owners, My Fair Trade Lady and partners in life.
trying her hand at the backstrap loom at San Antonio Aguas Calientes Women's Cooperative. Antigua, Guatemala.
of La Corona, Nicaragua. Founding member of CECOCAFEN coffee cooperative.
I feel like I have been preparing to own My Fair Trade Lady all my life. In so many ways I have found myself planning to own this fair-trade shop, engaging in experiences that would, with each step, carry me to where I stand at this very moment.
From my very first job as a clerk at a handmade gift gallery in college, I knew that I wanted to surround myself with handmade goodies. After finishing my degree in anthropology, I set out to see the world and meet the people that I had read about in the classroom. I spent a year teaching in Ecuador, where I began informally collecting and appreciating all the hand-woven textiles and handicrafts I had encountered during my stay. I also realized how intertwined the artistic expressions of the Ecuadorians were with their cultural identity.
Since then, I have lived and worked in many other countries in the developing world and with each country and culture, I grew more and more committed to supporting the work of talented artisans who create beautiful products. When I became a college professor, I guided my students to the fields and farms where our chocolate and coffee are grown. It was in these places that I first learned about fair trade and how it can impact the lives of the people who are behind the coffee we drink, the chocolate we eat and the handicrafts we adore.
The relationships that I developed with the artisans and growers cemented my desire to do more to help the fair- trade movement. My Fair Trade Lady provides an opportunity for me to help others support growers and artisans around the world. The purchase of fair-trade products provides producers a better standard of living, safer working conditions, scholarships for their children, and a voice in their own enterprise, among so many other benefits. We believe that we can make a difference. Come see how you can too!