History of ACR

Category Archives:History of ACR

Austin Creative Reuse’s Grand Opening Celebration in the News

We would like to thank Nancy Flores of the Austin Statesman for the amazing article: “One person’s trash is this center’s treasure” and Robyn Ross of the Austin Chronicle for the wonderful article “Making Reuse Mainstream: A combination of public and private organizations are working on alternatives to recycling”

Having these 2 great Austin publications share Austin Creative Reuse’s story helps more Austinites understand the importance of reuse and helps to connect affordable materials to the creatives in Austin.

Hope to see you at the Center soon!

 

 

Grand Opening Celebration February 13th

unnamed (2)Come Celebrate with us.
On Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 10am to 2pm, join us for the Grand Opening Celebration of Austin’s first Creative Reuse Center located at 6406 N IH 35, #1801,  Austin, TX 78752.

The celebration will start at 10am with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  Among the guests attending the ribbon cutting ceremony will be:

  • Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member District 4
  • Bob Gedert, Director of Austin Resource Recovery
  • Natalie Betts, City of Austin Recycling Economic Development Liaison
  • Claudia Montero, local reuse artist;
  • Kenya Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas

The celebration will continue until 2pm with free paper crafting, reuse games and refreshments.

The Creative Reuse Center provides a focal point for our mission.  The community will find affordable materials for creative exploration and be inspired by reuse examples, events, activities, and classes.

board

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsors:

wfm-logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

SearchRPM_austin_seo_logo

 

 

logo

 

 

 

 

 

Austin Creative Reuse: One Step at a Time

Guest Blogger: Marissa Crenwelge, Student Volunteer from UT

At the beginning of this semester, I was aware of the nation’s obsession with going green, but I had no idea there were “reuse centers” dedicated to the cause. In Austin however, there is an organization dedicated to “upcycling,” or reusing someone’s old stuff and making it your own, and last year they were able to keep over 2,000 pounds of material out of landfills. As a student volunteer working on a video project for my Public Relations Techniques class at the University of Texas at Austin, I’ve spent the past semester working with Austin Creative Reuse, a nonprofit whose mission is to foster conservation and reuse by encouraging creativity, providing a convenient place to donate or purchase old materials and hosting events that promote sustainability in the Austin community.    UT_Crenwelge

Two months ago, I walked into Austin Creative Reuse not knowing what to expect. The center was closed, but there were volunteers dropping off and sorting items, trying to get things ready for the “soft” opening later that month. I could immediately tell they were excited to see such young blood walk in the door, and were curious as to why five college students turned up on a Friday morning. Since that morning in early September, both the Austin Creative Reuse storefront and my knowledge of what a reuse center is, have grown.

Austin Creative Reuse is in a period of expansion, and I’ve witnessed it first hand. The first time we stopped by the nonprofit to meet with two of its board members, Rebecca and Carol, they were still moving shelves into the back for storage (and they were very excited when we offered to help them out). The most recent visit we made saw the store brimming with new and exciting details – and they had just hung their sign on the front of their building. As a result of all of these small steps, the final product of the video my team is making will have the advantage of showing the growth of the ACR center leading up to the grand opening in early 2016.  UT_Crenwelge2

Austin Creative Reuse is striving to attract younger volunteers, and it’s a great organization to get involved with if you’re passionate about sustainability. It’s also a great resource for college students who are in need of creative tools and materials, or are just looking for an affordable way to make Pinterest worthy crafts.

Watch the Video created by UT Student Volunteers

New to Reuse: My First Time at ACR

Guest Blogger: Jim Hampton, Student Volunteer from UT

The first time I stepped foot in the Austin Creative Reuse Center, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Up to that day, I’d only seen the nonprofit’s YouTube channel, which featured ACR events taking place at temporary, borrowed spaces: a classroom, a backyard or a table at a convention. Each video showed volunteers working with a different group, from schoolchildren to conference attendees. Given the breadth of the work that ACR was shown to do as part of a mission to foster conservation through creative and collaborative means, I was interested in what the organization’s home space might look like. I wasn’t disappointed.

Even in its unfinished stages, ACR had created something dazzlingly unique. Everything, from the behind-the-counter signage to storage containers to the lime green bench by the front door, had been built from repurposed materials. My group and I took nearly an hour to browse the unfinished storefront area, looking at the colorful catalog of materials that ACR offered.

UT_

 

Basic materials like fabric and spray paint shared the shelves with doorknobs, vintage photographs, old maps and even used canvases meant to be painted over. The closer we looked at the center, the more ingenuity we found. At the time, it seemed like a miracle that ACR was even able to fit all of these materials in one room.

I’m not a visually artistic person, but it’s difficult to not be inspired by looking at things that ACR volunteers had created as examples. There were boxes made from old record albums, old textbooks with secret compartments, collaged wall decorations, and even a beautiful, medieval-style dress, presumably made with donated fabric and thread, was prominently displayed by the register. Stepping foot inside ACR’s center made me want to explore, to build and to work with the nonprofit, and I suspect that’s one of the main reasons my group and I are trusted to publicize the new space by creating a promotional video.
My understanding of Austin Creative Reuse’s mission fully took shape after visiting the community center. This is an important first step for them. ACR isn’t opening a base of operations for themselves, they’re opening a source of inspiration for the city, and it won’t stop there. I’m proud to be involved, even in a small role, at such a pivotal point in time.

Watch the Video created by UT Student Volunteers

 

 

the story of our sign

We were very excited to install our Center’s sign this weekend, with help from most of my family and a little google-searching about mounting things to stucco. Hopefully it will make it easier for folks to spot our location on quiet Middle Fiskville Rd.

