Reinventing the Boutique Shopping Experience

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Reinventing the Boutique Shopping Experience

By Renato Ghio

Sometimes, things just come together. Call it kismet or fate or whatever you want to call it, all Meaghan Cann knows is that her passion for sustainable fashion has brought her to a new chapter in her career.

Meaghan’s start-up venture, Workspace Collective, which officially opens on September 10, is reinventing the boutique shopping experience. It’s not only a place where you’ll find unique fashionable clothes and accessories that you can feel good about; it’s also a place where you’ll be able to connect with many of the artisans themselves. Meaghan wants Workspace Collective to be a celebration of the creative process.

A Danbury native, Meaghan has been in the fashion industry for about ten years, with a focus on sustainable fashion for the last four years. She worked for a large retail chain in product development and saw first-hand the mass production supply chain. The poor factory conditions, overworked employees and low wages, among other things, unsettled her. That’s when she began delving into sustainable fashion. She shifted towards small artisans using environmentally friendly and upcycled materials who were being paid wages that could lift them out of poverty.

Most recently, Meaghan was commuting back and forth between Danbury and New York as a fashion consultant. That’s when one of her fashion professors explained that when you’re passionate about something you can bring it and do it anywhere. Thus, Meaghan created a plan and applied for a grant through the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut. She laughs that she had no idea what she was doing, but was just going for it. Lo and behold, she was awarded the grant to get her concept off the ground.

Right off the bat, Meaghan knew she wanted Workspace Collective to be in downtown Danbury. She loved the urban scene and mix of culture in New York. She said Danbury’s Main Street has a similar vibe. Lisa Scails, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance, suggested cohabiting at their space at 287 Main Street. At first, Meaghan wanted her own location, but the more she thought about the offer, the more it just made sense that the Cultural Alliance space incubate her creative business.

“It’s about having fashion as a catalyst to bring the whole community together,” said Meaghan. She wants Workspace Collective to be a place where customers and designers can engage, learn and inspire each other. Artisans can use the space as their own and as a place to host formal workshops.

Meaghan and her fiancé Bill Neville have been working long days to get things ready for the grand opening. Bill built nearly all the displays himself, which are mobile, so they can be moved out when the Cultural Alliance has an art show opening. Walking the sustainable walk doesn’t just apply to the items Workspace Collective carries; it applies to Meaghan’s own business practices, all the way down to the ecofriendly tags and the homemade ink.

Workspace Collective is located within the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut at 287 Main Street in Danbury. For more information, visit the website at www.workspacecollective.co or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WorkspaceCollective or call 203-733-9541.

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September 13, 2016

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