Ten Thousand Villages, with stores in Media, Bryan Mawr, Center City and one soon to open in Glen Mills, has brought in a new CEO, Gordon Zook, writes Panela N. Daanziger for forbes.com.
Ten Thousand Villages sells ethically-sourced and handcrafted gifts, home decor accents, fashion and jewelry from makers all over the world.
It founded the concept of “fair trade” back in 1946. Villages puts the emphasis on making money for its 20,000 makers in 30 countries rather than the market.
Zook remains convinced that the company’s mission is best achieved through the in-store experience.
Customers can touch the products, and learn the stories of the makers through videos, graphic displays and story cards.
They learn how the makers’ lives are changed, how the product materials are sourced, and the cultural background related to the craft.
Village’s company-owned stores are getting an environmentally-sustainable refresh , with recycled and re-purposed materials and objects, energy-conserving lights, water-based paints and 100 percent recycled paper bags and boxes.
“We want to ensure that the values that are used to create the products are also reflected in our stores. Everything we do has a values message,” Zook said.
Read more Ten Thousand Villagesand its new CEO here.