David­sonville UMC’s fair-trade shop ben­e­fits women

The Capital - - NEWS - Vicki Pe­tersen Email south county com­mu­nity news and events to Vicki Pe­tersen at around­south­county@gmail.com.

This week­end David­sonville United Methodist Church, 819 W. Cen­tral Ave., is host­ing its sec­ond Al­ter­na­tive Mar­ket, a fair-trade pop-up shop, of­fer­ing sus­tain­ably sourced, hand­made pieces you won’t find in a mall.

The United Methodist Women part­nered with Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages in Bal­ti­more, to help women by sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­ness women, women ar­ti­sans from around the globe and YWCA’s Ar­den House in Arnold, which pro­vides ser­vices for women and chil­dren in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sit­u­a­tions much closer to home.

“All of the church’s pro­ceeds for this event go to Ar­den House,” said Barb Moore, one of the or­ga­niz­ers of this event.

Co-or­ga­nizer Mary Con­klin, a re­tired so­ci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor, said her summer trav­els in­flu­enced this en­deavor. With sum­mers off, she trav­eled over­seas, teach­ing English as a Sec­ond Lan­guage.

“It made me aware of the fact that many peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly women, are not given much op­por­tu­nity around the world,” she said.

Con­klin be­came aware of Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages and the con­cept of an al­ter­na­tive mar­ket while teach­ing in San Diego, and found shops in other cities as well.

“When I came to DUMC, I ca­su­ally men­tioned it to Barb — she seized on it right away,” Con­klin said, and the two were on a mis­sion.

They con­tacted Dora Zimmerman, man­ager of Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages in Bal­ti­more.

“Mary and Barb knew of our mis­sion,” she said. “We shared the same kind of val­ues.”

Host­ing the event off­site takes a lot of prepa­ra­tion, but “it’s a great cause for both of us,” Zimmerman said.

Her shop in Fells Point is part of a net­work of over 390 re­tail out­lets through­out the United States sell­ing these sus­tain­ably sourced prod­ucts; ar­ti­san-crafted home decor, per­sonal ac­ces­sories and gift items. Its prod­ucts come from more than 130 ar­ti­san groups in 38 coun­tries.

The seed of the idea orig­i­nated in 1946, with Ruth Byler of Akron, Penn­syl­va­nia, sell­ing needle­work from other coun­tries to friends and neigh­bors from the trunk of her car. The first goods came from a trip to Puerto Rico. She bought them and brought them home.

As child of the de­pres­sion, she knew poverty and fear. She un­der­stood the im­por­tance of dig­nity and the power of peo­ple want­ing a way to help them­selves. The lo­cal Men­non­ite com­mu­nity sup­ported Byler’s trav­els to other coun­tries to bring back goods and sto­ries, and thus Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages be­gan to blos­som.

As a found­ing mem­ber of the World Fair Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages has spent more than 60 years cul­ti­vat­ing trad­ing re­la­tion­ships in which ar­ti­sans re­ceive a fair price for their work and con­sumers have ac­cess to dis­tinc­tive hand­crafted items.

“TTV has been reach­ing out to ar­ti­sans in less de­vel­oped coun­tries for years, and of­ten the busi­ness and the skills are passed down, cre­at­ing long term re­la­tion­ships” Con­klin said. “Ar­ti­sans are given enough money to pay for raw ma­te­ri­als up front, and are then paid im­me­di­ately when the goods are com­pleted.”

Moore said she has been in­volved with any­thing as all-in­clu­sive as Ten Thou­sand Vil­lages.

“Last year’s event was very suc­cess­ful,” Moore said. “The prod­ucts made by these ar­ti­sans are won­der­ful. Shop­pers leave know­ing they are help­ing other peo­ple.”

“Mi­nus all of the com­mer­cial­ism. It’s a win-win,” Con­klin added.

Among the items for sale will be jew­elry, bas­kets, hand­bags, jour­nals, or­na­ments, na­tiv­i­ties and win­ter wear. Items range from $10-$50, with most in the $20-$30 range.

There will also be hot malt cider and baked goods. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to­day and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sun­day.


This week­end, a mod­ern day Alice en­coun­ters Lewis Car­roll’s Won­der­land when Shady Side The­atre presents “Alice@Won­der­land” at Cen­te­nary United Methodist Church, 6248 Shady Side Road.

Di­rected by Alane Robin­son, this is a mod­ern retelling, com­plete with cell­phones and so­cial me­dia. Fa­mil­iar el­e­ments re­main, how­ever, with char­ac­ters such as the Mad Hat­ter, the White Rab­bit and the Queen of Hearts.

The story, based on Car­roll’s works, was adapted for the stage by Jonathan Yu­kich, a theater teacher at the Univer­sity of New Haven.

Tick­ets are $12. Kids ages 5 and younger are free. Call 410-867-3085 to re­serve tick­ets

Park­ing is free, and the church is wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble. Per­for­mances will be held at 7 p.m. to­day and at 4 p.m. Sun­day.


United Methodist Women Barb Moore, Lisa Nie­mann and Mary Con­klin, each wear­ing a fair-trade scarf, host the Al­ter­na­tive Mar­ket this week­end at David­sonville United Methodist Church. Pro­ceeds from the event will ben­e­fit the YWCA’s Ar­den House.

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