While most of us make purchases without ever being informed who made the product or how much they were paid to make it, having that option to its customers has made Ten Thousand Villages a unique shopping experience for 60 years.
Founded in 1946 in the trunk of a car, today there are 390 retail locations selling their products, as well as dozens of stores around the country.
The latest opens officially at the Pearl Brewery on Saturday, July 20.
Store manager Dana Henderson is particularly proud of Ten Thousand Villages' mission to sell handmade items, directly purchased from the artisan at a fairly negotiated price, thus helping villages and communities around the world.
This “no middleman” approach ensures the craftsman is fairly compensated and the buyer is getting a truly unique item.
She notes it’s all one-of-a-kind.
Take the buffalo horn “Domino Evening Bag” from Vietnam.
"They actually heat the buffalo horn and split it open and lay it flat, and then they cut it with a jigsaw. To take something so tough as a buffalo horn and meld it and make a purse out of it is amazing," said Henderson
The story of the product and the group who made it is available at the cash register as well, keeping the good karma all the way out the door for customers like Danielle Johnson.
"I really believe in helping out, just like the Farmer's Market. Helping out local areas. This way we are reaching out and helping out other countries and be able to sustain themselves," said Johnson as she walked out with a green stone necklace and earring set.
For more information on Ten Thousand Villages, visit tenthousandvillages.com.