Get to Know the Crafty Mart Team: Executive Director Brit Charek
Ever wondered about the people behind the non-profit organization Crafty Mart? This is the second profile in a series to introduce you to the Crafty Mart Team. Revisit Assistant Director Joanna Wilson's profile here.
As the Executive Director of Crafty Mart, I find myself doing something different pretty much every single day. Lately I've been spending most of my time reaching out to and collaborating with like-minded people and organizations in the area to further Crafty Mart's mission. I also spend a lot of my working hours event planning, maintaining the website and social media outlets, and managing my small but mighty staff. Crafty Mart has grown significantly in the last year, and that's no accident-- it's due to the hard work of myself and our core group of staff, board members, and community volunteers. I couldn't be more proud of who I get to work with, what we've accomplished, and the endless possibilities ahead of us!
Just like Joanna, I started as a crafter as well. When I was in grad school, I opened an Etsy shop to help make ends meet. I mostly sold vintage, but then I bought a pick punch on a whim and started making guitar picks from old gift cards and credit cards. Soon people were giving me boxes of old gift cards, and I began making jewelry and other small works of art.
The first Crafty Mart I vended at was the Mom & Pop Shoppe in 2011. I loved what J Hudson and Juniper Sage had put together in just a few short years, and was more than honored when they asked me to take over the reigns. (Want to know more about our origins? The Devil Strip did a great job covering it back in the spring!)
Outside of what we do for Crafty, Joanna and I co-founded and run the blog Akron Empire.
I also co-organize The Midwest Craft Con, a three-day retreat for crafters, makers and creative entrepreneurs that will have its inaugural event February 19-21, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. Early bird tickets went on sale this week!
Oh, and in my spare time I teach high school English.
I also have a family. Pretty cute, huh? Not pictured: our pet rat, Richard.
My husband, Mathias, has been supportive of my crafty pursuits to the extent that he even hosted his own craft show, Manly Mart. My son, Holden, enjoys swimming, climbing, playing with Transformers, legos, and old school Godzilla (although he admits to enjoying the most recent Godzilla film.)
Did you see my Shopper Story on our blog back in April? There will be more Shopper Stories and Team Profiles on our blog in the coming months, so stay tuned!