Global Village Gifts gives people a hand up rather than a hand out

Global Village manager Clarissa Swain shows some merchandise made in India made from automobile inner tubes.

Global Village Gifts, found at 69 E. 100 N. in Logan, boasts they are the only fair trade store in the United States. Their merchandise comes from 48 different countries on several different continents. Fair Trade is the alternative approach to international trade.

Global Village Gifts, found at 69 East 100 North in Logan was was once the Budge Clinic. Over the pasty 15 years the little store has sold items form 48 different countries,

“Most items Americans buy have gone through an 18 step process before they reach the store shelf,” their website said. “Fair Trade products go through a three step process. This lowers business costs and allows farmers and artisans to keep more of the profits.”

There are journals made out of elephant dung, purses made from automobile inner tubes and drinking glasses made from wine bottles, to name only a few items that can be found at the nonprofit Global Village Gifts.

The merchandise is earth friendly, made from recycled or upcycled materials,” store manager Clarissa Swain said. “Like the wine bottles cut in half and the rims ground down made into drinking glass or parts of dresses are repurposed and turned into fine looking scarves.”

Crafted jewelry, sculptures, nick-knacks and crafty recycled metal can be found on the shelves of the store.

Hearts carved from soapstone are some of the merchandise found in the Global Village Gifts.

Swain, a Utah State University Family and Consumer Science graduate, loves where she works.

“Working at the store changed my lifetime goals,” she said. “Once you get involved in fair trade you learn how much more needs to be done and so meaningful.”

Swain said, for instance, elephants and farmers don’t get along very well in some countries.

“In Sri Lanka, elephants ruin gardens and farmers don’t like dealing with them,” she said. “But elephants have fibrous excrement which can be made into odorless paper. When farmers can make money from elephants it changes the way they view them. When elephants help people make money the animals are more of an asset than a hindrance.”

The Utah Valley native recently spent three weeks in Uganda. She was able to watch some of the artisans at closer view and witness how some of the products in their inventory were produced.

Hailey Elliott, who hails from Alabama and coordinates almost 30 volunteers, held some hearts carved from soapstone as some of her favorite merchandise.

And then there are they seismic critters made in Mexico that are set on a table or shelf and can warn people when an earthquake is coming by how they move.

Swain said the building they are in is owned by St. John’s Episcopal Church next door. And because they are a nonprofit, the church works with the store on their rent.

“Our building is also historic and worth coming in to see,” Swain said. “We’ve been told our building was the original Budge Clinic.”

The store has only two paid positions at the store, Swain and Elliot. The store associates including the board of directors are all volunteers.

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