CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — For the past three years, Ten Thousand Villages has sold fair-trade goods from international artisans to the State College community. They’re the only storefront of its kind in the Centre Region.
Now, they’re looking to expand by knocking down the wall to the adjacent empty storefront, nearly doubling their floor space and inventory.
“One of the driving factors here is increasing our artisan impact,” said Kieran Holland, executive director of Ten Thousand Villages. “By expanding, we estimate that we can increase our artisan impact over the next several years by several thousand dollars, which is absolutely life changing for the communities we work with.”
An expansion would also allow Ten Thousand Villages to host more community engagement events.
“Our current space is relatively small, which means that unfortunately at times we haven’t been able to do the community events we’ve wanted to,” said Holland.
Holland says they’ll be able to carry about $60,000 more in merchandise and introduce new products such as fair-trade clothing.
They’ve been fundraising for the initiative for about three months.
“The community has been amazing and over the last two days with Centre Gives, we’ve raised over $26,000 and we already had about $6,000 committed, so we’re incredibly close to our initial goal of $35,000,” said Holland.
He says this was their highest grossing year for the Centre Gives campaign. They’re still accepting donations toward the “Widening Our Village’s Circle” campaign online or by calling 814-954-5043.
He says, fair-trade has both an international and local impact.
“It stops child labor, it helps people go to school, it helps improve communities, and it helps uplift those communities out of poverty,” said Holland. “It really helps to support a unique and vibrant local community and local economy.”