Author Archives: Carole LeClair

Fall Letter From The Executive Director

Hello, ACR community! I hope that you are enjoying these early days of fall – it’s one of my favorite seasons for creative reuse. From Halloween costumes to holiday gifts, it’s a time when creative projects abound, and it’s also a time that I’m most aware of the sheer volume of stuff we consume as a culture. Watching the dizzying array of items on the seasonal aisle at the local drugstore as it transitions from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas makes me redouble my commitment to conscious consumption and conservation. It reminds me to make more than I buy, to purchase wisely when I shop, and to repurpose what I don’t use. My favorite reuse activity for this time of year: wrapping gifts in interesting materials I have found at the center instead of buying wrapping paper. Not only does creative reuse make me feel good as a conservationist, it’s just really fun to build creativity into all of life.

Here I am running the spin art machine at the Crestview neighborhood fair. Fun!

Over the past couple of months, I have been spending my time getting very familiar with the history and current operations of ACR, and I’m so proud and excited to see the great work that’s been done and the exciting things ahead. Thanks to our center staff, volunteers and board of directors, the organization is vibrant and successful. Our donations pipeline is strong and we’ve been getting some incredible materials at the center – some of you may have come for one of the two recent fabric sales we hosted, which were a huge success. We’re getting more and more requests to engage the community in our reuse mission from schools, community organizations and others, and we just received a grant award from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division to extend our Art of Reuse workshops in 2018. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of you for making it all possible. 

All of this success means that now is the time to build a solid plan for the future of the organization. Over the next few months, one of the biggest things I’ll be working on with the staff and board of directors is a plan for expanding the center when our lease ends in July 2018. We’ve only just begun this process, but it’s exciting to think about having more space to support and grow the work we do. And, thanks once again to the Cultural Arts Division, we received a grant award from the Art Space Assistance Program to help offset some of our future space costs. 

On every level, it’s an exciting time to be a part of Austin Creative Reuse and I look forward to building our future together. Thank you again for all that you do to support ACR’s mission. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Isadora McKeon

Executive Director

 

P.S. I did my first TV appearance for ACR on CBS Austin! Check it out here

ACR is Hiring A Donations Processing Clerk

Title:  Clerk-Part time (10-15 hrs per week)

Possible schedule: Wednesday and Saturday 10am-4pm, other hours available to fill in for other staff or at events.

Reports to: Shift Lead

 

Who We Are

Austin Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education, and community building.

  • We collect, distribute, and sell reusable materials donated from industry and individuals.
  • We educate the community about how to reduce, reuse, and create in responsible and fun ways. We make instructional kits, have a library of design and art ideas, and share these online and in-store.
  • We unite the community by hosting a range of events, activities, and classes that bring people together to build awareness around conscious consumption, sustainability, and art
  • We promote awareness of like-minded organizations to reduce overlap and increase awareness of city resources.

 

What We Offer

  • Fun, creative and collaborative environment that will give you great experience working in the non-profit industry and with a diverse volunteer population.
  • Ability to expand role based on interest and skill set.  This could include assisting with our social media efforts or at our workshops. There is also potential for advancement to an opening and closing center lead role.

 

What You’ll Bring

We are looking for amazing people with diverse backgrounds and a genuine passion for creativity and reuse. Our ideal candidates will be comfortable talking about crafting materials and dealing with pricing questions.  We expect our clerks to:

  • Be outstanding at customer service.
  • Have excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, especially dealing with register.
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be able to juggle multiple tasks and work in an active non profit environment

 

Qualifications

  • Previous customer service and cashier experience
  • Basic knowledge of Point of Sales Systems and cash drawer reconciliation
  • Basic computer skills including knowledge of email, Microsoft Office, and google drive
  • Minimum: High School Diploma or Equivalent.

