Karen Koseck is the executive director of Creative Junk Therapy, a nonprofit creative reuse center that promotes creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse.

Karen Koseck and her family moved to the Brandon area from Chicago in 2003. She started taking painting and drawing classes at Center Place many years ago, which rekindled her passion for art.

“I wanted to find a way to help others find their purpose or peace through art,” Koseck said. “After attending a forum of the arts seminar with Mayor Jane Castor last year, I found a renewed desire for making a living creatively.”

A friend introduced her to the creative reuse concept and we attended a boot camp at Reconsidered Goods in Greensboro, North Carolina. The concept combines art with reuse and upcycling.

“We found a space that allows us to sell materials, do upcycle projects, a gallery to showcase creations and host classes and workshops,” she explained.

And so, Creative Junk Therapy, a nonprofit creative reuse center to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse, was born.

“We offer many classes and workshops,” Koseck said. “Many of the reuse projects are for sale as well as a host of unique materials to help you get your craft on. If you prefer to drop in and work on something independently, we have project examples and supplies so you can use our makerspace to make your own personalized piece. We always need volunteers to help with events, projects and processing materials as well.”

If you ask Koseck what she likes most about her job, she’ll tell you it’s the excitement she brings to her clients.

“I love the excitement of the people,” she said. “We have tried to make a fun, interesting environment and there is a lot to see. Our goal is to encourage people to reconsider the things they throw away.”

Koseck and her staff have gotten great feedback from their clients on the classes they took at Creative Junk Therapy.

“We have had such a great response from everyone,” Koscek said. “They are normally doubtful of their abilities, but pleasantly surprised at the end result.”

To learn more about Creative Junk Therapy or if you’d like to take a class at the studio, visit www.facebook.com/CreativeJunkTherapy or call Koseck at 324-9777. Creative Junk Therapy is located at 10236 Fisher Ave., Ste. A in Tampa.

It is closed on Monday and Tuesday and is open Wednesday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.