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Board of Directors Meeting Summary, 2018 February

The Board of Directors met in February to discuss upcoming activities and events at Austin Creative Reuse. We are excited to announce that the monthly adult craft night, hosted by volunteer extraordinaire Shiree Schade, is very popular and fun. Keep an eye out for signups for the next ones. ACR will continue to have a monthly presence, staffed by Holli Hartman, at the SFC Farmers Market where you can make some great reuse crafts. Jen Mack, center manager, and Jenn Evans, sustainability board member, are creating a partnership for fun events between ACR and Families in Nature. More to come on that.

 

The board geared up for a push for participating and giving opportunities through Amplify Austin. The board also strategized about materials collection after SXSW to reduce that amount of materials heading to the landfill.

 

The Educator Committee has created a workshop for art teacher development in the Pflugerville school district. The workshop received positive feedback. The committee continues to host Educator Meet-Ups and is installing additional reuse cabinets in various schools, including Deer Park Middle School. The committee recently received a $600 grant for reuse cabinet installations from the Bright Green Futures Grant program administered by the City of Austin.

 

ACR is still looking for an educator board member, as well as a person with PR/marketing skills to join the board. The Safety Committee would love to see a new board member with professional safety program and HR experience.

 

The Sustainability Committee submitted the annual Universal Recycling Ordinance report and is preparing the Austin Green Business Leaders Application. 

 

Led by volunteer Sarah Bird, ACR is collaborating with Goodwill to analyze their trash and potentially divert some of it for reuse through ACR. Long-term the committee will attempt to collaborate with AISD and Goodwill to develop a teacher reuse store.

 

The Financial Committee reports strong numbers for January and noted a $5,000 donation from Bunkhouse Group.

 

President Carole LeClair reported that ACR is negotiating for ACR’s new space in a shopping center not too far from the existing location. The search committee is finding that the market is very hot and very expensive, with properties being rented out before they even have the chance to tour them. Executive Director Isadora McKeon reported on many of the activities she has completed over the last month. She worked with Matt Reilly, program director at KUTX, to obtain public service announcement coverage of ACR on air.

February Craft Night – Slide Carousels and More!

If you have been back in our bucket section lately, you will know we have tons of slide carousels.  We’ve been searching for something fun to do with them and our Crafter in Chief, Shiree Schade came up with a doozy. 

Start with a slide carousel (or anything sturdy and round) as a base, and add just about anything else that stringy or shiny to create your very own objet d’art suitable for hanging inside or out.  

Only using materials from our bucket section, all the makers in attendance created their own one of a kind hanging fixture.  It’s amazing with just a bit time, imagination and a working glue gun, what you can make. 

So next time you find yourself at Austin Creative Reuse, take a serious stroll though our bucket section and find some inspiration of your own!

Our Monthly craft nights are open to all volunteers but seating is limited.  Best way to find out about our next craft night is to sign up for our volunteer newsletter.  The newsletter will also let you know about all the other fabulous volunteer opportunities at Austin Creative Reuse.

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We’re Hiring!

Title:  Clerk-Part time (15-20 hrs per week)

Possible schedule: Wednesday-Saturday various shifts

Wage: $13.00

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.
  • Be efficient at checking out customers quickly.
  • 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 the first and last contact for customers visiting the center. You will be greeting customers as they enter the center and helping customers check out quickly. An Austin Creative Reuse clerk will become familiar with center pricing and will use sound judgement to complete transactions. You will use Square to process credit card sales and be able to handle money for cash sales.  You will engage the customer about their experience in the center and let them know about making financial donations, future programs and events.

  • Greet new customers and introduce them to the center and how it is set up.
  • Main point person for the register and front of the center.
  • Manage all aspects of customer transactions including making sure that transaction data is accurately entered into the cash register.
  • Screen items brought in as drop-off donations; provide donation receipts; ensure that donations are recorded accurately in the donation log.
  • 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.

 

Learn More

Austin Creative Reuse: https://www.austincreativereuse.org/

Letter From The Executive Director: January 2018

Greetings from ACR! Winter always feels like a time to hibernate and to nest, to catch up on art projects and clean out that crazy craft closet. Thank you for thinking of us when you prepare your donations – as a reminder, here’s a list of what we accept and we welcome your donations anytime the center is open. 

