About Ten Thousand Villages in Mishawaka, IN
Ten Thousand Villages in Mishawaka, IN, 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.
Ten Thousand Villages Mishawaka opened in October 1992 as Global Gifts of Mishawaka. The store was started as a service program by Kern Road Mennonite Church. The church felt that it wanted to support what was then called Self-Help Crafts and the artisans supported by that organization. There was a small group of dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly to staff and maintain the store, many of whom were attenders of KRMC. The original store was located in a former military recruitment office on McKinley Avenue, next to Tradewinds Restaurant. Ten years later, when Ten Thousand Villages USA incorporated, our local store changed its name to become a contract store. In 2008, the TTV Mishawaka board of directors decided it was time for a location change, and the store moved to Centennial Place[map], on the north border of Mishawaka. The year of the move saw an impressive growth in both traffic and revenues, and the store became financially independent soon after. Today, the store continues to thrive, with both original and new volunteers working to create opportunities for artisans around the world.
Want to get involved? Here are a few ways you can support our fair trade mission:
- Volunteer at the store (see our "Volunteers" page)
- Invite us to give a presentation at your church, class, club, or event
- Host a Community Shopping Event at the store, a fundraiser through which a percentage of sales during the event will be donated to your nonprofit organization or unique cause
- Create a gift registry online!
- Shop fair trade!