I've spent a good chunk of time lately at trade shows, choosing products for the store. As I've done so, I've also been meeting their makers. As a result, we're going to have an incredible lineup of predominantly American-made products in the store when we open, from fantastic brands like Maggie Bokor Jewelry and Seawicks Candles and Natalie Therése. But more importantly, it means that you will know where your items come from. Natalie DiBello is making a handbag for you as you read this. Cara and Michael Gaffney are busily recreating memories in candle form. And Maggie Bokor is designing more beautiful jewelry.
About 90% of our products are American-made, and the rest are globally-sourced fair trade. You'll know where the fair trade items come from, too, because that's important to us. We buy products from initiatives that support artisans, particularly women, who benefit from the work of their own hands. For example, Global Mamas, one of our dress suppliers. employs 116 businesswomen in Ghana, who in turn hire on average 2 other women to work for them to make their goods. These 550 women then use the money they earn — 75% more than the minimum wage — to send their children to school, buy food and housing, start their own businesses and improve their lives.
We could be an American-made-only shop. But we've chosen to include fair trade objects, because they can be a quinstance, too. What you can be sure of, though, is that when you find your quinstance at our store, the person who made it is the person who directly benefits from your purchase of it. Handmade, American-made, fair trade.