We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Kloeppel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
From a very young age I would look around and look at the injustice in the world wondering how I could work to be a part of the solution. Showers For All is a nonprofit that grew from years of trying to imagine small ways to provide safe spaces for others. I believe deeply in community, I believe that so many people aren’t given a fair chance to be a part of one. Too many people lack access to basic necessities that they need to feel dignity or hope. So as I imagined what Showers For All could be I spent time on the ground hearing stories from unsheltered individuals, I asked questions about what their hopes and dreams were, I asked about their path to homelessness, and I asked what they have the least amount of access too. While I was in college I spent time on Skid Row in Los Angeles and then through work I took kids and adults to volunteer in cities around the US, I heard too often that it had been months since someone last had a shower or put clean clothes on their bodies. My partner and I spent two years researching Shower Trailers or Laundry trailers to see what the best practices are. We realized very quickly that there were either showers or laundry trailers not both. So we built one. We asked a lot of questions and designed so many. We would sit in a parking lot and drawn them with chalk so we could see how big or small each space would be. I didn’t know what I was doing but we were determined to make it come to life. There were a lot of really important people to me that told me that this wasn’t feasible or it wasn’t a good idea. As hard as being told no was, I was determined to show them that it was important and totally feasible. For every single no I heard there were a lot of yes’. That is the beauty of community. Starting a nonprofit has always been a goal of mine, it just took time to decide the mission. More than that it took community and it took story telling. We all have to believe in others and we have to believe in ourselves. Community matters, whether it is the people next door to us or people living on the street-every single person’s story matters and that is what I want people to remember.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m proud to have created a non-profit that puts service first and prioritizes the people we are in community with each day. We try to be organized, thoughtful, disciplined, motivated and continually open to change. We are committed to story-telling and meeting people where they are. I don’t think it’s been easy. It’s always challenging but it doesn’t feel like work when you get to do what you love. The biggest challenge has been to continue to work my full time job while also building our non-profit. It doesn’t allow me as much time as I would like to dedicate to the important work that we do, but it does provide security and an opportunity to dream with less pressure on my family financially. I hope that our actions as a non-profit, and myself personally, reflect the lessons I have learned throughout my life through the actions people see. I hope the world see the heart and passion we bring to our efforts everyday. I hope that people see that as a new non-profit we not only survived our first year as an organization during a pandemic but we also created new initiatives to help provide safety, dignity, food, and hygiene for others. I think making connections with others is something everyone can appreciate and something we should all do more of. I want people to know that we show up for people and we love them well. We don’t expect anyone to be any different than who they are-we love them anyway.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I enjoy starting the day with a delicious cinnamon roll from Denver Biscuit Company. I love shopping at Spinelli’s Market for pastas and sandwiches and my favorite Caesar dressing EVER! We would eat Blue Pan pizza & Sweet Cooies for ice cream. I love Sweet Cooies mix of ice cream flavors, toppings, and sweets so much-we will probably go there every single day. There is not a whole lot I love more then a trip to Sweet Cooies. I really love Ophelias. There is always such a great mix of music and people, it always has a funky vibe and I love it so much. My favorite thing is tubing down Clear Creek in boulder. We hike up about a mile and can float down the river! It is the best way to spend an afternoon! We could start our day with a hike and then end it taking many trips down the river. Afterwards we can head to bartaco for my most favorite Guac. What more could you want after a day of adventure! I love finding live music in the parks or the pearl street farmers market in the summer!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Parents always encouraged us to be leaders, they encouraged our dreams, and told us when we were wrong and gave us the space to fix it. There are no two people that inspire me more to be the best that I can be. My brother and sister have always inspired me to be better because they are doing the most amazing things in the world. My three kids, Payton, Blake, and Noah show me every single day how beautiful this world is and how important it is that we care for it. They inspire me to work for better, they show up with their whole hearts and keep me laughing. Here is to endless days filled with ice cream. My partner Kellen Berrigan deserves endless credit, he celebrated when we had big wins, he asked the hard questions, he rallied when we tried something and it didn’t quite work and helped ensure that this came to life. Showers For All is what it is because our different gifts came together to build something beautiful. My community is filled with day-makers and world changers. They have cheered for this, they have cleaned bathrooms, passed out towels, and they have continued to cheer for me. I hope everyone has the opportunity to find people they will show up for no matter what and who will show up for them. Sean Fitzgerald and his family for their commitment and time spent helping this build come to life!
Instagram: @showersforall and @jennkloepp
Twitter: @jenniferlove211 @showersforall