Recently, I joined a small group of Global Exchange staff members who visited our Global Exchange Fair Trade store in San Francisco. We went to celebrate our colleague Chelsea’s last day of a yearlong program in the development office at Global Exchange and to help her pick out some special items for her new apartment in Oakland, CA.
Since I usually shop at our Berkeley Fair Trade store, which is closer to my home, I loved seeing the updated layout of the San Francisco store and some of the new goodies in person.
I love the Capiz Shell wind chimes handmade in Bali, and I plan on buying some for my front porch soon. (I also love the big Balinese display umbrella … but I’m not sure how I could fit that into my studio apartment.)
The store also has on display my favorite tote bag made from recycled tires in El Salvador. I purchased one for myself last year, and I love the style of these bags and their durability, they’re perfect for city living. You can zip up the tote bag so that it’s fairly water resistant as well. Whenever I wear the bag on BART or elsewhere in public I get a lot of great comments and interest from people admiring the design or wanting to know more about the materials.
Chelsea asked us to help her find just a few items she could bring to her new apartment to add a little bit of elegance and style. She decided on some pieces of the beautiful Le Souk Pottery dishware from Tunisia. She also picked up a pair of block-printed napkins to go with the dishes. Now Chelsea can invite us all over to use her beautiful dishes, and we won’t have to be sad she won’t be in the office anymore!
While we helped Chelsea look for dishware we couldn’t help but try on the beautiful wax print aprons handmade in Ghana. Behind us (in the pic below) you can see a whole wall full of goodies we wish we could take home with us too- Nabali Fair Trade Olive Oil, Fair Trade Peace Coffee, Fair Trade End the Embargo Coffee, and Fair Trade chocolates galore. Finally we had to force ourselves to leave the store before we spent our entire paychecks- too many beautiful things!
Next time you’re close by one Global Exchange’s Fair Trade stores in Noe Valley/SF or Berkeley, come visit and support the amazing artists and artisans behind these beautiful products. If you’re anything like us, once you enter, you won’t want to leave!
Love, your Global Exchange staff: