We Made This | Artisan Products by Refugee Women

Fashioning Change

The History of We Made This

Stacia DenhartComment

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Kristen Damron, an MSW intern, and four women from the African Community Center began a sewing program using donated machines and volunteer sewing teachers.

The program’s first funding opportunity was making fabric coffee bags for a local coffee shop, Pablos Coffee.  WMT began making more items and all were tagged with a photo of the sewer and a short biography connecting the buyer to the sewer.

 In 2010, Ashley Nemiro (MSW 2010, currently pursuing Phd at UNC) started as Program Coordinator.  WMT grew in participants within the classroom and in the community by selling opportunities and increasing in our products.   We moved locations, increased in volunteers and funds were donated to purchase new machines and industrial equipment.

In Summer of 2011, Rachael Cox (BFA Textile and Costume Design, Fabric Designer and Product Instructor for Amani Ya Juu in Nairobi, Kenya, and Sales Manager at Anthropologie) began a succinct sewing curriculum that pairs the technical skill-sets to our product line, incorporating signature foundation fabrics and dyed materials. Financial Literacy training was added to our curriculum that provides guidance and financial education for artisans.  In June 2012, our Etsy Store (WeMadeThisDenver) was re-launched and a WMT Boutique opened at our ACC Safari Thrift Store in Aurora, CO.