Speaking of donations, we’d like to say a huge thanks to our business donor of the month, Hotel San José. In return for their donation, ACR will work with the hotel to create custom craft kits for hotel guests that help spread the word about our mission and Austin’s commitment to ecology and creativity. Thank you to the San José for your generous support of Austin Creative Reuse!

We’re still hard at work on the new space – we’ve toured a bunch of spots and have a few things in the work that we’re excited about. We hope to have more to share soon. In the meantime, as we prepare to expand the center in size, we’re keeping our eye out for cheap or free Metro shelving like the metal shelving we have currently. We’d love your help! If you see any Metro shelving available on Craig’s List or elsewhere, peals let us know by sending an email to info@austincreativereuse.org

This is a Metro cart!

As ever, thanks for being a part of the ACR community. 

Craft Night – Message in a Bottle

Normal is the Average of Deviance

Here’s a great idea for a craft night among friends, fashioning urban Message in a Bottles using strips of text and materials from the Austin Creative Reuse Center. Crafters can pack their choices in little vials, jars and boxes and applied decorations to the outside. These beautiful little keepsakes can be kept by the creator, given to  someone special or, and this is the most intriguing of the ideas, toss that bottle in the urban ocean, leaving it to be randomly discovered and scooped up by lucky and observant passerby.

It’s super easy,

  • just take a small bottle, jar, box or container (preferably clear)
  • insert tinsel, sequins, small toys, objects or anything that inspires you
  • include a message which can be hand written, printed or even cut from a magazine or book
  • seal up the bottle and decorate the top or bottom for extra points
  • decide how to deploy your special message

What kind of messages can you leave?  These can be funny, sweet, snarky, pithy or wise.  Here’s some examples:

  • When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be
  • Turn your wounds into wisdom
  • Out of difficulties grow miracles
  • Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” ― Albert Einstein
  • All who wander are not lost – JR Tolkien
  • “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West
  • A good friend will help you move; A true friend will help you move a dead body
  • Too many irons, not enough fire

And best of all, Austin Creative Reuse has everything you could possibly need for this craft night all in our “by the bucket” area.  We have lots of small containers, toys, decorations, magazines, scrapbooking materials and so much more.  Now decide how to launch your message into the world.   

You Scream

I Scream

I know you are but what am I

An Apple a Day

A bird in the hand . . .

Message in a Bottle

 

 

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Material of the Week: Keys

Keys are beautiful in both texture and shape.  They carry stories with them, and they can be used for their utility and beauty in all kinds of craft projects.  Check out some of these cool reuse projects using keys.

Keys are a great addition when making jewelry.  Even the most common of keys becomes an interesting addition when used in this medium. 

We love yard art!  And bonus if it also makes noise!  This project looks easy enough to let the kiddos help out.

Check out this key holder made of keys and a beautiful piece of reclaimed wood as its base.  This is a great project for the beginning DIYer, no power tools necessary.

Have fun, get crafty and share with us on Facebook and Instagram what you’ve made with this weeks material of the week.

Looking for more inspiration for projects with keys? Find other great ideas on our Pinterest page.

Material of the Week: Slides

You can find slides at Austin Creative Reuse for just 5 cents each.  Let’s find some fun ways to use them!

This website, Dishfunctional Designs, has some really great ideas to reuse old photo slides.  There wasn’t a lot of instruction, but many of them seemed easy to figure out.  This small light looks really neat!

These would be the perfect christmas lights for the film buff in your family, or great in any media room. 

We love little notebooks!!  And we love all the amazing materials you can use to make them!  Check out this little notebook using slides as the cover. 

Check out our pinterest board for slides for even more crafty ideas. 

Have fun folks!  Remember to share your creations on facebook and instagram!

Material of the Week: Crayons

We’ve got a plethora of crayons!  They’re just 25cents a scoop.  Offering them bulk like this, gives folks the chance to be picky about they’re colors.  So if it’s a mono-chromatic hair-dryer painting you’re wanting, no worries, get right to picking out all those pinks! 

So just what can you do with old crayons.  

Draw with them of course!  The less than perfect, stubby seconds are just fine for little hands!  Check this out from our Educator Committee member, Bernadette Noll about creating a “share economy” in the classroom. 

Maybe you’re kids have outgrown the crayons, or you’re just looking for some new inspiration.  

Here are 5 ideas from dailymom.com including the ever popular, “new crayons”, crayon candles, stained glass suncatcher, hair dryer painting and a DIY crayon monogram.   Almost all the supplies from every one of these projects can be found at the center. 

