Posts filed under ‘downtown Springfield’
The last couple of months have been pretty difficult for Global Fayre (meaning for David and Cheri).
We had realized towards the end of last year that we were struggling to cope with the store itself and all of the other activities that Global Fayre required of us, PLUS raising our two daughters PLUS Cheri being a Doula PLUS David doing his own stuff (what is that exactly?!)
We brought someone in to help at the store (Sophie was a great help and a real asset to the team) but by the time we got to the Spring of 2011 the message had firmly sunk in. We didn’t have the resources (financial, physical and emotional) to make the store work as well as it should or as well as we wanted it to.
So in May we took the decision to close the store itself, but to leave the door open to continue with fair trade talks, outside events at local churches and the online store.
Announcing the closure, and dealing with the customer/friend reaction was truly bitter/sweet. People had some very kind words to say, and we really felt appreciated, but then to feel the process take its own momentum; after all, stores open and close all the time, and we are just one of many. An inventory sale seamlessly turned in to a closing sale, with some very loyal customers getting the “one thing” that they had been wanting for a very long time but could never afford or justify. That was very satisfying to see.
We weren’t prepared for how emotionally draining the last two weeks would be; we lost count of the number of times we had “that” conversation about why we were closing, how we would be missed etc etc. Of course, person #200 means it just as much as the person #1 – so you try hard to have the conversation, yet again.
So the store is closed, and we were preparing for life after downtown Global Fayre…..and then David had a very interesting telephone conversation……..
We don’t carry many glass products, partly because one of our closest downtown neighbors is a glass blower (if you ever visit Springfield, aside from coming to Global Fayre, you should make sure to check out Terry and Gabe’s work at Springfield Hot Glass.
But when we saw these beautiful pendants, we just couldn’t resist.
The maker is a woman from Coapango, Guerrero in southern Mexico, Guadalupe Ramos Rios. Our source, Tom Costello tells us that “As far back as the stories go, and as far back as Ms. Ramos Rios can remember, her parent’s parent’s parent’s were artisans who made dresses, shoes, chairs, flatware, jewelry, and other items for everyday use and for personal dress. I have worked with three generations of her family. Every pendant has six components. When the chain or necklace are counted, that makes seven. We christened them “Cloud 9″ because of there light, floating colors and designs.”
For the moment, we are selling them only in our store at 324 S Campbell, Springfield, MO – but in a few weeks we will add them to our online store.
They have arrived just in time for Valentines Day – and to celebrate, we are giving away a Fair Trade Rose with every purchase from Feb 10 to Feb 14.
We just delivery of our first piece of Shona Sculpture from our friends at Venture Imports.
Serpentine is the stone most commonly used by the Shona Carvers; Shona ranges in hardness from 2.0 to 5.5 on “Mohs Scale of Hardness.” It has a huge range of color variations, but most pieces will have some brown, green or black in them.
Our first piece is this beautiful “Kissing Couple” in natural stone.
Jennie from Venture Imports describes the carving process this way:
“The artists chip, chisel, sand and then wet-sand each piece. (Before sandpaper, artists would use river sand and a rag in their hands to smooth out the pieces.) Then they place the piece around, or in some cases actually in, a fire. They finish by putting floor polish on the heated piece which sinks into the piece and brings out the natural colors of the stone and makes it shiny. They keep reapplying the floor wax (they use Cobra wax, I use Johnson paste wax) until the surface cools. Then they buff it with a cloth which makes it nice and shiny.”
Jennie also explains how the carvers learn their craft:
“Most of the artists have no formal training, but they often learn as apprentices under a master sculptor. They begin by washing and polishing the master’s pieces and then start working on small pieces of their own. Some of the artists work in cooperatives which is a fun site to see. They are so quick and sing and talk while they chip away.”
More pieces will arrive soon, and will be added to our online store.
Kim Peterson stays busy creating art and chasing her two young daughters with her husband. She likes to think of herself as an eclectic being, so she also spends her time obsessing over music, reading, being passionate about politics, and writing freelance articles for the Ozarks Moms Like Me Magazine. Kim grew up in Tacoma, Wa but has lived in Upstate New York, Wyoming and eventually landed in in the Ozarks three years ago. She now calls Springfield home.
Kim says she “likes the idea of playing with the things that people do, what they think and dream. The unmentionable acts hidden by the subconscious or a spy like quickness. People are afraid to let others know who they really are. Hiding in plain sight is what we, as people, do everyday.” The pieces being viewed will be her interpretation of this concept.
This is Kim’s debut showing at Global Fayre and First Friday Art Walk. To see more of her work, you can visit “Kim’s Eclectic” on facebook.
Find out what else is happening on First Friday here.
Check out the latest with Global Fayre here.
If you are on our email e-blast list, you will already know that you can get 25% discount on any single item on Saturday and Monday (YES – you can come back again and get the discounts on both days!). If you are NOT on our e-blast list, you should be….sign up by clicking here!
Carl is a relative newcomer to Global Fayre; we started carrying his book Aux Arcs at the end of last year.He will join us for First Friday to sign his book and to launch our exhibition of some of thephotographs from the book.
“The thing I love about photography is that it sharpens my visual and emotional sensitivity to the world around me. The camera lens acts as a conduit to see beyond the mundane and focus on the beautiful interplay of light and space”
Carl enjoys exploring symbolism and surrealism created through digital manipulation.
He has seriously pursued photography for the past 10 years. He is a member of the Southwest Missouri Camera Club, the Springfield Visual Arts Alliance and the Springfield Regional Arts Council. Carl’s achievements include various awards in juried competitions in the Southwest Missouri Camera Club and Juror’s Choice Awards and in Springfield Visual Art Alliance juried competitions.
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.