Saguache Works: Summertime Programs and Jobs
June is right around the corner and there are a lot of fun events planned in Saguache Today, as the summer season is officially underway!
This Saturday there will be a “Beads=Bling” Fiber Arts Workshop in downtown Saguache. Offered by Saguache Works, the event will take place Saturday, June 4 from 1 – 4 p.m. in the BeBop Studio. Attendees can enter from the San Juan Street entrance, located directly behind the Southwest Bank in downtown Saguache. The cost is $25. For more information or to register call 719-850-0051.
In other news from Saguache Works, the nonprofit is growing and getting ready for the busy summer season. There is some exciting news about their homegrown totes project (see story below) but the group remains fully committed to its mission of creating paid jobs for local residents. To that end, the non-profit currently has the following TWO positions open.
- Homegrown Totes needs part-time sales/marketing person. Call 719-655-0216
- Part-time manager wanted for grocery and thrift stores. Organizational/computer skills needed. Knowledge of organic and healthy foods preferred. Call 719-655-0168 for interview.
FREE Ice Cream Social This Friday, June 3
The 4th Street Food Store cordially invites Saguache friends and neighbors to a good old fashioned Ice Cream Social this Friday, June 3 from 2 – 4 p.m. at 404 4th Street in Saguache. This is a free event, stop by for greets, treats, and sweets for all ages!
This organic-friendly grocery store also gets its fresh local produce on Friday, and they want to remind folks that volunteers receive a 20 percent discount in both the food and thrift stores. Please stop in check it out!
Homegrown Totes Expands into Cloth Grocery Bags
In the tradition of pioneer women who pieced together whatever scraps were at hand for protection against a harsh environment, women in rural Saguache, Colo., are making tote bags out of thrift store donations to create jobs and help save their town from extinction.
And the group now has an opportunity to join a grassroots movement to eliminate plastic bags throughout the region.
In a converted garage behind a thrift store in historic downtown Saguache, wall-to-wall handmade shelves overflow with yards of brightly colored fabric, all donated, and ready for recycling.
Project coordinator Penny Bruce and her cutting team select appropriate colors and materials as pattern pieces to create reversible, one-of-kind tote bags in a variety of sizes and styles. Once cut, these pieces are sewn on site or taken home as piecework by a half dozen or so home sewers.
As a mother of three young children living in the central Colorado mountains, Penny remembers what a blessing it was to be able to work at home and get paid for finished projects returned to the factory. “I so want to offer that same opportunity to single moms, caregivers and those living in rural areas,” Penny says.
Homegrown Totes is a nonprofit project of Saguache Works, which was formed in 2012 to revitalize this once-thriving San Luis Valley trade and business center. A plethora of boarded-up storefronts and abandoned buildings earned the town’s main street a “Most Endangered Place” designation from Colorado Preservation, Inc., in 2009.
Downtown is now bustling with activity, relatively speaking. But population continues to dwindle, jobs remain scarce and businesses struggle to survive. Saguache Works operates a local food store/welcome center, thrift store, exercise studio, café–and the Homegrown Totes project.
A fledgling cottage industry, the totes project is key to the nonprofit’s mission of creating jobs, stimulating economic development and preserving traditional arts. Totes now are for sale at retail outlets throughout the region and online at http://www.homegrowntotes.org and at www.etsy.com/shop/Homegrown Totes.
Homegrown Totes is all about sustainability and is very excited about partnering with “Plastic Bag Free CB” (Crested Butte, Colo.) to mass produce recycled cloth grocery bags.
For more information, call 719-655-0216.