Bangladesh Artisans

SteveAt Ten Thousand Villages, we recognize that our success is driven by the amazing staff and volunteers who work hard every day to keep the wheels turning.

One of our fine staff members is Steve Dorion. Steve has been with us for about three years – first on a temporary contract, and now permanently as Materials Handling Coordinator at our 58,000-square-foot distribution centre in New Hamburg, Ontario.

Steve wears many hats. But his primary responsibility is to ensure products are stored and organized well in our warehouse, and are easily accessible when it’s time for them to be picked for shipment to stores, festival sales and e-commerce customers.

Ryan:  What’s the best thing about working at Ten Thousand Villages?

Steve:  It’s a very supportive atmosphere. That, coupled with Ten Thousand Villages’ inspiring mission, is a unique combination. It’s not very often that good work and great people come together so perfectly, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this team.

Ryan:  Tell me about a few of your favourite Ten Thousand Villages products.

Steve:  For Christmas last year, my wife and I bought each other one of the recycled sari throws. Each one is unique, so we spent a long time in the New Hamburg store selecting the one that would look perfect in our living room.

The first batches of these blankets were made by a group known as “Sacred Mark” and were sewn by women who’d left Bangladesh’s red light district to create new lives for themselves. The throws Villages is currently ordering come from a group known as “Hajiganj.” This group is located in one of the poorest areas of northwest Bangladesh, where people are mostly dependent on sporadic work with rich farmers who pay very low wages. This group of artisans is now benefiting from profit sharing, a producer security fund, medical allowances and skills development as a result of their partnerships with Ten Thousand Villages and others.

One of the things I like about working at Ten Thousand Villages is the chance to see and experience products before customers can buy them in our stores. For example, I’ve had the opportunity to sample and enjoy some of Level Ground’s coffee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which won’t be available in stores until September. It has quickly become my new favourite – but more importantly, there’s an amazing story behind it. (In the meantime, Bolivian Medium Roast comes in as a close second!)

And finally, for Valentine’s Day this year, I bought my wife some beautiful Peruvian hoop earrings. They caught my attention as soon as I saw them, and I have come to think of them as a work of art you can wear.


silver-teardrop-hoop-earrings Background short bolivian-medium-roast-ground Background short recycled-sari-throws
Silver Teardrop Hoop Earrings Bolivian Medium Roast Coffee Recycled Sari Throws

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