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Regina store brings artisans together under one roof

WATCH: It's a place for artisans to call home without the large overhead expense of a commercial building and it's all thanks to the dream of one Regina woman. Katelyn Wilson explains.

A new store in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood is revitalizing the corner of 13th Avenue, giving local artisans a place to sell their handmade crafts under one roof.

The model is a first of its kind in Regina and came about thanks to Cory Montgomery and a wish from her then-three-year-old son in 2016.

“He was on YouTube and came across Legoland and wanted to go there,” Montgomery said. “It’s just him and I, so it wasn’t an option for me to take him.”

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So Montgomery took what money she had and started making bath bombs — something she had made for years but had never considered selling.

“I jumped into a few trade shows and four months later we went to California for a week and made his dream come true,” Montgomery said.

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Montgomery said that when she returned, the requests started coming in, so she continued doing trade shows.

After a year, she knew she wanted more and started looking for a storefront. But she didn’t want the pressure of a large overhead expense that would come with a commercial space.

“I decided I needed other options so I wasn’t working every Saturday and Sunday,” Montgomery said.

That’s when With These Hands was born — a place where vendors can lease a spot in the store and receive 100 per cent of their sales.

“The response was incredible. My phone was [going off] every three minutes, literally, with people responding to this,” Montgomery said.

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Within the first six weeks, Montgomery said she received more than 120 applications.

The owners of The Good Dog are one of more than 40 hand makers who now have a spot to call home. Jena Womack and Robin Johanson were both working in the customer service industry when their dogs died of cancer. That’s when the two women got together and the idea for the company was born.

“We had a beautiful boxer. She was a healthy, beautiful dog and I couldn’t believe that happened. It was heartbreaking,” Womack said. “Robin lost her dog to throat cancer as well and I started looking into the food. I couldn’t believe what was actually in commercial dog food and commercial treats. It’s scary.”

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Now the two friends are dedicated to the company full time, creating healthy dog food free from added chemicals and preservatives.

“You can eat everything with your pet. Robin and I have eaten everything, except for the liver — we draw the line at the liver,” Womack laughed.

“We need other dogs out there to have this healthy homemade food and knowing that these other families get to have their pets longer and live their best and healthy life is our goal.”

Just like the unique pieces in the store, every vendor comes with their own unique story.

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Sarah Atcheson started a custom art and jewelry business called Crooked Anchor Transcendental Artistry following the death of her nephew in 2016.

“I was in need of healing and I was looking for ways to try and find more purpose and meaning in my life,” Atcheson said. “I wasn’t looking to quit my day job but making jewelry came through in a way that I felt comfort for myself.”

While the business started out as more memorial and bereavement jewelry, Atcheson also creates pieces for important milestones.

“I wanted a way to honour a person’s life and create a piece that was beautiful and impactful for the wearer,” Atcheson said.

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A lot of the work Atcheson does is elctroforming, meaning she takes an item such as a feather and seals it in copper.

“I think it shows — when you love making something, it shows in the work,” Atcheson said.

Montgomery is now looking to expand and accept another five vendors, giving other artisans a place where passion and creativity meet.

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