Tagua Jewelry now in the Global Fayre online store
We mentioned the cool Tagua jewelry that we found at the Fair Trade Federation conference in an earlier post.
We’ve had a great reaction to the Tagua since the first delivery arrived, so now we’re added it to our store.
We’ve started with the candy bracelets – they have such vibrant colors, they are a summer must! We’ll be adding to the online collection over the next few weeks – watch out for Ostrich jewelry too!
Update (May 28th):
We’ve now had some info from Christopher at Minga Imports (they are fellow members of the Fair Trade Federation) telling us a little about how the company came about, and so wanted to share it with you:
Minga Fair Trade Imports began as The Christopher Connection, founded in 1997 by Christopher Keefe during his time living in Ecuador (1995-2004). It started with the concept of improving education (both education in Ecuador and improving public knowledge of Fair Trade in the United States) and supporting the concept of a sharing wage*.
The company name was changed in 2002 to Minga Manufacturers to reflect Chris’ increased involvement in the design and production of the clothing and other products. Minga Manufacturers worked with local producers of textiles to distribute Ecuadorian products throughout the coastal towns and cities of the country, helping to boost the esteem and the economy of the people.
In 2004, Chris made the decision to move the company base back to the United States in order to maximize productivity, and the name was changed to Minga Fair Trade Imports. The business began with a humble start, working out of a friend´s basement. As the business grew, he moved up to a garage, then a storage unit, and then to a 600 sq. ft. garage.
As the business continued to grow, Mickey was hired to help Chris. A larger variety of merchandise was imported, and before long the garage became too small. To accommodate the growth, Minga moved yet again to a 2,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in 2007, where it is presently located. Although the business was founded by Christopher, he credits his employees with helping make the business the success it is today.
Behind the Name: Minga Fair Trade Imports
The name Minga Fair Trade Imports was adopted to reflect what the business does: import products that provide work and fair wages to South American workers, while retaining the original values of education and a sharing wage*.
One of the most common questions we are asked is “What exactly does Minga mean?” Minga is a Quechua (an indigenous language of South America) word meaning “communal work day.” When people form a Minga, they all come together and work toward a common goal that is often to the benefit of all involved. We feel that “Minga” is a word that fits perfectly the goals that we’re striving to accomplish, working together for the benefit of all.
Today, Minga Fair Trade Imports works with retailers in more than 20 states, and many master artisans in Ecuador, Peru, and other countries. We are excited about the future, and are grateful to all who work with us to further the mission of fair trade in the world.
*Sharing Wage: The concept of a wage that not only provides the recipient with enough money to pay for essential expenses, but also leaves them with enough to reinvest in themselves and their communities, therefore contributing to the common good.