A New Way to Shop for the Holidays

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Hat City Centric

A New Way to Shop for the Holidays

By Renato Ghio

Friends don’t let friends shop at the mall. That sums up the idea behind a new special holiday shopping event being organized by Meagan Cann at Workspace Collective, the unique retail and design co-op that opened this fall on Main Street.

The Hat City Holiday Bazaar will take place on Small Business Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving on November 26, at the Harambee Center, from 12noon to 5pm. Meagan is joining forces with Bread X Butta designer Lynsey Ayala to transform the Harambee Center’s large gymnasium into a finely curated holiday market filled with local and emerging designers, crafters and makers. You’ll find locally made soaps, intricate pieces of jewelry, eco-friendly toys, unique home finds and fashions and holiday ornaments, among other things. “This is more than just shopping, though,” pointed out Meagan. “It’s an experience. We will have a live music lineup that will include local bands, musicians and DJ’s and you can snap some pics with friends and family in the photo booth on site. Taste some local flavor with food vendors, and watch the youth center in its glory, as it’s the place for local skateboarders to work their skills in the gym. “

Meagan and Lynsey thought of the idea for a pop-up holiday market months ago, inspired by the energy and crowds at the weekend markets and pop-up shops happening in Brooklyn. They wanted to create the same kind of experience here in Danbury. The pieces all came together for the special holiday bazaar after Meagan toured the Harambee Center with newly appointed director Larry Mourning. On the tour, he discussed his new plans for the youth center, including dance classes [and] a music and art curriculum, along with the soccer programs they currently run at the space. “What I found most intriguing was the isolated sewing room in an empty corner of the center filled with sewing tables, fabric and tools for making anything from handmade blouses to tailor made dresses,” said Megan. “I can definitely see a fashion club starting out of that place!”

After her tour, Meagan said she knew this was the place to host the Hat City Holiday Bazaar. Not only is the huge space able to accommodate their vision, but it allows them to also make the event a fundraiser to help support the Center, its activities and future growth.

Small Business Saturday is a national movement celebrating small, community businesses around the country. Instead of going to the big box stores, shoppers are encouraged to shop at local merchants. This concept is right in line with what Meagan is creating with Workspace Collective.

Meagan added that she is “just excited to inspire a new way of both shopping and giving this upcoming holiday season.”

The Harambee Center is located at 54 West Street. For more information about the Harambee Center, visit www.ct-institute.org/education/youth-center. For more information about Workspace Collective, visit www.workspacecollective.com

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December 1, 2016

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