Atlanta’s very own Fair Trade Retailer Ten Thousand Villages shops began with Edna Ruth Byler who traveled from her native Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico in 1946 to meet with women artisans. Since then, retail shops have opened nationwide and the rest is history!
Ten Thousand Villages has a mission: 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.
In their words, they are a “Nationally recognized for our commitment to social responsibility, Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans around the globe to earn a fair wage. Artisans use this income to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for themselves and their families. Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit program of Mennonite Central Committee.”
Offering handmade items, everything from housewares to handbags from artisans in small villages around the world, my top fashion picks from Ten Thousand Villages are:
Their crinkled silk scarf in shades of turquoise and green called Cerulean Waves Silk Scarf made in Vietnam and retailing at $34.
Their Nepali Felt Hat for $34 in maroon and black seemed quite cozy and chic to team with a winter outfit. The felt hat is made by artisans at the Association for Craft Producers of Nepal (ACP), based in Kathmandu.
For $20 their Rainbow Wings Dragonfly Pin from Mexico is adorable in iridescent abalone wings give a life-like shimmer to this exquisite little dragonfly. Gleaming body is made of alpaca metal, an alloy of copper, zinc and nickel, also called nickel silver.
Equally whimsical and fun are the Dancing Girl Earrings from Kenya for $12 Playful earrings capture the inventive spirit of KICK Trading, an artisan group in Kisumu, Kenya, on Lake Victoria. The earrings are handcrafted from recycled soda cans and wire.
I’m intrigued by the Silk Road Agate Necklace from Pakistan for $58 From the depths of central Asia where the ancient Silk Road ran, an agate necklace glowing in antique colors. Shining agate stone gleams deep rust-red, polished to a gloss. Agate pendant and beads held in place by white metal beads and clasp.
We’re very lucky to have two lovely stores right here in Atlanta and one in Cumming in metro Atlanta for our shopping pleasure and to experience all these wonderful crafts offered by Ten Thousand Villages! Sign up for their newsletter and sale announcements!