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Ten Thousand Villages: The Hidden Gem Of Champaign-Urbana

Although Campustown has much to offer to University of Illinois students, it is sometimes nice to venture off campus and explore the rest of the Champaign-Urbana area. There are so many restaurants and stores for you to choose from but one store stands out from the rest. Ten Thousand Villages is located in the heart of downtown Champaign and is filled with quality goods that are handcrafted by makers from villages from around the world.

Ten Thousand Villages hopes that one day all artisans in developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a quality life. In order to help make this dream a reality the store is taking multiple steps to make this happen.

First, the store sells all of their handmade products at a fair price. After agreeing on a price for the labor of the product, the store pays the artisans beforehand so they can grow and expand as a company. By doing this, Ten Thousand Villages creates long-term partnerships. These relationships create consistency and stability within the workers’ lives and allow them to plan ahead and improve the quality of their future.

Ten Thousand Villages also makes sure that artisans work in healthy and safe conditions. They strive to keep children in school and not a member of the workforce. The company also partners with underrepresented individuals, such as woman, in order to help bring change for the workers, along with their families and communities.

If the mission of Ten Thousand Villages doesn’t convince you enough that the store is uniquely amazing, then go into their store immediately and check out the products they sell. They have an extensive jewelry collection to choose from that range in colors, shapes and designs. It is noted where all of the jewelry is made, which gives the jewelry a  special factor knowing just a little bit more about  the artisan who made it with their own hands.

The store also sells unique and funky home decorations that are sure to liven up any college apartment. Some of the most interesting pieces they have are their mirrors that they have for sale. These mirrors range in shapes and sizes but all have a distinctive mosaic pattern frame that has a design similar to a Gustav Klimt painting. You cannot find something like this at Target.

Next time you find yourself bored on a Saturday afternoon or need a new statement piece for your apartment, head over to Ten Thousand Villages. You are guaranteed to find something that you will love while helping out a great cause. 


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