Monday, August 27, 2018

Fair Trade Wholesale Guide - Great Resources

If you're reading this, you're most likely familiar with Dunitz & Company's handmade and oh so pretty fair trade jewelry. What you might not know (but should) is we are part of a very supportive and collaborative community, Fair Trade Federation. FTF staff worked diligently to produce and launch our first collective (and hopefully not last) Fair Trade Wholesale Guide. Browse the guide to find great resources for jewelry, clothing, coffee and home decor. I can't list all of my colleagues here, but I thought I'd provide a shout out to some.

Here's the thing. Fair Trade Federation has been growing quickly as more and more wholesalers and retailers choose to be verified for their fair trade practices. Many members I'm acquainted with. Others, not. Personally, I love the offerings of many. Some companies sell items I choose not to own. Isn't that the way it goes with just about everything? In the case of the cover of the Fair Trade Wholesale Guide, I was thrilled to see Jenn Pullin's bag from Fibres of Life featured. If you've seen her booth at a trade show, you know her collection from Nepal is amazingly beautiful. And honestly, I have a soft spot for Jenn. She seems to always be sporting a pair of Dunitz & Company earrings whenever I see her.

Page 2. See that adorable model with the yellow shrug? Yes, of course you do. Look straight up and you'll see she is also wearing a pair of Dunitz & Company's fused glass earrings. (Did you know I call this collection, Joanie M after my mom? She always dreamt of owning a dress shop. When I introduced our fair trade fused glass jewelry, it seemed fitting to name it in her honor.)

I'm definitely a bit partial to all things Guatemala. After all, I've been working there since 1989. And I've hiked several times to San Antonio Palopo where the beautiful ceramics offered by Lucia's Imports are made. I've always told Teresa Hendricks, the co-owner of this company that she is so brave to be importing fragile pottery. (Did you know I first imported glass bowls from Guatemala? I still have some in my garage. Interested?)

 Are you familiar with the Zapotec handbags offered by MZ Imports and Shelly Tennyson? That's their purse on Page 3. Shelly and I have often communicated online. It wasn't until the recent NY Now-Fair Trade Federation get together that we met in person. I was thrilled that we broke bread together and shared some real face time. I confess, I grilled her for a few travel/restaurant ideas for an upcoming trip I'm taking with a friend to Oaxaca later this year. MZ's line is made in Oaxaca.

This mantel shot from the wholesale guide is an all-star! I adore Brenda Rosenbaum from Mayan Hands - and yes, she's been working with artisans in Guatemala for a long long time. Heck, she grew up in Guatemala. Need pine needle baskets? They might be the perfect resource for you. Looking for fun instruments? Then Jamtown is your number. And I can tell you from being John Hayden's neighbor at trade shows, he KNOWS his music! Lucuma Designs for Peruvian gourds? Yes! And finally, my favorite things about Manish Gupta is he, like me, is a University of Michigan Wolverine - GO BLUE! His company Matr Boomie offers lots of fabulous gift items crafted in India.

Saving one of my favorites for last. I absolutely adore Johnnie Segers and Penny Webster, the founders of Woven Promises. Whenever we've been in the same city at the same time, I've dined with these women (and taken in a few Broadway shows). I know well how absolutely dedicated they are to their artisans in Ethiopia. And the quality of their towels and napkins are the best, bar none.

So now you know the Fair Trade Federation Wholesale Guide is out for your perusal and use. You'll have fun browsing the photos and exploring which items spark your interest. And remember, you can always visit the Fair Trade Federation site and search by product category. You'll find Dunitz & Company when searching for fair trade jewelry and Judaica. (Side note: You can also search the FTF site for vendors that retail their goodies online.) Let me know if you source anything new after referring to this booklet. I'm so curious to know what new items you've discovered for your shop. -ND