Sometimes the world seems SO HUGE. I have a dear friend who lives in Japan. We frequently chat via social media. I always have to check the world clock, lest I repeat the time I accidentally called her “just to chat” at 4:30 am. Telling me about a woman she met there who used to live in the same small town I grew up in, I suddenly realized something. I KNEW that woman!  I had gone to high school with her!

The truth is this blue marble is about the size of a postage stamp. And yet it contains a million worlds with different cultures and ideas. 

It seems like so much of our day to purchases are so homogenized. Andy Warhol once pointed out “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the homeless man on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same.”

Well that’s a depressing thought. 

We all want to have interesting and unique things in our home. Things that express our individuality and have a story. At Bridgette Raes we always want to do our shopping at places that treat their workers well and help disadvantaged communities.

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to markets through long-term, fair trading relationships. The company also makes sure that workers are treated fairly and items are locally sourced, created from recycled items or made with renewable materials. 

The best part about Ten Thousand Villages are the hundreds of items that are both unique, practical and really fun! I simply cannot believe you can purchase a Nepalese singing bowl for less than $25. There are soaps, tea towels, flax eye masks, key chains pretty much anything you think of.  I am particularly excited about their wide selection of cheese knives and cat-themed housewares!

Start shopping and shop around the world while supporting local artisans in all parts of the world by visiting their site here.