Puzzle boxes, jewelry, drums, marmalade, wrap skirts — the Chautauqua Fair Trading Company store in the Colonnade might not be large, but it holds a multitude of different goods from all over the world. The wares have one thing in common: Everything has been made by people in developing countries who were paid a living wage.
Profits from the money spent at the Chautauqua Bookstore directly pay for the Institution’s programming costs. When the bookstore sells products from Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit, fair trade company, the money made supports artisans in developing countries and helps to improve their lives and communities.
Earl Rothfus, bookstore manager, brought in the fair trade products seven years ago, and after the first year, he gave the crafts a prominent section under the Ten Thousand Villages flag.
Ten Thousand Villages is one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization. It ensures the livelihood of its member cooperatives and artisans by paying them cash advances and establishing fair prices and long-term relationships with them.
Beginning next Monday, Chautauquans new and seasoned will have the opportunity to “mind the gap,” even while picking up their morning paper or a book.
A recently established box will appear each Monday in the Chautauqua Bookstore. It will give patrons the option to donate a small gift to the Chautauqua Fund when they make their purchases.
“I am excited to offer Chautauquans the opportunity to easily participate in the Chautauqua Fund and to show their support of Chautauqua by donating a dollar or two,” said Tina Downey, director of the annual fund.