Author Archives: Isadora McKeon

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. 

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

 

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!