GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Allouez small business owner starts ‘Life Afresh’ after kidney transplant

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) – Right now many of us are looking for a fresh start.

During the pandemic, one Allouez woman discovered her passion and she’s now turning into a business. Kristine Weaver, Orchestra Director at Foxview Intermediate School, has suffered from Polycystic Kidney Disease for as long as she can remember. Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited disorder where clusters of cysts develop within your kidneys causing them to enlarge and lose function over time.

“Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, runs in my family, so my great-grandpa, my grandpa, my mom and my brother and I both have PKD. Basically, you get a bunch of cysts on your kidneys and they don’t function correctly, so over time your kidney function goes down. I had a kidney transplant in 2012. I had a colleague from my school who donated a kidney to me, and her name is Lynn. After that experience, I also wanted to do something to give back as a thank you to Lynn,” says Weaver.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Weaver was looking for something to keep her busy. She started her business, Life Afresh, in April last year. Weaver makes handmade purses, totes, wristlets, and even plush animals.

“My brother and his wife gave me a sewing machine a few years ago. Sewing has been in my family. During quarantine, I just started making a bunch of things, and people started asking ‘Can you make this?’ So I love to do those custom orders. It just felt this is what Life Afresh is supposed to be,” says Weaver.

In honor of her kidney donor, Weaver donates 10% of the proceeds from each sale to Polycystic Kidney Disease Research.

“I’m ridiculously proud of her. I think it’s wonderful, and I think it’s a great activity for a year like we’ve had,” says Dan Weaver, Kris’s husband.

In unpredictable times like these, we all are working on creating our own happiness. For some of us, that means starting “life afresh.”

For more information on Life Afresh, click here.

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