Safari Collective marks one-year anniversary
Updated 12:00 am, Friday, May 19, 2017
Quality products handmade in the United States.
“It’s been a great year,” said Lopes, who operates the store with her husband, Hobson. “We’ve felt very fortunate to be a part of the community that downtown New Milford is and is evolving into.”
A one-year anniversary celebration, featuring food, beverages and discounts, will kick off next Friday with special hours: May 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., May 27 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and May 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition, a free gift will be given to patrons who purchase $25 or more while supplies last.
Lopes ran an online store of the same name for close to two years prior to opening the storefront at 28 Railroad St.
The Safari Collective offers customers a wide array of American-made items, including pieces from local artisans.
“We try to find products that fit in with us and with downtown,” Lopes said, noting the store has built up a local audience over the past year.
The owner describes her products as “different and unique.”
Among the products available for purchase are handmade clothing and accessories, art work, home decor, jewelry, paper goods, baby products and more.
Amanda Benzinger, of Sherman, who designs clothing, discovered the store one day while walking around downtown. She stopped in and inquired whether Lopes represented any local clothing designers.
The two hit it off, so much so that Benzinger began providing Lopes with articles of clothing for the store. She eventually became an employee.
“I’ve never seen a store quite like this anywhere in New Milford,” Benzinger said. “This is a store you’d see in New York City. It’s a more affordable version of Urban Outfitters.”
Benzinger praised Lopes for having “a good eye for unique items,” in particular items not regularly available elsewhere.
Since the clothes Benzinger makes are not mass produced, sizes may be limited. However, custom orders are available.
“The Safari Collective was the first store I stopped in when I moved to town,” said Rachael Schuster. “I was so impressed by the carefully curated selection of local goodies.
“As a local artist I’m so thankful that there’s a shop that highlights local talent, and as a resident of New Milford I'm so glad that there’s a place I can go for unique gifts,” she said.
In addition to products, the store offers periodic workshops, such as leather jewelry-making and block printing. Lopes said others are on the horizon.
The store is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Local artisans looking to showcase their products at The Safari Collective should visit www.thesafari-
collective.com or call Lopes at 203-770-7608.