North Texas Daily

Local artist uses origami to benefit LovePacs

Local artist uses origami to benefit LovePacs

Local artist uses origami to benefit LovePacs
March 11
13:54 2022

On a Friday morning, 39-year-old Nicol Fuller walks into an upstairs office at the LovePacs Denton warehouse, flipping a switch to illuminate hundreds of paper cranes suspended from the ceiling.

Fuller co-founded LovePacs Denton, a nonprofit that provides food for children during long weekends, school breaks and holidays, in July 2018. More recently in 2020, she started a small business, Origami Denton, to share her love for origami with others.

Origami uses an intricate folding process to create unique objects such as birds, insects and flowers from ultra-thin paper.

The Denton local began seriously practicing origami about seven years ago, although turning her art into a business was not always the plan. Fuller said the idea came when she used origami to decorate her daughter’s room and friends began to ask about buying her work.

“I decided to do an Etsy site and quickly I had some local people [who] were buying everything I put on there,” Fuller said.

Fuller’s friend and Denton resident Eric O’Bryan, one of her early supporters, amassed a collection of more than 30 butterflies and other insects made by Fuller. He is building a new house and plans to display the collection in his kitchen.

“I feel like whenever I purchase something [from Fuller], I know what went into it,” O’Bryan said. “It’s not something that’s just mass-produced.”

In addition to her other work with Origami Denton, Fuller creates large art installments at her children’s school.

Origami creations made by Nicol Fuller sit on a table during a class on Feb. 5, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

“My favorite thing is doing murals at my kids’ school and getting the reactions as I’m putting them up,” Fuller said.

Becca Burris, co-founder of LovePacs and Denton resident, said before starting Origami Denton, Fuller used her origami in promotional materials for the nonprofit during its first year.

Fuller and Burris first met while serving on the leadership team at Cornerstone Cooperative Preschool, where their children attended. Burris said they were inspired to bring LovePacs to Denton while volunteering at the Little Elm branch.

“We both mentioned the need in Denton and they kind of rolled with it,” Burris said. “Over the course of the next six or seven months, we slowly got closer to deciding that starting another chapter was a good idea.”

After the early success with her Etsy shop, Fuller decided to combine her passion for origami and her work with LovePacs.

“The first time I did a big thing for LovePacs was last Valentine’s Day [2021], and I advertised that 10 percent of my sales were going to LovePacs,” Fuller said. “So, they pushed me online and I got tons of sales.”

In addition to selling her work, Fuller teaches origami classes for children. Most classes are held at the LovePacs Denton warehouse where she converted a meeting space into a studio. The classroom is decorated with paper cranes made by Fuller and her students.

Fuller teaches classes at other locations as well. On Feb. 5, she partnered with Denton bookstore Patchouli Joe’s Books and Indulgences to hold an origami class with proceeds going to LovePacs. She said the event came about when she offered to create a window display for the shop owners and they proposed a class.

“It’s kind of funny because I feel like the kids catch on quicker than adults sometimes,” Fuller said. “It’s really fun when you see that the kids get it. They get really excited and do it over and over again.”

Teaching origami is not new to Fuller as she previously offered her services for a SCRAP Denton summer camp. University alumna Jacie Sparks, 25, worked for SCRAP before it closed in 2020 and assisted Fuller with the classes.

“It was incredible to see Nicol work,” Sparks said. “The kids were in awe of some of the things she was teaching them. They were really excited every time [she] got to come and teach them a new origami project.”

Since LovePacs Denton opened its doors, Fuller said it has encountered massive growth by now serving 800 students across 21 schools. The nonprofit originally served 66 children between two schools.

“Her bringing awareness to us is really helpful,” Burris said. “It lets people know that we exist and maybe then we can get more of them involved as volunteers or donors.”

Fuller will soon have items for sale at the UNT CoLab on the square.

Featured Image: Nicol Fuller teaches an origami class at Patchouli Joe’s Books & Indulgences on Feb. 5, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

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Connor Patterson

Connor Patterson

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