Bringing Fair Trade to Logan
Global Village Gifts is a non-profit, fair trade retail store - the only Fair Trade Federation Member in the state of Utah!
Celebrating 15 Years of Fair Trade
Global Village Gifts started its journey 15 years ago through the dedication of a socially conscious 71-year-old woman named Sally Keller. But Sally's personal interest in fair trade and global causes began almost a decade earlier.
The first beginnings were in 1994 with a simple gift: a latrine in Nepal bought in Sally's name. The gift was given to her by her sister-in-law from Alternative Gifts International, an organization which allows individuals to give donations to various causes as gifts. Then, in 1996, Sally was introduced to the mission of fair trade after a trip to Africa with her daughter where she was able to engage with local fair trade artisans. She was later given the opportunity in 1999 to speak about her experiences abroad at a fair trade store in Salt Lake City known as Ten Thousand Villages. The culmination of these experiences sparked an interest in Sally that couldn't be ignored.
Initially, Sally worked to bring an extension of the Alternative Gift market to Logan's First Presbyterian Church. In addition to donation cards, fair trade handicrafts were also offered from Ten Thousand Villages. The annual event continued on for years with enthusiasm. The reaction of the public became obvious: there was a demand for fair trade products to be offered throughout the year.
In 2003 Sally started efforts to open a seasonal fair trade store, which would be open sporadically throughout the year in conjunction with major holidays. It began as an extension of Ten Thousand Villages, but started running independently under the name of Global Village Gifts just two years later.
The store was created with two purposes in mind: to offer the public fair trade products and to educate on the mission of fair trade. With these principles, Global Village Gifts registered as a nonprofit organization and was run exclusively by volunteers for the first nine years. From the beginning, volunteers dedicated their time and talents in any way possible to get the store up and running as a viable business.
As time went on, the store required more business hours to keep up with its growing popularity. Eventually Global Village Gifts moved to a new location and adopted regular store hours, which remain as Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. With the continued growth, Sally eventually retired on her 80th birthday after 9 years of operation. With her retirement came the paid position of a store manager and later a volunteer coordinator. Although the store has expanded enough to require the added positions, the day-to-day operations are still run by over 30 dedicated volunteers, including a volunteer board of directors.
Global Village Gifts is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and is currently the only fair trade non-profit store in the state of Utah. The store currently supports 29 vendors from 48 countries and has over 1,500 products. It is through the continued support of the community and the store's customers that Global Village Gifts has been able to provide a unique and ethical shopping experience for so many years. We thank you for your support and look optimistically towards the years to come. We are excited to have you on our journey.
What You'll Find
New and unique products come in regularly. Visit us to see our entire inventory.
Photos by Sarah Jane Moore