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Archived Blog Posts: May 2022- February 2023

In early 2023, Scraplanta switched website hosts. We transitioned from Wordpress to Wix because we needed a website that was easier to edit. During that process, we ended up losing several years of blog posts that we're still trying to figure out how to recover. In the meantime, we wanted to upload a blog post with a few posts that were saved in other places while we try to recover our old Wordpress site.

February 2023: A Love Letter to the Scraplanta Community

Editor's Note: This blog post was created in February 2023 to celebrate Scraplanta's 5th birthday and the people who made it happen.

Dear ScrapATLiens,

I am amazed by the community we created because we love making cool art and protecting the environment. From the very first email I received in November 2021 about Scraplanta’s glorious return, I knew that Scraplanta would be a welcoming organization with a culture of respect, inclusivity, and positivity.

Every week, I am greeted by folks who are eager to buy art supplies for their next project. Whenever I have the pleasure of ringing up someone’s order, I always encourage folks to take pictures of their beautiful creations. If not for my own love of art, at least for folks to remember that they are capable of creating something positive and wonderful with their hands and their minds.

I am forever in awe of how wonderfully talented ScrapATLiens are, and I hope that as Executive Director I can continue to provide an environment where makers can thrive.

To Scraplanta’s amazing board members,

I am thankful for every one of Scraplanta’s board members, both past and present. Scraplanta’s board constantly challenges me to lead with integrity, optimism, and courage. Every board meeting is filled with wonderful discussions about how we can better serve the community. I am also appreciative of former board members who provided thorough feedback on ways for Scraplanta to improve our operations and governance structure.

To Scraplanta’s Reuse Specialists a.k.a. The Dream Team,

Scraplanta’s three reuse specialists, Dana, Sarah, and Levi were the first folks that I ever had the honor to hire in my career. Years of management courses and HR articles could not have prepared me for the sheer joy that I have experienced from crafting a team of individuals who breathe so much positive energy into Scraplanta’s operations.

Last, but never least to Scraplanta’s Volunteers,

Every non-profit organization is started by a group of volunteers. These volunteers come together over a common cause and pour their hearts into this cause because they want to see it thrive. They work tirelessly for years just for the joy of sharing their mission with the world. Scraplanta’s volunteers kept us alive during our toughest days. Whenever Scraplanta gets a new volunteer, I welcome them with open arms because I am excited by the work they will achieve with Scraplanta. Even though they may only dedicate a few hours or a few days, their contributions add up.

Scraplanta’s volunteers have dedicated hundreds of hours to our community events, store renovations, and operations. There were many nights when I wondered how we were going to sort through piles of donations, and the next day volunteers would happily tackle boxes of fabric, yarn, paper, and so much more.

At the end of the day, I can not thank the Scraplanta community enough for their contributions to our wonderful organization. Without the helpful and wonderful minds of our artists, teachers, makers, volunteers, reuse specialists, board members, donors, cheerleaders, and everyone else, we would not have the wonderful space we would have today. I encourage everyone to keep Atlanta creative, and I can’t wait to see more beautifully sustainable artwork.

Sustainably Warm Regards,

Jonelle Dawkins

August 2022: What's Going on With Scraplanta?

Editor's Note: This blog post was penned in August 2022 when we were struggling to open our retail store.

It’s August, and we don’t have an opening date. After months of collecting donations, filling out paperwork, getting repairs done, and staying on our P’s and Q’s, everything has come to a screeching halt. In order to get our Certificate of Occupancy, we need to submit floor plans that are stamped and approved by a GA Design Professional (or Engineer Architect) with occupancy restrictions and fire safety instructions. The frustrating part is that Scraplanta has been trying to figure out what we needed for months, so we could open, and after fighting to get our address recognized, floors installed, AC fixed, water meter replaced, and electricity repaired, we are finally told that we need to submit stamped floor plans because the sketch the Dekalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability initially requested wasn’t enough.

So what are we doing about it?

Currently, we found an architect who is willing to help us, but they need items from our property managers who need time to gather those items. This is out of Scraplanta’s hands for now. I am hopeful that these things will get done soon, but at this moment, I can’t make anyone move any faster. I know everyone is eager to come to Scraplanta, so they can learn, shop, and be in community with other crafters, but we just don’t know when that’s going to happen in our retail space.

Scraplanta Creative Reuse will open, we just don’t know when, and in this moment, we just ask that you continue to be patient with us. The week of August 1st-7th, we aren’t accepting donations, so we can re-organize our volunteer area and finish staging our retail sales floor. After August 7th, we are going to start accepting donations again, but due to capacity restraints, our donation acceptance days will be limited.

What can you do in the meantime?

I know the Scraplanta community has been super excited about our return, and I am, too! At this time, we just need patience as we get through this. If you want a sneak peek at our retail space, sign-up to volunteer with us. If you stop by to drop off items, you’re free to take a quick tour, but please note that we might be busy with another task. We try to update our social media with behind the scenes photos and videos, so check out our Facebook, Instagram, and even our Tiktok!

Last but not least, if you’re feeling generous and would like to donate money to help us cover opening expenses like inspection fees, supplies, and other things, please feel free to donate to our PayPal Charity Page. We also have an option to purchase E-Giftcards that can be used once we open.

We are going to stay positive and try to have community events such as our Storytime with Patagonia event on Saturday, August 6th, so we can keep finding ways to connect with people.

May 2022: Scraplanta's Magical Mystery Location

Editor's Note: This blog was penned in May 2022 when we were struggling to get our address registered with Google Maps and the City of Tucker.

Scraplanta is in a really weird space right now. Our space is so weird that Google, the City of Tucker, and multiple entities have been scratching their heads to figure out where we are. A couple of weeks ago, a conversation with the property manager started with, “I’m sorry, but we’ve been going back and forth with the City of Tucker because they weren’t sure if Scraplanta is within their city limits.” I can’t imagine how a retail space that’s right in the middle of a shopping center would just magically not be considered a part of the city, but in this journey, I’ve learned that anything is possible. For example, our building was able to pass an electrical inspection without the electricity even working!

I don’t know what type of magic that is, but I want to be able to snap my fingers and BOOM! It’s Scraplanta’s opening day, and there’s a crowd of excited people ready to craft and share their art with others. It seems like that’s a little impossible for me to do right now, but what I can and will try to do is find exciting ways to engage with Scraplanta’s community. We have too many amazing and creative folks who want to make art for us to put everything on ice until we’re able to get into our retail space. Instead of having the community come to us, we have to go out into the community and provide programs to engage and educate everyone on the joys of creative reuse.

If you take a peek at our May events calendar, we have several events planned where we will provide activities and even some take-home kits for children (we will expand to other age groups soon!) This weekend, we will be at the Decatur Arts Festival with our friends from DecaturMakers and PaintLove. We’re using this as an opportunity to help children create a plastic bottle cap mural and spread the word about Scraplanta. We’ll also have Wonder Kits that are perfect for kids who love to use their hands and be creative!

Next month, we’re going to host a collage night at HodgePodge Coffee on Moreland Avenue! We hope to see you there!

If you would like to volunteer with Scraplanta at our community events or help us organize our storage unit, make sure you’re registered with our Volunteer Database.

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