Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages may be on of the most recognized fair trade stores on the web. They also have over 160 brick/mortar stores in North America, with the closest to us in Grayslake. Of course I can't go in the store, but I can shop online (okay on mom's lap). They don't sell anything for dogs, but they sell stuff that you can use or give as gifts.

Mom loves the story behind the name. The name was inspired by a Mahatma Gandhi quote: ...India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages...we have hardly ever paused to inquire if these folks get sufficient to eat and clothe themselves with." Wow! What a powerful message. To the people at Ten Thousand Villages, each village in the world represents a unique, distinctive people who offer extraordianary products born of their rich cultures and traditions.

Ten Thousand Villages has been in business since 1946. According to their site, they work with more than 100 artisan groups, purchase fine pieces from craftspeople with whom they have longstanding, nuturing relationships.

The logo represents their values. The continuous line of rooftops reminds us we are all linked together as we live on this earth. The light in the doors and windows reminds us of homes of people with whom we work in many villages. The warm red color and hand-etched edge represent the materials and methods used to make the quality handicrafts we sell. Multiply the village idea by ten thousand and it represents the world we’re working to build. This should be everyones message, everywhere.

Now that you know their stories, understand their values, and are excited about being a part of something great, get shopping! Visit them online at http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/, or stop by one of their stores. But please, whatever you do, don't buy anything for my mom. She has enough stuff!

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