Saturday was a crazy day at Global Fayre – way busier than any day we have had before.
Being a ‘for-profit’ store, sales revenues are obviously important for us. But the real thrill factor on Saturday was the number of people that had clearly made the decision to be concious consumers for a significant part of their holiday shopping. In coming to Global Fayre they were showing their commitment to a number of things:
1 – Fair Trade. Awareness of Fair Trade in the Springfield area is definately growing. Hopefully we’ve played a part in this, but there are plenty of other people out there making great efforts to promote the concept too. Just the fact that we participated in 8 Fair Trade events this fall, compared to just one last year, is a good indication of our progress.
2 – Downtown Springfield. It hasn’t been an easy year for downtown Springfield. Seems like we’ve lost more stores than we have gained. BUT – it’s been great to see much more foot traffic and a growing number of downtown regulars. Feels like the growth of retail is lagging way behind the level of demand from customers.
3 – Buying Local. As a Fair Trade store selling products from all over the world, the ‘buy local’ concept is an interestting one for us. We started at a Farmers Market on C-Street, and we are passionate supporters of local production. What comes through from our customers is that they recognise us as a local store, plus they value our knowledge of the artisans that produce the products we carry; it really is a wonderful aspect of Fair Trade that you can feel closely connected to a group of weavers that live half way around the world.
All this to say that two years after opening Global Fayre it feels like we have started to make our home here in the downtown district of Springfield Missouri. We’re grateful to the community here for opening their hearts and minds to Global Fayre and Fair Trade. We’re also looking forward to playing our part in the continued development of downtown Springfield in the years to come.