About Ten Thousand Villages in Houston, TX
Ten Thousand Villages in Houston, TX, is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 130 artisan groups in some 38 countries, we are part of a network of over 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products.
As one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, Ten Thousand Villages has spent more than 60 years cultivating trading relationships in which artisans receive a fair price for their work and consumers have access to distinctive handcrafted items. We seek to establish long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans are under- or unemployed, and in which they lack other opportunities for income. A founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Ten Thousand Villages sees fair trade as an alternative approach to conventional international trade.
The vision for this global movement began with Edna Ruth Byler, a social entrepreneur before her time. Byler believed she could provide sustainable economic opportunities for skilled artisans in developing countries by creating a viable marketplace for their products in North America. Starting in 1946 she launched a grassroots campaign in central Pennsylvania, selling handcrafted products out of the trunk of her car and sharing information with customers about the lives of the artisans who made them. Byler’s tireless efforts over the next 30 years led to the establishment of Ten Thousand Villages, now a global network of more than 110 artisan groups in 35 countries and 78 retail outlets throughout the United States.
Ten Thousand Villages was selected in 2007 and 2008 as a Zonta Charitable Fund designated non-profit recipient. Zonta International is a global organization of female executives and professionals which works to improve the legal, political, economic and social status of women worldwide. For more information about Zonta, click here http://www.zontahouston.org/.