 

I also love this idea for a DIY iron-on transfer, using crayons and sandpaper.  Get those onesies ready! 

 

 

 

Have fun folks!  Remember to share your creations on facebook and instagram!

 

Build A Sign and Austin Creative Reuse reframe waste as a resource – helping their business, the environment, and the community

Build A Sign, an Austin printing company, joined the Austin Materials Marketplace to help close the loop on some of their most common byproducts – flag fabric, canvas, vinyl, sticker, gator board, and mesh scrap. The Marketplace team stepped in to learn more about these materials, research reuse applications, and promote their availability to businesses who could potentially use these materials.

 

After researching these materials and their reuse applications, the Austin Materials Marketplace team cast a wide net to promote them to local businesses and organizations, and hauled in Austin Creative Reuse as an interested taker. Austin Creative Reuse is a nonprofit reuse center that advocates for creativity, education, and community building. Since September, Austin Creative Reuse has been making weekly pick-ups for Build A Sign materials. This ongoing transaction has diverted 443 pounds of materials from the landfill which in turn avoided 1.74 cubic tons of carbon emissions from being created. These are some impressive numbers that will continue to grow in the coming year.

 

Build A Sign and Austin Creative reuse are also seeing monetary value created from this relationship. Build A Sign is saving on disposal costs and Austin Creative Reuse is realizing value from selling these materials at a fraction of their value to cost-conscious consumers such as teachers and artists. We estimate that around $2,000 worth of materials have made their way through the reuse center and back into consumers’ hands to be reused as raw material.

 

Even if a business recycles and composts, in many cases there are still odd materials that end up in the dumpster. Responsible businesses are exploring opportunities through the Austin Materials Marketplace to minimize costs and environmental impact by recovering these waste streams for higher & better uses – join the program to get involved!

Letter From The ED: New Year, New Center

Happy New Year! I hope that your holidays were filled with peace, abundance and the joy of community. This can be a challenging season for waste and consumption, but it’s also a time for knitting scarves as gifts, cooking for our loved ones and doing other activities that nourish our creative spirits and show our love through the act of hand-making. If you are like us, your new year’s resolutions include more creativity, more community and a redoubled commitment to a gentle footprint on the planet. 

As we look towards the coming year at Austin Creative Reuse, we are focused on and excited for the move to a bigger center this summer. Thank you to the 76 people who completed our New Space Survey – your responses were invaluable in informing our needs and priorities. Of the respondents, 84% of you are shoppers at the center, 25% of you self-identified as fans (we love you too!) and 22% as donors. Thank you to our one respondent who identified as a fur ball – you never know who valuable insights might come from.

Resoundingly, when asked about space priorities for the new center, more retail space was #1, and we could not agree with you more. Workshop space was #2, and a tool lending library was #3. For fill-in responses, the top priorities were: accessibility of the space/location, a request for an area to sit and sort through purchases before checking out, a dedicated donation area, and a library of craft ideas.

In regards to activities and services that the new center should offer, here’s how respondents ranked their priorities:

  1. How-to classes
  2. Adult craft nights and events
  3. Low-cost event space for rental to other likeminded organizations
  4. Summer/day camps for kids
  5. Birthday parties
  6. Special interest meetups and fix-it clinics

Fill-in responses about activities seemed to share a common desire for more adult-focused events at the center, since there seem to be a fair amount of existing options in Austin for kids but few for grown-up crafters, according to those who took the survey.

In our final open-ended question, respondents provided a few great suggestions that we will look at implementing in the short term (email notifications about flash sales! Posting donations wish lists on Facebook!) and we’ll take others to heart in our longer-term planning. We will of course take into consideration all of your accessibility suggestions like parking, proximity to public transportation and other important concerns. There were many passionate comments about where in town the new center should be, with equal arguments made for north, south and central. While we wish we could have centers in all three parts of town, our current search is within a close radius of our existing center.

Finally, we are so grateful for all of the wonderful comments and notes of support from those who took the survey – we are so proud to offer a service of value to you, our beloved community of creatives, educators and lovers of planet earth. We are so excited for the possibilities that await us in our new center, and we’re grateful for your input and support as we grow to new heights.

Thank you and happy new year to you all.  

Sincerely,

 

Isadora McKeon

Executive Director

 

6406 N. IH35 #1801, Austin, TX 78752
Hours: Wed/Th 10am-8pm, Fri/Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm
Tel: (512) 375-3041