• Norm Couturier

The value of investing in local

Our partnership with The Ville produces custom desks for our office.

From left: Casey Gaunce, Program Manager, The Ville; Clare Tahershamsi, Multicultural Association of Fredericton; Kader Keynan; Abdirahman Khalif; Maaden Weldab; and Tesfom Gideom.

I miss the stage, or more accurately, I miss the feeling you get when a group of people respond to something I’ve created. I love tech, but I’ve loved music longer and I’ve been fortunate to be able to create and perform at gigs around the city as a member of blues rock trio Overwound

My experience with the local music scene feeds into my desire to support local talent wherever possible. So when my co-founder Tom Batty decided to convert seasoned oak from his cottage property into adjustable desks for the new 3D Planeta office, we knew we wanted to do more than simply create meaningful work for local craftspeople; we wanted them to see and experience our appreciation for the final product. We found the answer at The Ville Cooperative. With 3D Planeta as the beta customer, we helped The Ville launch a new sustainable skills development and manufacturing program for newcomers to supply local businesses with custom furniture.

The custom desks were designed and crafted at The Ville. The team of newcomers to Fredericton from Somalia and Eritrea delivered our new desks in mid-August (FYI - Eritrea is located on the northern border of Ethiopia). 

Here you can see Abdirahman Khalif working the router.

Kader Keyan carries in one of the finished desk tops.

From left: Abdirahman Khalif, Kader Keynan, and Maaden Weldab install the desk bottoms, as Tesfom Gideom and Casey Gaunce look on.

3D Planeta’s Dan Purcell enjoying his new handcrafted, custom-designed desk.

We got so much more than desks. We got to go and meet the people crafting our furniture, we learned their backstories and what brought them to Fredericton at what turned out to be the eve of a global pandemic.

We learned the value of the project to them because it got them out, meeting people beyond the multicultural association and immigration officials, while doing something productive during a very weird and unsettling time. 

They met us, we met them and we got to say ‘welcome to Fredericton, we’re glad you’re here.’

Now it’s your turn to not just speak welcome but to show it. If you’re in the market for new furniture contact The Ville and find out how you can partner with them and newcomer craftspeople.

Photo Subjects:

Kader Keynan (blue buttoned shirt) - Somalia

Abdirahman Khalif  (green shirt) - Somalia

Tesfom Gideom (white t-shirt) - Eritrea

Maaden Weldab (Beatles t-shirt) - Eritrea

Casey Gaunce, Program Manager, The Ville (white t-shirt)

Clare Tahershamsi, Multi-Cultural Association of Fredericton (brown t-shirt)