The story behind the store.

I was first introduced to fair trade as a little girl.  My mom would take me on “special” shopping trips to the SERRV shop in the basement of our church.  It always felt as if I had walked into an international market with so many beautiful handcrafted items to choose from.  It wasn’t until much later in life that I truly understood what fair trade was all about and why it is so very important.  I’ve always enjoyed learning about foreign cultures, so it was only natural that I would strive for a career with an international focus.  After years of hard work and dedication, I finally reached my dream to be an international buyer for a major corporation.  The travelling was a lot of hard work, but we sometimes grabbed a fragment of time for a little excursion.  While incredibly fun to see the buddhas in Thailand or spend the night in a Portuguese castle, I started to become familiar with a side of the business that wasn’t fun.  It wasn’t uncommon to find poor working conditions, low wages, and price negotiations that were less than fair.  I felt the need to be part of the solution to poverty instead of part of the problem.  So in 2006, I walked away from my career and opened a fair trade store.  I called it The Silk Road Fair Trade Market, after the famous trade route though Asia.  Not only were goods traded along the travel route, but the travelers exchanged ideas about architecture, religion, politics, and daily life.  And that’s exactly what I want my shop to become.   Not only a fair trade store, but somewhere that embraces the cultures of the world.  Every day I hear the stories of the people who are helped through fair trade and it warms my heart.  I’ve never looked back.

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