Bringing bits and pieces from all over the world to downtown Harrisonburg, Ten Thousand Villages features handmade products from over 38 countries. A non-profit, fair trade store, their sales provide income for artisans across the globe. The store was established after two local women visited the flagship store in Pennsylvania and felt inspired to open a fair trade store in the area. Opening up their first location in 1993, they moved around the Harrisonburg area, before settling into a new location in downtown in 2011.
The shop is a perfect place to find a unique gift. They carry artisan jewelry, pottery, art, children’s toys, and home décor, as well as globally sourced teas, chocolates, coffees, and more. Each of their products is unique and specially made. Often, the backstory of the product is shared, giving customers the opportunity to learn more about how the item was made and where it is from.
Ten Thousand Villages is more than just a store; it is a vital support system for artists that would either be unemployed or underemployed. The income brought in through their art helps to provide them with food, education, health care, and housing. In selling these products, the company hopes to share the beautiful products created out of rich cultures and traditions.