Perhaps you’ve heard of them. Founder Edna Ruth Byler catalyzed the Fair Trade movement way back in the 1940s. Today there are more than 70 Ten Thousand Villages shops in the US and 300 more stores that carry their products – chances are good that some are near you.
Products include beautiful jewelry, accessories, home decor and personal care items from artisan groups in 38 developing countries. Their secret to success? Long-term relationships with artisan groups give communities the stability they need to plan for the future, building schools and clinics, not just factories.
Ten Thousand Villages supports its huge network of artisans both financially and creatively: they work with designers in-country to develop products that will sell well in an American market and price the products based on what the artisan needs to live a fulfilling life. Lucky for us, Ten Thousand Villages shops are largely staffed by volunteers, keeping prices surprisingly reasonable. We all win!