SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Arrow Creative Reuse is a nonprofit “art supply thrift store” that plans to sell donated arts and crafts materials and offer special art workshops in Springfield this fall.
“With the loss of National Art Shop and IPA, an educational supply store, artists and makers don’t have a lot of low-cost choices for supplies,” said owner Karlei “Re” Baker-Dietz. “Of course, these days you can go online and order almost anything, but having a brick and mortar location to shop through feels so much …healthier? I’m not sure of the word but there is something magical about finding just the right item you’re looking for when you weren’t even looking for it.”
Baker-Dietz said there are other “creative reuse centers” across the country and she has been researching the movement and volunteering at ScrapsKC, an art supply store In Kansas City, to gain inspiration. She said she was very influenced by Springfield’s old Etc. Center, which served as a free supply closet for educators.
Aside from selling donated art and supplies, Arrow Creative Reuse will be holding workshops on how to reuse materials that otherwise might be destined for the landfill. Baker-Dietz taught a workshop at the Springfield Art Museum last June using plastic grocery bags to make “Plarn” (plastic yarn) which can be used to crochet or weave on a handmade loom.
At the time of the writing of this article, Arrow Creative Reuse is not taking any more material donations until the current ones are processed.
“Some people who have donated supplies to us have lost really important people, and their belongings are equally important. They have said that we are helping them process grief and have shown a lot of gratitude that the items will be put to good use instead of ending up in a landfill and forgotten,” said Baker-Dietz.
Baker-Dietz said Arrow Creative Reuse will hopefully be open in November at 1506 E. St. Louis St. next to the Route 66 Food Truck Park.
“It’s a little overwhelming emotionally to have the opening so close. I’m worried there might be something I overlooked, and I’ve never opened a business before so there’s definitely something I overlooked,” said Baker-Dietz. “I have really received so much incredible support from my family and friends as well as the community as a whole.”
For more information about Arrow Creative Reuse or to donate to their cause, click here.