Comprising a worldwide network dedicated to the reversal of poverty, Ten Thousand Villages fills its retail locations with products gathered from 38 developing societies. Businesswoman Edna Ruth Byler began the fair-trade practice of paying cash advances to far-flung artisans more than 60 years ago, which established the company's long-term project of empowerment via nonexploitative commerce. Each handcrafted item that makes it to a Ten Thousand Villages store is priced according to the specific socio-economic milieu in which the artisan works, which helps ensure just compensation and proportional economic impact. Ten Thousand Villages has been lauded for its environmental and philanthropic ambitions and was recently named one of the world's most ethical companies by Forbes magazine.
25th Hour Associates focuses on simplifying the lives of its customers by providing high-quality, time-saving services and mending rifts in the space-home continuum. 25th Hour’s handymen can quickly and efficiently change light bulbs, unclog drains, dispose of garbage, hang mirrors and pictures of mirrors, and install home entertainment systems. But they can also complete larger jobs in the same timely manner, such as installing garage-door openers, laying down tile, drywall repair, door installation, and booby-trap maintenance. 25th Hour's services normally cost between $50 and $85 per hour.
Norwood Custom Glass's owner and experienced glass molder Stan Sabick instructs budding crafters in a bevy of glass-forming techniques, operating a gallery to show off his own translucent creations. A two-hour hot-glass fused-pendant workshop includes all the frits, stringers, dichroic scraps, and pronunciation guides for the aforementioned materials to forge thoroughly fashionable trinkets. After a quick trip to the kiln, newly minted pendants cheerfully accompany their creators home, where they can adorn swanlike necks and chic rearview mirrors. Classes include both day and night sessions for busy professionals and artistically inclined vampires.
At Neusole Glassworks, gurus of all stripes and skill levels come together to fuse, blow, and mold glass both for independent projects and classes that explore the art form. The nonprofit facility sets the stage for inspired creation with flame-working, hotshop, and fusing studios that help the crew and their pupils transform raw materials into polished paperweights, unique pendants, and colorful new windshields. Upstairs, Neusole Glassworks invites browsers to tote pieces home from the gift shop or let their eyes feast on the myriad colors and textures at Atmosphere @ Neusole—a gallery for emerging artists and the facility’s students. In addition to welcoming anyone into its facility, Neusole Glassworks dispatches a mobile glassblowing studio to enliven street fairs and churn out slippers for palace dance parties.
Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity aims to eliminate substandard housing by building, renovating, and repairing homes in partnership with low-income families. As part of the process of receiving a Habitat home, these partner families commit to 500 hours of sweat equity, helping to build the homes and then making zero-interest monthly mortgage payments. Cincinnati Habitat volunteer crews build about 20 homes a year in the Cincinnati area.