What You’ll Do

The Austin Creative Reuse Clerk is friendly, personable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Austin Creative Reuse and our mission. This is a vital role, as you will be involved in weighing, sorting and pricing material donations coming into the center. Responsibilities include:

  • Process incoming donations from our weigh cart to sorting boxes
  • Package and price materials for sale
  • Research (online, in center, on Square) materials pricing
  • Screen items brought in as drop-off donations; greet donors; provide donation receipts; ensure that donations are recorded accurately.
  • While the majority of the clerk’s role will be spent in the back room, all clerks will provide customer service as needed: greet shoppers, explain the center, provide information, etc.
  • Work with Shift Leads to creatively merchandise donations
  • Fill in on cash register when needed
  • Participate in ACR events as needed
  • Physical requirements: Push/pull merchandise with appropriate equipment to and from backroom and sales floor. Lift, place, and arrange items on shelves and racks. Bend down and reach above head. Climb and descend ladder. Stand during an entire shift (other than normal break time)

The above is intended to describe the general content of the requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements.

 

To Apply

Please submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to info@austincreativereuse.org.

We review applications on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply as soon as possible.  We will not consider applications without a cover letter tailored to this position.

At Austin Creative Reuse, we believe that diversity makes us stronger and challenges us to think differently every day. Austin Creative Reuse  provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status or disability.

ACR 2016 Annual Report

We’re so proud of Austin Creative Reuse’s success in its first full year of operation and it’s because or you: our reuse community.

Thank you!

July Volunteer Spotlight – Jan Bland

Austin Creative Reuse Volunteer Jan Bland

What motivates you to volunteer?
I find volunteering very fulfilling.   I have volunteered for many non-profits in Austin for over 30 years.  I still volunteer for 4 other non-profits full time and 2 part time even while spending around 25 hours per week volunteering for ACR. 


Why Ausitn Creative Reuse?
I was looking for something I could feel passionate about.

How long have you volunteered with ACR?
About 2010 I noticed that ACR was requesting volunteers for an event.  I researched the organization and thought Wow this is a cause that I have been looking for.  I have always loved to turn trash into treasure (upcycling), keep as much as possible out of the landfill and repurpose things instead of buying new.  I began volunteering at the festivals and events ACR staffed around Austin and the twice a year teacher events.  From 2012 to 2015 another volunteer and I began holding once a month Upcycled Craft Nights where the public could come and learn how to repurpose things.  We used the donations we had in storage.  We taught many upcycled crafts over that 3 years.   I had found my passion.  I was passionate about getting a creative reuse center opened in Austin.  I visited other Creative Reuse Centers in other states and yearned to have one in Austin.   When the Board found the funding and the center was leased in 2015 I spent every day I could setting up the shelving, helping write policy and procedures and assist in finding merchandise to stock the shelves.  We opened Sept 18, 2015 and I have been volunteering at the center ever since.
 
 What do you feel is Austin Creative Reuse’s biggest impact on our community?
 We do a tremendous service for a segment of the population that wants and needs a bargain.  Our items are affordable, reusable and unique.  ACR receives a lot of vintage items.  People love to come in and find something they would never see. Several customers have said that they would unable to create their product to sell or carry out their plan if they had to pay full price for merchandise

What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for Austin Creative Reuse?
I get inspired by artists and crafts people that come in and tell us what they are going to do with our materials.  I’m thrilled to hear stage managers, props finders, makers, etc. find just the thing that they need.  I love to hear the conversations in the bucket room, the squeals of delight, and the new creative ideas they have when they see an item.
 
Bottom line for Jan:  
This is the best store in town.  I love this place!

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Message from Our Executive Director, Isadora McKeon

I’m really excited to join the Austin Creative Reuse team as the Executive Director! From the early days of helping to brainstorm what the project could be to years of following its success as Rebecca and team brought the vision to life, I have always been passionate about the organization’s mission and thrilled to watch its evolution. As Rebecca departs for another great endeavor in the Peace Corps, it’s a huge honor to take on this new role alongside the amazing staff, volunteers and board members to help carry the vision of Austin Creative Reuse forward.

My focus will be on working with everyone to make sure we have everything we need for today’s operation and a strong plan for the future. I’ll also be working to grow awareness and support of the organization among our stakeholders and within the local community. While you may not see me in the center all the time, my door is always open and I’d love to hear from you – Isadora@austincreativereuse.org. I welcome any ideas or input you have as I get more familiar with the inner workings of the organization, and look forward to meeting you all along the way.

