I am the manager at a store called Ten Thousand Villages (Canadian Website, American Website) which is a fair trade gift store (and more)!
We make sure they have enough money to provide food and shelter for their families, send their children to school, purchase the materials they need to make their products and this is all decided with the artisan group to make sure they are being paid fairly in their eyes as well.
Every item we sell in the store is handmade, one at a time, often using recycled materials. Nothing is mass produced, no two items are exactly the same! We sell a wide range of items, from coffee to jewellery, games, onyx ornaments and candle holders, baking items such as shredded coconut, chocolate chips, gluten free pasta and quinoa.
At Christmastime we partner with MCC to sell Living Gifts which is a donation to a certain project or item that will then be provided to people in developing countries. Here are some examples
My job is to order products, merchandising throughout the store, office tasks such as answering emails, paying bills, doing the books, etc. I love this job, it makes me feel so amazing that I can work somewhere that is making such a difference in the world! It brings daily perspective to the contrast of our lives in North America to those living in these developing countries who work just to survive, while we work to live comfortably. It's crazy.
Another perk is that this is a part-time job which provides me with the time to work on my business, Heidi-and-Seek Boutique where I also work by hand and make products from recycled materials! It's a neat contrast :)
So now you know a little bit more about me and what I do! If you're new to this whole 'Fair Trade' thing, make sure you look into it, and learn why it's important!! Shop Fair Trade whenever you can, there are grocery stores and health food stores that are stocking fair trade food items, and there are a lot of other companies starting to get on board with the fair trade movement!