiddo’s) first visit to ACR!

 

Beeswax candles

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