I am grateful to Rebecca and everyone who have given their talent and hard work to make Austin Creative Reuse what it is today, and I thank all of you in advance for your contribution to its future success.

Oh, and one last thing: I’d love to share one of my favorite creative reuse projects with you – sometimes called Pixelvision or Channel Zero, it’s a psychedelic light show you can make with a TV, some toilet paper rolls and a few other basic items that can often be found at the reuse center. Someone posted a video of one on You Tube: https://youtu.be/JzMRSPKc9Ns. Creative reuse rules.

Teacher Gift Ideas

School’s ALMOST out! And that means it’s time for teacher gifts! If you’re in Austin, why not get your child’s teacher an ACR gift card and introduce them to the MOST AMAZING ART AND CRAFT STORE IN TOWN: Austin Creative Reuse.

Teachers spend a lot of money on supplies for their classrooms. They buy everything from school supplies to classroom decorations and materials for big projects too. Once they know about Austin Creative Reuse, they will not only save money but be inspired by all the traditional and non-traditional items they find in the center. $5.00 at a chain craft store won’t get you much but $5.00 at Austin Creative Reuse and you will walk out with your arms FULL of creative fodder.

In case you’re wondering what you can get for under $5.00 at ACR, here’s a small list. And this isn’t even counting the Bucket Area at ACR where you pay just $5.00 for everything you can put in a bucket including corks, containers, fabric sample books, heavy cardboard tubes, matte board and poster board, bags of all kinds, prizes for your treasure box, and much, much more! But back to that list idea, here are a few examples of what you can get for under $5.00 that will help teachers create the most creative classroom ever…

  • Yards and yards of fabric
  • 5-10 balls of yarn
  • 20 packs of crayons
  • 2-5 sketch books
  • 20 sheets of stickers
  • 20 or more pens and markers
  • 5 inches of paper of all varieties from looseleaf to construction paper to printer paper and cardstock too
  • 20 never used greeting cards for every occasion with envelopes
  • 5 glue guns and glue sticks
  • 10-20 packs of markers
  • Oodles of pencil sharpeners
  • Rolls of corrugated banners for classroom décor
  • Handfuls of paintbrushes
  • Oodles of jars of glitter and glitter glue
  • 50 or more sheets of colored tissue paper
  • 10 or more jars of tempera paint
  • An entire parties worth of decorations including paper themed tablecloths, napkins, cups and straws
  • 5-10 sets of knitting needles
  • A drawer full of notions for sewing
  • A variety of paper punches
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!

Whether you are a teacher, a crafter, a parent, a curiosity seeker or maker of any kind, come on in and get a gift card for a teacher today. And while you’re in there, take a look around at all the endless creative possibilities in store. Maybe you’ll be inspired to start a project. Or clean out your own workspace. Either way, I guarantee once you see it, you’ll be the first to raise your hand when the teacher makes a request for supplies. And you’ll know where to go in August when the school supply list is staring you down!

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Insert your name here, board member of Austin Creative Reuse

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Board members are the guys in suit with lots of money, right?  Well no, this is not your father’s board.  Our board is full of creative, strong, smart individuals who want to support reuse in Austin.  Our members include a retired elementary teacher, a new mom, a graduate student, a project manager, an accountant, and a former girl scout troop leader.

We collaborate to help shape the future of the organization, especially as our center grows!

As a board member you would join us for monthly board meetings and have some projects to work on.  You would also be an advocate for our organization and help spread the word about our center and our events.

I never thought I would be on a board of directors but I love it and I am proud to be a part of this organization.  Being a part of a board allows me to contribute to an organization I am passionate about at a more serious level.  It is very rewarding to work together with our great board and promote reuse in Austin.

The experience of being on a board is truly unique and fulfilling in a different way than work or family is.  I encourage you to consider joining our board and complete an application today!   ~ Michele

 

Fabric Samples

ACR has an impressive array of fabric samples right now. We have got all sorts of colors, in a variety of textures and cuts. The best part is that they are priced fairly and are affordable enough to upcycle.

Thought the center will be closed till July 30th, it doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to put together ideas and other needed materials for new exciting crafts!

Here are some ideas we can put on our list involving fabric samples that make for exciting group activities and gifts!

