Denver, CO

2626 E. Third Ave.
Denver, CO 80206

Donate now to support our ongoing effort to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries. Donations help fund our educational outreach programs, store operations, and ever-increasing purchases of fair trade handicrafts. Thank you for your contribution—it truly makes a world of difference.

View our 2013 Annual Report

Store Calendar

Find upcoming events
« April 2014 »


Rug Event

Our Annual Oriental Rug Event is quickly approaching! Join us as we bring in over 300 heirloom-quality Oriental rugs hand-knotted by fairly paid adults in Pakistan. The event lasts from Wednesday-Saturday, May 14-17, at Augustana Lutheran Church, with an Intro to Oriental Rugs Evening on Thursday. These exquisite rugs will accent any home décor with rich colors and intricate designs. Find our more by visiting the event website.

Welcome to the Ten Thousand Villages in Denver website!  We are glad you found us.  Please peruse the site to find more information about our history, upcoming events, ways to get involved, directions, and more.  Launch from this site to browse the online catalogue, create or find a gift registry or learn about our various artisans and their products. If you would like store updates, notice of our upcoming events and birthday coupons enter your email into the box on the left – we’d love keep you informed!

Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit fair trade store in Denver offering a unique selection of handmade global gifts, home decor, oriental rugs, jewelry and personal accessories that represent the diverse cultures of our artisan partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Our mission is to create opportunities for artisans to earn income by bringing their products and stories to the North American marketplace through long-term fair trading relationships.  Ten Thousand Villages in Denver is one in a network of stores across the U.S. that shares the common vision of bringing dignity and hope to underemployed and unemployed artisans. With artisan partners in over 30 developing countries, we focus on areas where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income.

About Us

Ten Thousand Villages in Denver Colorado, is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories, textiles, art and sculpture, serveware, jewelry, and gift items from around the globe.  We feature products from over 130 artisan groups in 38 developing countries as part of network of over 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products

Ten Thousand Villages began in 1946 when a Mennonite woman, Edna Ruth Byler, brought back beautifully embroidered linens from Puerto Rico to sell to her friends- she realized the difficulty the artisans had in finding buyers for their products and she desired to assist these women attain a sustainable market.  As her travels continued, so did her venture and eventually the Mennonite Brotherhood expounded her idea into a world mission effort and in the 1970’s permanent stores opened to sell handicrafts.

Ten Thousand Villages currently bolsters the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans.   Ten Thousand Villages accomplishes this by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America, and building long term buying relationships in places where skilled artisan partners lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

Ten Thousand Villages in Denver opened in 1981 as a thrift and gift store, selling high quality used items and products handcrafted by artisans in developing countries.  Staffed by volunteers from three local Mennonite Churches, and under the guidance of a board of directors, the store grew and grew changing locations four times.  In 1998 the store moved to Cherry Creek North and officially became Ten Thousand Villages Denver, dropping the thrift section of the store.  Through the many hours of volunteers, staff, and board members, the store has served the Denver area for over 30 years, improving the quality of life for thousands of artisans around the world.  

Our name, Ten Thousand Villages, originates from a quote by Mahatma Gandhi stating, "...India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages...we have hardly ever paused to inquire if these folks get sufficient [funds] to eat and clothe themselves with." We believe that each village in the world represents a unique, distinctive people, offering extraordinary products born of their rich cultures and traditions, and we desire to uphold that belief in all that we do.

We strive to fulfill our vision, that one day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality.

Thank you for your interest in our store and its vision and mission. We hope you will join us in our quest to improve the lives of our artisan partners.

View our 2013 Annual Report

Meet Our Staff:

Charlotte Otto, Store Manager
Charlotte has been an enthusiastic supporter of Ten Thousand Villages since first walking through its doors in 2007. Her love of art, travel and global development inspired her to become the store’s Assistant Manager shortly thereafter, and then Store Manager in January of 2013. Her motivating force continues to be Ten Thousand Villages’ mission of bringing hope and justice to the poor while sharing the artisans’ stories and fair trade crafts with the Denver community. A few of Charlotte’s favorite items are the oriental rugs from Pakistan, jewelry from Peru, and, of course, the chocolate.

