South Bethany business Made By Hand will be hosting its 15th annual World Fair Trade Day this weekend.
World Fair Trade Day will take place on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 5 p.m., and feature samplings and information from JuiceFresh, a Rehoboth Beach business that produces organic juice and a three-day juice cleanse.
“We always try to find something new and exciting,” said Kimberly Grimes, who co-owns the store with her husband, Marco Hernandez. “In years past, we always focused on a particular artisan. Then we thought, this year, why don’t we focus more on our customers that we love? That came up with the theme — ‘Fair Trade Day: Be Fair to Yourself.’ They’re trying to help people get more energy, have less food cravings.”
Grimes said attendees can also learn how to renew their spirit through detox, raw, vegan and paleo foods.
The international cooperative store has been owned and operated for 21 years by the husband-and-wife duo. Upon the recommendation of a friend, the two had visited a fair-trade store in Texas, and with that the South Bethany store was born.
In 2002, Grimes helped create World Fair Trade Day, and the store followed suit in the celebrations.
“The idea was to help people understand they have a lot of power with the purchases they make,” explained Grimes. “That’s what fair trade is all about — understanding the connection between the things that we buy … and how that impacts the people who are making those items. The whole mission of fair trade is to pay people fairly and give them opportunities — especially women.
“The idea was, internationally, we’ll set up a World Trade Day following the model of Earth Day. We thought we could do that in the economic sphere as well. We could get people to realize that when you purchase something, there are hands attached to everything you buy — ‘Who are those hands? Where is this stuff coming from?’ — to get people really engaged in that more.
“When you’re shopping in the mall, it’s not the people working the mall’s stuff. They don’t even know where the stuff is made or how it’s made. In fair trade, we do.”
Over the years, Grimes said, the day-long fair has grown, with more people becoming conscious about what they buy.
“I think it has grown, and I think more and more people are becoming educated about fair trade through World Fair Trade Day and also through their churches and civic groups. I think it’s a combination of things that is making fair trade grow. It is growing leaps and bounds, and that’s a good thing.”
For those who have never attended the event before, Grimes said there are many reasons to stop by the store and check it out.
“Free chocolate! And, it’s dark chocolate, so it’s good for you!” she noted with a laugh. “People, if they are interested in knowing and making the connections between the things they buy and where they come from, if they’re just curious — ‘Huh, I wonder how that works?’ — Fair Trade Day is a great day to come out and do that.”
The free event is also a way to check out the various wares Made By Hand carries — from clothing to jewelry to rugs to instruments and more — the store has something for everyone.
“We have so many wonderful customers who are so loyal. A lot of them come back year after year,” added Grimes. “As always, everyone is welcome. It’s free to the public, and we hope it’ll be a beautiful day and that we see a lot of folks.”
Made By Hand is located at 34444 Coastal Highway, in the York Beach Mall in South Bethany. For more information, call (302) 539-6335 or visit www.madebyhandinternationalcooperative.com.