Volunteer Spotlight: Skip
Although Skip Fernandes is no stranger to Habitat for Humanity, he is one of Habitat NOVA’s newer volunteers, but his impact here has already been large. Skip is a recurring volunteer at Habitat NOVA’s Herndon ReStore. It was there that he created an exclusive furniture line called REINCARNATION.
Skip started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity back in college. His first experience was in West Virginia, where he did “an alternative Spring Break trip – the “Collegiate Challenge” which consisted of blitz building with other college students for the week”. This first experience was a positive one and he says he would always find his way back to Habitat. This is evident in how he has continued to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity as he’s moved around.
In Phoenix, Arizona and in Durham, North Carolina, he found himself volunteering at Habitat, even creating the volunteer host position at both locations. Once again, in Northern Virginia, Skip created a new position at his local Habitat affiliate. At the Herndon ReStore, Skip created a furniture line called REINCARNATION, which takes “donations that were highly personalized on the sales floor” and transforms them into pieces that will capture a wider audience. This idea came about when Skip was regularly dropping off donations at the Herndon location and thinking “that could get more money if it was dressed better” when he looked through donations for pieces he could use to stage properties he was selling. With this idea, he asked the staff if it was possible for his idea to become a reality and REINCARNATION was born. The first pieces he used were a corner desk and a side table and, with the use of spray paint, a can of paint, and a satin nickel drawer pull, these items were “reincarnated” and sold from the store later that day.
From those first creations, came a myriad of reincarnated pieces. Skip walks the sales floor and thinks “how would this best dress a home for sale” and with that he is steered in the direction of what can be done with a piece. He is able to express his creativity within the ReStore, recently creating a hanging storage cabinet for a front hall entrance way from a medicine cabinet with deep scars and masking tape.
Thanks Skip for going above and beyond at Habitat NOVA and inspiring us to do more! If you’d like to see Skip’s work, follow the Habitat NOVA ReStores (@habitatnovarestores) and Skip Fernandes (@skipopedia) on Instagram. Lastly, a big thank you to all our volunteers for all you do! We couldn’t pursue our mission without any of you!