Global Outreach, Locally
Deep in South Africa, a campfire’s red and yellow flames illuminate natives’ faces as they create colorful baskets made out of telephone wires. These unassuming telephone wires represent the simple security every family seeks: food, water, shelter and maybe even some security for tomorrow. Consequently, up to 600 indigenous artisans concentrate while manipulating pliable wires to produce beautifully woven baskets. At the same time, many worlds away deep in Del Mar, residents and tourist alike are admiring these unique multi-colored baskets in a variety of sizes and patterns inside Fair Trade Décor.
Everyone’s international trip begins the moment they step into the remarkable Fair Trade, only there aren’t any passport requirements to travel into this extraordinary store. Luckily for everyone on Camino Del Mar, an adventure for all the senses transports them into many inaccessible corners of the world. Obscure destinations in countries such as Kenya, India, Peru, Nicaragua and South Africa suddenly gain recognition as people scrutinize each province’s original works of artistry. Among the beautiful items are gorgeous shawls, impeccably made recycled glass jewelry, darling children’s shoes, stationary, plates, pillows and organic cotton finger puppets.
Owner’s Betsy and Jude Paganelli represent the teeny population of Fair Trade store owners who followed their hearts and opened a store that would offer one-of-a-kind items from countries around the world that support the artisans for their exclusive crafts. If a win/win ever existed, it’s within the strict rules governed by the Fair Trade Federation’s (FTF) laws. The FTF ensures each Fair Trade store owner adheres to their stringent principles that have been put in place to protect the artisans’ interests while promoting the sale of their creations. Items are sold at fair prices while supporting natives who would otherwise not have the opportunity to share their unique crafts with the world. Often times, the FTF will even build entire communities in towns that never had electricity so their workers may have adequate living environments along with fair wages.
“To know in my heart I’m doing something right and good, that’s a happy world right there,” Betsy explains. Indeed, it’s a humble world that allows both the artist and the one purchasing the art to hold hands even though their lives are thousands of miles apart.
Fair Trade Décor is located at 1412 Camino Del Mar. FairTradeDecor.com