Tucked among the brick-and-mortar buildings on Enterprise Drive, a vibrant oasis of color and creativity blooms. This is Scraps & Skeins, a creative reuse store and social venture of Strawberry Fields. But its impact extends far beyond recycled yarn and vintage buttons. For Kim, Scraps & Skeins is not just her place of employment but a place of belonging, where she has found community and friendship supporting her mental health recovery journey.
Kim’s journey with Scraps & Skeins started in 2017 as a proactive step to help manage her depression. Depression, a formidable adversary, is far more than just a temporary case of melancholy. Depression affects how you feel, think, and behave, interfering with normal day-to-day activities. You can't simply "snap out" of it, and it often requires long-term treatment and support.
Kim's engagement at Scraps & Skeins, initiated by a thoughtful nudge from her Strawberry Fields mental health caseworker, is more than conventional employment. Starting as a volunteer and evolving into a staff member, Kim found more than a job—she discovered a community. "There's got to be a better word for how these people make me feel when I'm here." Kim reflects. "I just don't have a word for it. It's just wonderful here. It's beautiful here. The staff and volunteers will help me out with everything. And I never had any of that before ever."
Dottie Ewing, manager, Scraps & Skeins, shares, “Working with Kim has been an absolute joy. Kim is a valuable addition to our team. As our 'cash register guru,' Kim brings attention to detail, provides exceptional customer service, and a friendly face to greet our customers."
In this nurturing environment, Kim is not just an employee. She's a valued member of the community. Shopper smiles, birthday cards from long-term customers and staff birthday celebrations with her favorite cake, all reflect deep, personal connections. Kim's story is interwoven with personal struggles, including the loss of a sibling and concerns for her brother's health, intensifying her mental health challenges. Yet, for her, Scraps & Skeins stands as a refuge, where empathy, support and meaningful work are abundantly offered.
The Scraps & Skeins community provides Kim with the powerful social benefits of employment. She has found friendship and social connections. She has learned new skills and built self-esteem. She has dabbled in crafts and treasured having a routine that keeps her on track even when not at the store. "When I don't come here, I revert to sleeping Friday night to Monday and not getting up for anything. And that's bad. I know it is." shares Kim. "I'm so glad Scraps & Skeins is here. I am better when I come to work regularly."
Kim’s story with Scraps & Skeins is more than an employment story. It's a powerful testimony to the journey of healing, discovery, and recovery. Kim’s story highlights the irreplaceable role of personalized case management and a compassionate workplace in mental health recovery. Kim's experiences are not just about coping with depression. They're about thriving despite it.