Ten Thousand Villages celebrates 20 years in fair-trade business

Press release

from Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages CEO, Doug Dirks, and original volunteers who founded the store will visit and participate in celebrations of local nonprofit Ten Thousand Villages store.

(Asheville, NC) –Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade store in Asheville is celebrating its 20th anniversary of doing fair trade business all this year. Special events happen monthly culminating in several special events this fall. Each month, the store features the products, food and culture of one of the artisan groups they represent. A free gift with purchase or special discount is also part of the occasion. Additionally, the store will donate 15 percent of net sales on each event day to the Ten Thousand Villages’ Artisan Special Needs Fund. This fund provides assistance in the event of natural disasters, political turmoil, and other times of crisis.

The 20th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event is being held at Jubilee! Community Church on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Mabel Mullett, age 92, was the founding manager and is returning to Asheville from her new home in Indiana to celebrate. CEO of the Ten Thousand Villages network of stores, Doug Dirks, will also attend. He will speak about the artisan group, Poocharam Federation, which is also celebrating 20 years in business, and who is represented by Ten Thousand Villages. He will detail the achievements and development of Poocharam and how it parallels the achievements of the Asheville store. Current store manager, Jennifer Elliott, visited Poocharam 10 years ago as part of a “Learning Tour” hosted by Ten Thousand Villages.

The Customer Appreciation Event features a special sale offering customers 20 percent OFF all items they can fit into a special Ten Thousand Villages Shopping Bag on Saturday, Nov. 10. As always, artisans are paid in full; this sale is for the customers! The artisan group featured during the month of November will be Fair Trade Egypt. This artisan group produces alabaster candleholders and embossed brass items for Ten Thousand Villages. Fair Trade Egypt creates employment in marginalized communities, works for greater equity in employment conditions between men and women, encourages children’s education by eliminating the need for them to work and provides greater access to services in health and education.

The Customer Appreciation Event will also include:

• Samples of Fair Trade coffee and chocolate from companies Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange

• Prizes, games and a raffle.

• A “Vintage Villages” sale where anyone is invited to donate their good quality, but no longer used items purchased at Ten Thousand Villages over the last 20 years to be sold to raise money for the Artisan Special Needs Fund.

Continued support of the Asheville community is also on the calendar with the store’s 7th annual Community Shopping Events program. Every year, the Asheville Ten Thousand Villages store hosts Eight “Community Shopping Events” during November and December where they donate 15 percent of net sales to a local non profit organization as an expression of appreciation for the community’s support of its global mission. Check the website for details about which organizations are featured this year. www.asheville.tenthousandvillages.com

Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade, nonprofit retailer with more than 100 stores in North America. All Ten Thousand Villages products are fairly traded, a system that offers artisans a fair, living wage for their work. Each purchase provides income for skilled artisans and their communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This income means artisans are better able to improve their homes, educate themselves and their children, and put food on the table – and to live healthier lives of dignity. Artisans’ work also improves the economic vitality of their communities. Multiply this by tens of thousand of artisans and you can understand the global impact of Ten Thousand Villages. Ten Thousand Villages, based in Akron, PA, is a leader in the fair trade movement and has provided fair prices, working capital, and a market for artisans around the world for over 65 years.

For more information, please contact the Asheville store managers Jennifer Elliottt or Mandy Broderick at (828) 254-8374. Ten Thousand Villages in Asheville is open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm and Sun 10am-4pm.


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