Ten Thousand Villages

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One stop we made on our trip was to the large Ten Thousand Villages store in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.  This is a town near Lancaster and also the town next to the Ten Thousand Villages World HQ.

I've mentioned items here before from Ten Thousand Villages because their items are offered on eBay's popular World of Good. It was great to see them in person as well.  What is so special about Ten Thousand Villages? According to their website, their mission is to "... create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term fair trading relationships."


Ten Thousand Villages is a member of the non-profit group called the Mennonite Central Committee and they create opportunities for artisans in these developing countries to make a fair wage and use that money for essentials such as food, healthcare, housing, and education.  They compensate workers in every aspect of the production of each project.   Ten Thousand Villages is also a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization.

When you walk into Ten Thousand Villages, it is almost like you are walking into what you'd picture Etsy being if Etsy were a store as opposed to an online marketplace.  There are artisanal soaps, jewelry, home goods, coffees, and so much more.

What did I find at Ten Thousand Villages?



I purchased this cheerful bangle set made by an artisan in India. This set was on the clearance rack and was just $6 for all three. The best part? When something is on clearance or reduced at Ten Thousand Villages, the artisan still is paid the full wage. This is so important.  I know we all love a bargain, but I think it is really crucial for the people to make a fair wage first and foremost.

I also found this robin's egg blue trinket box from Bangladesh.  It is actually comprised of handmade paper:



When we were leaving, Nick spied something he wanted to bring home as well.  Unfortunately, there would've been no room in the car:



Are you interested in learning more about handmade goods from artisans?  Please check out Ten Thousand Villages  today.
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