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Tagua Nut Artisans

Tagua Nut Artisans

We ARE a bit nutty around Connected... and we've loved Tagua Nut jewelry in our stores since we opened!  Unfortunately, we've not known a lot about the nut. Can it be eaten?  Is it always hard?  We've never known.  Last month we learned of a chance to meet Ecuadorians who work with Tagua here in the United States and we jumped at the chance. Meet Juanita and Andres!  We've bought from them through Minga Fair Trade Importers for years :)  Minga kindly brought Juanita and Andres up to Wisconsin for their anniversary Open House along with the coordinator of Minga's...

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Meet Veronica!

Meet Veronica!

Veronica is our main business partner in Taxco, Mexico!  Veronica with her 14 year old daughter Fernanda. (Veronica's husband works at the local University.) This is where one can find Veronica between 10am – 7pm almost any day of the week: behind mounds of sterling silver in her shop.  She’s a keen business person.  Not only does she sell her brother Marco’s work, but she has some of her uncle Thomas’ and some silver from various others.  She also has some silver from Italy in her shop and some interesting rocks and stone masks.  Veronica’s no slouch.  Her first floor...

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Meet Marco!

Meet Marco!

When Dane was in high school, he had the option of taking Spanish or a class in agriculture. Dane was a town kid so the decision was easy – he took Spanish.  This decision is one for which I’ve been very thankful!  Decades later, I’m still reaping the benefits of Dane learning Spanish.For instance, Dane could take us around Taxco, Mexico, and ask good questions about the makers of the silver products we were swooning over.  Because he was able to communicate with people pretty easily, we knew who we did not want to work with (those who had reliable...

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Tickets... Passports... We're on our way!

Tickets... Passports... We're on our way!

Although I would have liked to have gotten our new website launched by now, I’m glad for this one and only reason that it’s not ready: I can share this rather unusual happening here.We connect with producers through 50+ Fair Trade companies currently.  Although ordering from each is different, we order specific products in specific quantities so weren’t not usually surprised when we open boxes.  Sometimes colors or sizing are different from what we expect, but we know who made the products and have an idea of what they will be like. The Wednesday before last, Carri messaged me and...

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Kansas

Kansas

A couple of weeks ago Carri and I were glad to get to attend the Fair Trade Federation conference in Louisville, Kentucky.  I could ramble on and on about this annual gathering of motivated people, but just one thing for today: many of our new friends were surprised that we have Fair Trade stores in Kansas.  They would really raise their eyebrows when they found out the size of the towns in which we get to have stores.  (One gal said that her town of 300,000 was too small to support a Fair Trade store.) Now, granted, we aren’t really making it...

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