DANBURY, Conn. -- Workspace Collective, a new store on Main Street in Danbury, carries many unique and handmade items that came from great distances around the world.
Meagan Cann of Danbury owns the unique retail and design co-op, which offers a unique shopping experience. One interesting item is the bull horn and sisal grass bracelets, which are handmade by crafters in an artisan workshop in Rwanda.
“When the bull dies, instead of throwing out the horn, it gets recycled,” said Cann. “Workers carve and sand down the bull's horn. Others weave the grass to make the band for the bracelet. It takes two to three people to make each bracelet."
Aside from Rwanda, Workspace Collaborative also sells jewelry, clothing and home accessories made in Thailand, Pakistan, Peru and the Republic of Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet Republic.
According to Cann, the people who make these items do so to make a living. The profits enable them to get an education for their children, as well as purchase a home and have access to healthcare.
The workers are prepaid for the items based on sales projections.
“I’m very passionate about knowing how things are made. I love that I can tell the story behind these pieces. By sharing the creator's designs and stories, I hope that sustainable fashion is the future of fashion," said Cann, who has a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising from Lasell College in Massachusetts.
Being able to create these pieces for a living has freed many of these women from sex-trafficking jobs, she said.
"In Rwanda, so many women's lives were affected by the genocide," Cann said "Becoming self-sufficient has brought an element of purpose to these women's lives."
Aside from selling items from other countries, Cann also carries items that were made locally at the Workspace Collective. These items include skin care products made from all-natural and organic ingredients as well as ceramic pieces made from locally sourced clay.
“Everything here is mindfully made. There was a lot of thought, love and care involved in their creation," said Cann, who previously worked for GreenShows, a public relations and production company in Manhattan.
Workspace Collaborative holds weekly jewelry-making demonstrations as well as soap-making, silk-making and knitting classes that are open to the public. There will be a soap-making workshop on Friday, Feb. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information on Workspace Collective, at 287 Main St., or to register for a class, call 203-733-9541 or click here .