Brooke Ophoff, Floor Manager
Brooke’s love of Ten Thousand Villages began the instant she learned of it and that devotion deepens daily as her knowledge of the organization, the artisans, and fair trade grows. She loves that TTV is a tangible way in the US to consistently empower craftspeople around the world to succeed and provide for their families. Brooke joined the Denver team in the fall of 2012 as the Floor Manager and coordinates the dedicated team of Volunteers, assists in the operating of the business, and spreads the mission of TTV. Email Brooke at

Rebecca Yount, Outreach and Publicity Coordinator
Rebecca began supporting Ten Thousand Villages in 2007 while living in Washington DC. Upon moving to Denver, she began shopping at the Cherry Creek North location. Her love of travel and interest in human rights make working with the fair trade organization a great fit. Rebecca coordinates the stores Benefit Shopping Nights, the Speakers Bureau, fosters new and ongoing community partnerships, and assists store staff and the board of directors with creative marketing and outreach strategies. She loves that in addition to a one stop shop for buying gifts and Equal Exchange coffee Denver Ten Thousand Villages is a great space for information on artisans throughout the developing world. Email Rebecca at


Volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages in Denver, CO

Volunteers constitute an essential part of Ten Thousand Villages – we could not operate without the assistance of our many volunteers!  Their effort, time, and advocacy for Ten Thousand Villages and Fair Trade propels our store to succeed.  Our store is staffed by primarily volunteers, allowing us to keep our overhead prices down, which enables us to purchase more from artisans.  Volunteers act as sales associates within the store: greeting and interacting with customers, elaborating on products, operating the cash register, unpacking shipments, polishing the store, and other general tasks.  Outside of the store volunteers act as advocates for Fair Trade and Ten Thousand Villages and may speak at public engagements, facilitate booths at events, and help with our annual rug event.

If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please fill out our application to begin the orientation process. You may email us for the application or ask for it in the store. After that is filled and returned new volunteers must attend one of our overview meetings describing Fair Trade, Ten Thousand Villages, and the volunteer experience. They are held in the store the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm except during the holiday season of October-December. Each new volunteer must then attend three training sessions where she/he is given the tools needed to confidently talk about our products, artisan partners, Fair Trade, and Ten Thousand Villages as well as training on the volunteer position of Sales Associate.

Time Commitment: We ask our volunteers to commit to at least eight hours each month (two four hour shifts.)  Each volunteer manages his/her own shifts and can schedule them however works best.   These hours can also be fulfilled by our activities outside of the store like community outreach events and off-site sales.  

Meet a few of our dedicated volunteers:

Susan Wagner:
My sister took me to the TTV store in Kansas City.  I was so impressed with the concept and the products; I came home and looked for a store in Denver.  I went to the store and said I wanted to volunteer, and the rest is history.
Susan serves on our Board of Directors and as a weekly volunteer.

Jim Brenneman:
I think the ongoing highlight for me is the feeling that volunteering really does help to make a difference in the lives of people who are disadvantaged.  It is also enjoyable to see how enthused some of the customers are about fair trade and to see how loyal some of them are.

Linda Amell
My career was involved in Product Development and I travelled for business to third world countries. This exposure gave me an interest in helping women change their lives, helping them educate and care for their children & families. I joined a free trade organization in 2006 and when I retired I found Ten Thousand Villages.


Upcoming Events

Click on an event for more information.

World Fair Trade Day! - May 10, 2014

All Day! Henna: 12-4pm

It’s a celebration heard ‘round the world! Join us for festivities throughout the day. We will have food and drink treats, our annual Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale of Buy-One-Get-One Half off and a free gift with a purchase.

As our special treat, enjoy free henna by Denver henna artist Anita Bohrer from 12-4pm. She was in last fall and was loved by all! But come early, slots for henna fill up quickly!

It’s a party you won’t want to miss!

Permanent link to event

Annual Rug Event - May 14, 2014 - May 17, 2014

Bunyaad rugs

May 14–17

Join us as our store hosts the Annual Oriental Rug Event featuring a collection of over 300 heirloom-quality Oriental rugs hand-knotted by fairly paid adults in Pakistan. These exquisite rugs will accent any home décor with rich colors and intricate designs.

For a sneak peek at the various Oriental Rugs from Pakistan, visit:

Persian rugs

Introduction to Oriental Rugs Evening
Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m.

Learn how Oriental Rugs are made, from dyeing the wool to tying the fringes. Presented by staff from our Main Bunyaad Rug Gallery in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

To reserve your seat for this free public seminar, please call the store at 303-316-8773 or email

If you are unable to attend the seminar we invite you to watch our Introduction to Oriental Rugs Video

Permanent link to event

Intro to Oriental Rug Evening - May 15, 2014

7:00 pm

Ten Thousand Villages presents a free Introduction to Oriental Rugs Seminar as part of its 4-day Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event at Augustana Lutheran Church. Learn about the art of rug making from dyeing the wool to tying the fringes. Afterwards, enjoy traditional Pakistani kheer and green tea while perusing over 300 hand-knotted fair trade rugs made by adults in Pakistan. Reservations for the seminar are strongly recommended. Call (303) 316-8773.

Permanent link to event



Store Hours for Ten Thousand Villages in Denver, CO

Time to Cruise Clock, $29

Store Hours

Monday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We honor our staff and volunteers by remaining closed on the following days:

New Year’s Day
Easter Sunday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day

We will close at 2pm on the following days:

Christmas Eve
New Year’s Eve