For The Family

  1. Mini Messenger Bag

This style has been incredibly popular for young kids (and who are we kidding, for all ages and genders!) and works as a handy way for parents to store snacks, money and their phone when they are out at a family reunion, a campout or a vacation!

2. Grab n Go Reuseable Snack Bags

These are perfect for kids who get dropped off for daycare, day camps and at extracurricular events because it is portable and light! This little bag can hold a few carrots or peanut butter crackers, making your kid not only less grumpy but healthy and full throughout the day.

For You

3. DIY Pendant Necklace

Make some time for you!!!! You are so important and you are allowed to be kind to yourself—that’s not selfish, that is generous. What better way than to spend some time alone and create something for your self?

4. Custom Camera Slipcover

Another way to commit to some self love is making a handy camera slipcover for yourself!

For Your Home and Others

5. Vintage Wrapped Frame

If you have some free time on your hands, then make these beautiful frames for yourself and for your friends! It will be a sweet hand made thought out gift that you can make and customize as your heart desires.

6. Switchplate Covers

Another idea for your home! This can also be a cute housewarming gift, baby shower offering or bridal shower present—it all depends on what you decide to do with it!

Remember that ACR is closed up until July 30th, but please feel free to look over these ideas, create a list, and check out our store starting August 1st!

Lots of love. x

Kodak Slide Carousel Crafting

We got an influx of these beautiful Kodak Carousels in our center a few days ago.

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They are not used as much today as they used to be a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean we can’t repurpose them for daily essentials!

Some cool ideas for these slides are as follows:

Here we have three different methods to repurpose a slide carousel, from a plant vase to a stationery holder for your desk!

A really super easy way to repurpose these sliders is by glueing clocks onto the carousel like this:

You can even buy a few, spray paint them and hang it up in the entertainment room as a nod to film, television shows, and the history of cinema!

Or use them as frames for pictures of your loved ones!

The carousel itself is a great vessel for holding various supplies, from business cards….

….to sewing supplies!

I hope these ideas give you some inspiration to come into our store for Kodak Carousels! They are just bursting with all kinds of creative potentials!

Love and light. x

Summer Crafts

Summer is in full swing, bursting with family outings, get togethers with friends, parties at home, and spontaneous travel plans!

If you have plans to spruce up your kitchen, craft hand-made gifts for birthdays, baby showers, and weddings, or have neat hands-on ideas to do with friends, family, and children, come to ACR for all your craft needs!

At Austin Creative Reuse Center, we have a range of summer crafts for you and your family, for cheap!

Here are some quick and easy ideas:

Make some headbands with your friends or children! All the materials you need are available at the ACR. Our affordable scrap packs allows you to make headbands from various fabrics, designs and colors.

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!

 

 

 

 

 

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities (for only a dollar each)!!!

Another activity is creating sleeping bags for your little kid’s stuffed animals!!!!!! How cute is that? I know as a kid, I loved helping my Dadi sew things, and felt pretty grown up too! It can be totally easy and safe, especially with all the supplies we have waiting for you!

boxes upon boxes of tools, resources and ideas for summer crafts! that too, for cheap.

boxes upon boxes of tools, resources and ideas for summer crafts! that too, for cheap.

We also have numerous types of glues, bobby pins, and tools like pliers and scissors, so this next DIY bobby pin making activity is super straightforward.

You could also make this beautiful hand-made pillow for a friend, family member, any loved one! We even have a sewing machine on sale, so if you find yourself without one, come and shop with us!

Lastly, in honor of all the BBQs, picnics, and random baking you will be doing this summer, make some crafty and affordable hot pads, and with our range in fabrics, you will have some bright, flowery mittens, ready for summer fun!

Thank you for stopping by our blog and keeping updated with all the ongoings at Austin Creative Reuse Center! If you or anyone you know has made a craft using supplies from our store, feel free to post it on social media and tag us! We’d be happy to give yall a shoutout!

peace & love. x

2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Center Hours:
Mon-Wed: CLOSED
Thu/Fri: 10AM - 4PM
Sat: 11AM -6PM
Sun: 12PM - 6PM
Curbside Pickup, 10am-4pm, Daily
Tel: (512) 375-3041