Originally from Ohio, Kate came to the Pacific Northwest in 2001 and immediately knew this is where she belonged. She spent a decade in Seattle following a winding path that led her through the fields of social work, banking, care-giving, and specialty coffee. After moving to Bellingham in 2012, Kate returned to her social work roots and began working with Northwest Youth Services, eventually helping design and implement the Homeless Outreach Team at the Opportunity Council. Kate is known for collaboration, deep listening, and a drive to breathe new life into systems. She is excited to serve ReUse Works, an organization focused on creating space for individuals through the job-training program and minimizing the impact of waste on our planet.
Kate StragisProgram Manager
Originally from eastern Washington, Kate moved to Florida for college and then to Puerto Rico before settling down in Bellingham in 2011. Before joining the staff at Ragfinery, Kate spent 8 years providing direct service at various non-profits, primarily with people experiencing homelessness. She has seen and experienced firsthand how much art, support and inclusion can positively impact people and communities. Kate loves to build, fix, paint and sew while she’s at work and at home. When she’s not at Ragfinery she can be found enjoying time with her family or around town with friends.
Heather SmallAssistant Manager
Heather has been moving to and from Bellingham since 2001, and she’s delighted to discover she has grown roots here at last! Originally from upstate New York, she’s experienced in many fields, including school administration, cabinetry, homestead farming, and her favorite – energy healing massage. For her, working with the warm-hearted and smiling crew at Ragfinery is joyful participation in improving the well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet. When she’s not at this job, she might be found playing in her garden or roaming the woods.
Erin RuarkTextile Associate
Erin began volunteering with Ragfinery in 2016 after moving from Hillsboro, Oregon to pursue a degree at Fairhaven College. Since then, she has firmly rooted herself in the Bellingham fiber arts community and is ecstatic to join Ragfinery’s team. An experienced dabbler in all things handmade, Erin has a great passion for helping customers find the perfect inspiration for their crafty projects! Recently, she has delved into sustainable textile projects in sericulture and linen production. When not tending to her silkworms, flax plants, or vintage sewing machine, Erin loves to volunteer on farms and dream of her future homestead.
Linda SutherBusiness Manager
Linda came to ReUse Works in the fall of 2017. A retired aerospace executive, she found ReUse Works to be the right environment to take advantage of her business skills as well as a place to grow. Linda holds a Certification in Quickbooks Accounting, a Bachelor of Science Degree and is both a Certified Purchasing and Inventory Control Manager (CPIM) and Lean Manufacturing Administrator. Her favorite things about her job include helping people while helping to save the environment. It’s a brilliant idea and very satisfying to be able to play a part. She also loves that it is both a production and retail environment. In her free time Linda plays guitar, flute, sews, snow skis and volunteers for the Mount Baker Volunteer Ski Patrol in fund raising and business systems support.
Caroline VoglTextile Associate
Caroline grew up in Arlington, WA and is now attending Huxley College at WWU. She is pursuing a degree in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development. She started volunteering at Ragfinery to incorporate her passion for the environment and textiles and has since transformed into a staff member. Caroline learned to knit almost ten years ago when her grandmother bought her yarn at a garage sale and challenged her to teach herself to knit. She’s been an avid knitter ever since and can often be seen knitting while walking around WWU’s campus.