Ten Thousand Villages
As a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Ten Thousand Villages has cultivated a network of more than 390 retail stores and relationships with more than 130 artisan groups from around the world. Crafters from 38 different countries across Latin America, Asia, and Africa hand make children’s toys, jewelry, baskets, and tableware, which helps these artisans to earn a steady income and polish marketable skills. At the Archbold location, manager Darlene Rohrer-Meck oversees a passionate staff of volunteers as they curate an assortment of glittering silver jewelry, exotic musical instruments, and sweet-smelling natural cosmetics. Like a Mark Twain ventriloquist dummy, each item in the store is an object bursting with a folksy story to tell, from the graceful, curving African stone statues to the jangly, beaded necklaces from India.