Volunteer/husband Bryan puts in the final screw.

Volunteer/husband Bryan puts in the final screw.

Deciding on a sign was a bit of a balancing act (possibly I just have balance on the brain as I look at this photo of my husband on a ladder in flip flops). We wanted something that looked nice and was easy to spot, something in keeping with our mission and passion for reuse, and—as an all-volunteer nonprofit—something that wouldn’t break the bank.

Luckily, ’twas the season for the twice-annual Round Top antique bonanza. These events are a reusers paradise. There are fancy antiques, sure, but also buckets of rusty forks, fixtures from demolished buildings, and, increasingly, reuse artists and craftspeople showing off their skills.

You never know what you’ll find among the acres of tents and barns, but prior experience suggested that old sign letters were to be had. It’s an easy day-trip from Austin and hard to resist a visit in any case, so I was happy to have sign-shopping as an excuse to go. Within the first hour, I’d spotted dozens of cool reuse crafts and opportunities, and then, jackpot:

letter alphabet

A field full of letters just waiting to come home with me. I dragged all the A’s, C’s, and R’s into a pile, picked out two good combinations, and it was all over but the stucco-mounting.

Opening Saturday September 26

20150921_182540

Grab your creative juices and come visit us at the Austin Creative Reuse Center.

The first section of the center will open Saturday, September 26 from 10am – 2pm.

From then on, the center will be open every Thursday night from 6pm-8pm and every Saturday from 10am-2pm.

We’ll be extending hours and adding sections to the center over the next few months.  Please be patient with us as we continue to work through our processes and the pricing of the materials.

Our first workshop will be a cape making activity on Saturday, October 31.  We’ll be posting more details in the coming week.

 

A big thank you to all of the volunteers that have assisted in setting up the center.  There have been many wonderful individuals showing up weekly and several one day events with groups from Little Helping Hands, Americorps and eBay (United Way Fall Day of Caring).

download

What do you mean by sections?

We currently have the front space open to customers. It is filled with lots of unique and special items including beads, buttons, fabric, markers, canvases and decorative tile. We’ve added some items like corks and paint chip samples to that area for now.

We will be adding additional sections that are focused more on bulk quantities of items like cork, cd cases, small containers, and carpet squares.  We’ll also be setting up workshop spaces for adults and children.  And we would also like to incorporate a gallery and consignment areas.

What types of materials can I donate?

We accept a variety of materials. Please review our materials donation list for details.

I have materials to donate, when can I bring them to the center?

You may bring donations during open hours.

How can I volunteer?

We will need volunteers more than ever now that we have a center to take in more materials. We are planning volunteer events to assist with the setup of the center and to sort materials.  We’ll post these on our events calendar.  A great way to be notified of the events and our volunteer opportunities is to sign up for our volunteer newsletter.

Capture

 

 

The ACR Pricing Philosophy – Nothing is Free

As we set up the center, we are continually asked what the price will be for the materials we will sell or are asked if we will give away items for free.

We believe that every object has a social, economic and environmental impact that influences our relationship with STUFF.

  • While the materials are donated to us for free, our pricing is based on a value to cover the cost of the organization that includes collecting, storing and merchandising the materials in order to be a financial sustainable organization.
  • The prices that we set are evaluated against market prices (first hand retail as well as thrift stores). The intent is to be in line with the economic situation of our local market.
  • We constantly evaluate the price of items and the time that is has been on our shelves. To encourage purchase and usage of the item, we identify ways to use it and share this with the community.
  • We will donate items and at times will give away items for free. However, we would like to continue bringing awareness to people that there is a cost to the goods.  We do not want to encourage hoarding and we want to maintain the financial sustainability of the organization.

Tags:, , ,

Sorting, Making Lists and Installing Baseboards

The center setup is progressing step by step. We have moved to the next level of sorting of items and will start to price materials soon.  It’s always fun to see what materials have been donated. (more info on donating materials)  A local artist, Shiree S. has started to install baseboards using donated tile, isn’t it beautiful!

 

 

 

If We Build it, They will Come!

We’ve had a very productive and enjoyable few weeks as we build out the center.  We added some great display fixtures from a local design warehouse closeout and have started working with  an interior designer and a decor specialist to create a long term plan for the design of the space.

We’ve started the next levels of sorting of the materials going from basic category piles to grouping items into bins. We have set up our recycling area and have started weighing outgoing materials.  A local artist is installing our baseboards created from donated tiles and a decor specialist created some new display fixtures for us.

We are so grateful for the volunteers that are helping make this possible.

To continue to build out the space and to run the center, we have some items that we need. We’ve been scanning Craig’s list and other options but would appreciate any assistance you can give to help us get these items.  Please check out our wishlist to see if you have an item that matches.

 

I’m Focusing on Reusing This Week

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 10.47.56 AM

Yep, Tony Carillo of F-minus totally gets us.

When faced with parting with any physical object from our lives, ask yourself some simple questions.
Can I fix it and give it new life?
Can I donate it to keep it out of the landfill?
Can I reuse it in some new creative way?

Even the things we throw in our recycling bin will require energy and resources to bring it back to life.

Our Creative Reuse Center will help you make some of these choices. Our mission is to promote conservation and creativity in our community through reuse. We hope to offer folks a way to extend the life of the stuff they have and means to pursue your creative dreams by providing lots of donated art, craft, life materials.

Tags:, , ,

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