About

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WHO WE ARE:

CO-OP Phoenix (CO-OPhx for short)  is an organization of inspired community leaders and changemakers. Our mission is to foster meaningful connections and build community in Phoenix through our pop up events. Though each event is unique, they are connected by sustainable, creative and philanthropic components. It is through our cooperative concept that attendees, business collaborators and CO-OPhx organizers become an integral part of the magic.

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OUR VALUES:

  • Community-we are local people working together for local change. Our experiences create a connected network of people meeting in a unique way. Our philanthropic work directly contributes to our community.
  • Consciousness- we are mindful of ourselves, our community and our world. Our events are socially-conscious and sustainable, helping to spread positive and progressive awareness.
  • Creativity – we are active innovators and ideators. Our team embraces out-of-the-box thinking and allows the space to share creative ideas and input freely.
  • Comfort- we create a giving, loving and sharing environment where kindness is the norm. Our cooperative events are hands-on and encourage individuals to be comfortable being their best selves.
  • Collaboration – we work collaboratively inside and outside. Internally with our team and externally with the Phoenix community, fostering relationships with local business owners and community leaders.

WHAT WE DO:

  • Creating opportunities- we offer opportunities to become part of cooperative projects either as a director, coordinator, volunteer or participant.
  • Embracing strengths- we exercise a strengths-based leadership approach to ensure everyone uses their individual strengths and talents.
  • Creating a positive environment- our cooperative events provide an environment that is comfortable and welcoming. 

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THE STORY:

It all started when…

The CO-OPhx started in February 2012 with the first Clothing Swap CO-OP in Kelsey Wong and Jake Michael’s backyard in Phoenix. Kelsey was inspired by her yearlong shopping sabbatical and wanted to create an event that allowed everyone to experience the same feeling of giving.  With the encouragement of Co-Director and fellow fashion enthusiast, Sydney Rea, who had recently returned from London Fashion School, the two collaborated to host the first event: Clothing Swap PHX

swap1_racksWith a lot of community buzz and desire for more events, Kelsey’s roommate Jake Michael, local artist and interior designer put together the first ART CO-OP (a community art party) in May. On a roll, the CO-OPhx team organized at hyper speed to bring a third event, the Summer Clothing Swap in April. With more than 60 swappers, 12 community partners and over 200 clothing items to exchange, everyone enjoyed connecting in such a unique way.

summerswap2The community partners included local boutiques, bloggers and fashion magazines who were able to generate awareness and connect in a very personal way with some of their biggest fans. To create a triple-win, all un-swapped clothing at the swaps is donated to local charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Sojourner Center, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and International Rescue Committee.

fallswapflyerTaking a break for summer, the CO-OPhx came bag with  their third seasonal Fall Clothing Swap in October which brought together 300 people, 18 SWAP TEAM volunteers, 18 local bloggers/business collaborators and 1600 lbs of donations at frances vintage and the Medlock Plaza.

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With such community enthusiasm, a Tempe Swap was born followed by the Spring Swap PHX totaling in 5 swaps, 500 swappers and over 2000 lbs of clothing donated.

Since then we’ve planned a Spring Clothing Swap at GROWop Boutique, Cellar Door Vintage Annie’s Boomer Vintage in the downtown Phoenix vintage district.

Our next event will be our first Book Swap PHX.

OUR FOUNDING MEMBERS:

IMG_0279Kelsey Wong is the Executive Director and Founder of the CO-OP Phoenix. She is a Changemaker, Connector and Community Activator. She graduated from ASU with a B.S. in Marketing and Design, and resides in Downtown Phoenix. Kelsey is driven by her purpose to inspire and connect her community and of course, to change the world. t:: @kelseykwong w:: kelseykwong.com

IMG_0259Karla Rasmusson is Director of Operations and Co-Founder of the CO-OPhx. She is an ASU graduate that recently moved to New York City. Karla’s adventurous spirit leads her to try new things; she was recently in the Miss Arizona USA 2011 pageant and looks forward to her first marathon in January 2013. Karla is a health enthusiast and has a passion for event planning, philanthropic work, yoga and the sunny Phoenix community. t:: @karlacheese e:: karla.coophx@gmail.com

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Jake Michael is the Creator of ART CO-OPhx and Co-Founder of the CO-OPhx Jake is an artist and interior designer. Jake and Kelsey were best friends and hosted the first three events in their backyard. Jake is responsible for the visual magic and creativity that sparked as he was the mastermind behind the aesthetic experience. He now lives in Tucson, AZ.

e:: artistjakemichael@gmail.com

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Jake Teskey is a Community Leader and Co-Founder of CO-OPhx. His enthusiasm and organizational acumen is what changed CO-OPhx from backyard project to full-fledged organization. Jake Teskey is pursuing his degree in Nutrition and is the Employee Wellness Coordinator at Mountain Park Health Center and has been an AmeriCorps Public Ally for two years. e:: jacobrt11@gmail.com or linkedin