About Ten Thousand Villages in Richmond, VA
Ten Thousand Villages in Richmond, VA, 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.
Our store in Richmond, Virginia, is located at 3201 West Cary Street, in the historic Carytown district. Free parking is available both on the street and in public parking decks north of Cary Street.
History of Our Store in Richmond
The Richmond store opened in August 1995 and was called Selfhelp Crafts of the World. It was located near the Byrd Theatre and staffed by a Store Manager and a few supporting volunteers. The store grew in success and size over the next few years. The name Selfhelp Crafts of the World was changed to Ten Thousand Villages in 1997. The name of the store was changed to reflect the fact that for many of our craftspeople, the village is where one's heart is, an important symbol of family, tradition, and culture. In June 2001, the store changed its location to its current location at 3201 West Cary Street. Since that time, we have changed the store design. In February 2006, we moved the store offices from upstairs to the basement to make more room for merchandise. In addition, our volunteer numbers have grown significantly, and we now have four full-time staff and one seasonal staff.
Caren Crosby Fields - Executive Director & Store Manager
Caren started as Store Manager on February 14, 2016. She grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but has been in Richmond long enough to consider it home. Her previous experience in sales and non-profit work fit well with the non-profit retail mission at Ten Thousand Villages. The position of Store Manager combines her love of beautiful handmade crafts, an appreciation for the artisans that create them and being part of the larger mission.
She is excited to join the "Village" of staff, loyal volunteers and enthusiastic customers here in Carytown!
Caren's One Reason Why: I come to work every day knowing that the work we do here locally makes a difference to artisans and their families in developing countries. It is a joy and a privilege to represent these "makers with meaning" and to work together with others that support the mission.
Kim O’Grady - Volunteer Program Manager
Kim O’Grady began volunteering with Ten Thousand Villages in 2009. She joined the staff as a seasonal sales associate in September of 2011 and became the Volunteer Program Manager in January of 2012.
Kim grew up in Clare, a small farming community in central Michigan. After graduating from
the University of Michigan with a BA in Sociology she moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where her husband attended law school. After law school they moved to Richmond. Kim then returned to school and earned her BS in elementary education from VCU. She taught in the Hopewell Public School system for a few years and retired from teaching after the birth of her second child. She then became a “professional volunteer”, volunteering at her church, local schools, Richmond Animal League, Maymont and several other organizations. She discovered Ten Thousand Villages in 2009 and knew she had found her home.
Kim’s One Reason Why: “Ten Thousand Villages provides our artisans the opportunity and
means to live a life of dignity and hope. Ten Thousand Villages also gives our customers and volunteers the ability to make a difference in the lives of people all over the world. I am truly blessed to be part of this incredible organization.”