I’m pretty excited about this guy! I don’t think he knows it, but he’s helping us “cultivate environment stewardship” which is one of the nine principles of Fair Trade. From the Fair Trade Federation:
Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.
We try to be mindful of this principle in a variety of ways. Our shipping materials and bags are always reused and our gift wrapping is all made from recycled post-consumer something or another. (It’s the yay-environment-efforts line of Nashville Wraps who we believe to be a good company.)
There are times when I feel like I’m being a terrible steward of our earth though. Some of our jewelry display pieces were probably made in the worst of circumstances, were packaged individually and probably shipped through a long supply chain across the world a few times. Bleck. I hate selling out.
I’ve been tempted to buy some furniture display pieces that would be very functional, but do not follow the Fair Trade principles. Thankfully, I don’t have to continue with any mental debates about this any longer.
Meet Darin Grimsley! His gift is finding old treasurers and remaking them into gorgeous furniture. Actually, this is only one of his gifts. He is extremely talented with all things old to new.
I stared across the aisle at Darin’s work for three days at an event called Out of the Blue where we were both vendors last October. At the end of the show I bought a bunch of his tables and counters myself! When we decided to open a second store in Salina, Darin was among the first I texted to see if he had anything on hand I could purchase. Thankfully, he did and we were able to fill the store with his gems. Not only do his pieces fit with Fair Trade’s environmental sustainability principle, they are a great fit for the Fair Trade products themselves. We feel fortunate to have randomly been his neighbor last fall!
So many people have asked if they can buy Darin’s pieces in our stores. Without hesitation I’ve said “no!” because I feel lucky to have it myself! BUT…
Darin’s business has shifted recently and he is willing to bring us more of his furniture and antique types of things to use with a price tag attached in case someone would like to buy it from him. (yay!) It’s an understatement to say that we are excited about this arrangement! His work is amazing, Fair Trade looks good on it and we won’t have to compromise our principles for display. It’s a trifecta of goodness!
The best way to look at Darin's furniture and other assorted wonderfuls is to come into our stores - especially the Salina location. I'll share some pictures on facebook as well, but would really love for you to enjoy it all in person. For the first time you could take some of it home with you too. ;)