The NYS Women, Inc. Buffalo Niagara Chapter (BNC) is proud to partner with WKBW-TV to showcase successful local women who have given back to the Western New York community. “Women In Leadership” honorees are established women business owners or professional/working women who have exhibited leadership, enterprise, and excellence in their business or profession and give back to the Western New York or greater community. The goal of the program is to recognize women who have succeeded both in the business and charitable arenas and help inspire others to follow in their path.
Each month throughout the year a woman business owner or working woman will be featured on AM Buffalo. Each June, BNC and WKBW-TV will recognize all our honorees at an annual event.
Established woman business owner or working/professional woman who:
- Exhibits leadership, enterprise, and excellence in their business;
- Gives back to Western New York or greater community with volunteer service
Women In Leadership Application
October 2019 Honoree
Founder and Executive Director
Inspired by her professional life in the city of Buffalo, Dawne founded Stitch Buffalo in 2014. A creative at heart, Dawne has always loved the textile arts and has centered her career around this discipline. Concurrently working in the Textile and Fiber Arts Design Department at Buffalo State College, she also fills the role of handwork teacher at the Aurora Waldorf School.
Stitch Buffalo began as a project in 2014. Dawne turned it into a nonprofit organization in 2017, the same year the organization moved to a storefront on Niagara Street, a space Rich Products donated. The unique non-profit organization serves as a craft room and storefront for vibrant handcrafted ornaments, prayer necklaces, hair bands, scarves, denim jackets, and more, all created by refugee women. A recent Washington Post article, which ran a profile of Buffalo as a fun place to visit, referred to Stitch Buffalo as “the Ten Thousand Villages concept on a local scale.”
The organization aims to empower refugee women of Buffalo by providing meaningful work and a fair wage. Like the domino effect, this small but powerful financial independence infuses each woman, her family and in turn, her community. Through the creation of beautiful, handcrafted textiles, she is nurturing her cultural heritage while assuring her self-worth as a woman and a human being. It has grown to include more than 55 women from Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Thailand and Angola. Each week these women come together to form a Refugee Women’s Workshop, sewing handcrafted goods for sale within the community. All the supplies are donated, and the women can take what they need to make in the shop or at home. Then Hoeg and her cadre of volunteers sell the items to the public on a consignment basis.
Dawne Hoeg says, “I started Stitch Buffalo because I was hopeful that the many resettled women were bringing textile skills with them from their home countries. I thought how fortunate it would be for Buffalo if I could provide the opportunity for these women to share their many talents and earn supplemental income for their families.”