Sunday, December 5, 2010

Extra Discount Coupon for In-Store Purchases!

Big News from Crossroads Trade

Dear Fair Trade Friends,

I'm writing to let you know about a mighty change at Crossroads Trade. After Christmas, we will be changing from a brick-and-mortar store to an on-line business! Our reconstructed website goes on-line next week.

We've had a storefront for eleven years, and a website for ten, both long enough for a generational turnover in shoppers. The baby boomers are beginning to downsize. Post-boomer shoppers buy very differently, namely, on-line. Our audience for our collector pieces is international, rather than local. They, too, buy on line.

I am very excited. I'll be able to spend more time scouting for new products and artisans, my favorite activity. I'm also looking forward to some special projects related to fair trade. Stay tuned!

I will miss our customers very much. It's been especially fun to watch the kid-customers grow up. Please keep in touch, via our e-mail list, Facebook and Twitter, blog and website. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

For a fair trade future,

Kate Harris
Crossroads Trade

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

World Fair Trade Day May 8

Our plan so far includes an in-store demonstration by Zimbabwe wire artist Bernard of his craft. Watch for details!

If you have an interest in social entrepreneurship, human trafficking, sustaining ecosystems, preserving ethnic craft traditions, and chocolate, you'll want to participate in our World Fair Trade Day events.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Heart of Valentine's Day

The heart of Valentine's Day is this: "you are special to me -- am I special to you?" We have many, many ways to say that.

Chocolate we have discussed earlier --our fair-trade chocolate shows how you care for the people of the earth, and the earth, as well as the recipient.

Our jewelry does that also. Our elegant, shimmery, beaded red necklaces from Nepal are made by women who are earning school fees for their daughters. Our South African recycled copper and brass heart bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, are made by women and men in a safe, clean workshop. Amber hearts from Poland, in pendants, earrings, and rings, provide economic benefit to people whose country has undergone a huge transition in recent years.

And all the jewelry is gorgeous!

Not shopping for jewelry? You can say a lot at Crossroads with a modest budget. Our art cards, all suitable for framing, are blank so you can pen a suitable sentiment. Our colorful Kenyan hearts are just $3.75, but they hold a lot of emotion.

Liz, our henna artist in residence, will offer free, heart henna tattoos on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 and 13. Do stop by.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For Valentine's Day: Fair-Trade Chocolate!

Chocolate is a $13 billion business in the United States, yet consumers seldom know its real cost; 284,000 children work in as slaves or indentured servants in West African cocoa plantations.Historically, cocoa farmers have no control over the price they are paid for their crop. Prices fluctuates dramatically. With no floorprice and an unstable market, cocoa farmers' only opportunity tomake ends meet has been exploitation of children, the world's most vulnerable workforce.

Buying fair trade chocolate ensures that farmers are paid a fair wage for their crop. Fair trade companies guarantee a floor price for cocoa production, with additional guarantees if industry prices rise above the fair trade price. Children stay in school. They are not sold into servitude to work in cocoa fields.

Your purchase of ethically sourced chocolate tells the chocolate industry that this matters to you. Check out our delicious chocolate treats today!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

No news yet from our Haitian suppliers

Crossroads Trade has bought wonderful, whimsical wares from a Haitian cooperative for eight years. Based in Port-au-Prince, the co-op provides employment to 400 artisans. (Each wage-earner in Haiti supports an average of nine people).

Over the years, the co-op has withstood embargoes, political turmoil and robberies. The artisans have regrouped every time.

We have not been able to reach the co-op since the earthquake. We do not know whether the co-op withstood the quake or how many artisans were killed or injured. We will let you know when we hear from them. We will make it a priority to place an order as soon as they regroup.
  Pictured: steel-drum scrap frog, $12; steel-drum scrap gecko, $36; steel-drum rasta bus key hook, $28.