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Since 1946 Ten Thousand Villages has supported the work of literally tens of thousands of artisans in over 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, making us one the largest fair trade organizations in North America. Working with more than 100 artisan groups, we purchase fine pieces from craftspeople with whom we have longstanding, nurturing relationshipsâ ¦helping to bring dignity to their lives.
Ten Thousand Villages is a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association, an organization that includes over 200 members in 55 countries, including many artisan groups in developing countries. We are part of a worldwide movement that is striving to improve the livelihood of disadvantaged people in developing countries through the expansion of fair trade.
Ten Thousand Villages was a big idea that started out small from the trunk of Edna Ruth Byler's car, in fact. But years of dedication and giving have grown our organization to the point where our retail operation spans North America with over 160 outlets where fine, eclectic village wares can be purchased. You' ll find everything from folk art and heirloom-quality home decor, to ceramics, textiles, baskets, jewelry and musical instruments in our stores and at our festival sales.
We market quality products from diverse cultures around the world made by people that we know and care enough about to do business in a manner that together we consider fair. We strive to operate as a business with a compassionate mission so that we can provide vital, fair income to artisans. Our dream is to one day see that all artisans in developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality.
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