Bangladesh Artisans

BODY1 - love knot sculpturePractical. Unique. Fun. Meaningful. Quality. Stories. Hand-crafted. Functional. Affordable. These words popped up repeatedly while researching the topic of the perfect wedding gifts from Ten Thousand Villages.

Marriage and weddings are top-of-mind around here these days (as are babies … but I’ll leave that topic to another blogger), since FOUR of my co-workers are engaged to be married. Summer is traditionally known as “wedding season,” so I thought a post about great wedding gifts would be appropriate. And who better to ask for their ideas than our brides- and grooms-to-be! They all graciously agreed to be interviewed because, really, who doesn’t like to talk about PRESENTS!

Gifts are fun. They’re exciting. And there’s probably not another event in your whole life where you get to sit around and open dozens of boxes and envelopes, all filled with wonderful things (again, except perhaps for baby showers). I asked my four colleagues to walk through the New Hamburg store with me and point out items they would give as gifts, as well as an item or two they and their significant other would love to receive to mark the beginning of their married lives.

Stefan, our Marketing Analyst, who tied the knot earlier this month, thinks our sari throws make the perfect wedding gift. However, he would include a bamboo hanger in the box to display the throw as a piece of art. In his opinion, what makes this the perfect gift is that it can’t be found anywhere else, and that it’s an interesting conversation starter when guests come to visit. Oh, and it’s a great price!sari-throw

Emilia’s getting married next month. She ADORES our tablecloths (she owns several) and feels they make wonderful gifts. They come in many colours and patterns, have coordinating napkins, are easy to care for, and they’re affordable. She loves to use hers for family gatherings and always hears comments about how beautiful they are.tablecloths

Melissa, who’s busy planning a fall wedding, also combined function and beauty in her picks. The new crazy weave boxes for napkins and for tea caught her eye when they arrived, as did the cake tray.  She felt that people wouldn’t necessarily buy these pieces for themselves, but they’re functional and beautiful, and bound to create great conversation around the table.BODY4 - Melissa

Alex is looking forward to having matching pieces and sets after his wedding next year, and perhaps that’s why he thinks giving a set of our recycled glassware is a wise choice. A set of glasses and the carafe are both beautiful and practical, and can replace the motley set that’s often found in a bachelor or bachelorette’s home!

I also asked everyone what gifts, other than the ones they selected, they would like to receive. Stefan likes our Kisii sculptures for their modern look, impactful story and how they can serve not only as a reminder of the wedding day, but also of their entwined relationship. The unique shape and texture of our Hogla laundry hamper appealed to Melissa (perhaps because of the new reality of double the laundry setting in!). Emilia and Alex both agree with Melissa on baskets, but they would choose some less expensive options and add a cushion or two.

Our brides and grooms all seemed to agree that it’s possible to bring together practicality, fun and quality when buying a wedding gift from Ten Thousand Villages. This became especially clear to me when Melissa shared a story about her grandparents who, for their 5th wedding anniversary, received a picnic basket purchased at SelfHelp Crafts (Ten Thousand Villages’ former name). More than 60 years later, it’s still used regularly for picnics and family gatherings. It was practical and beautiful and came from one of Ten Thousand Villages’ artisan partners – which also means it came with a meaningful story of dignity and hope. Those same qualities are still present today.

And what also makes wedding gift shopping at Ten Thousand Villages a great experience is the fact that we sell beautiful cards and offer gift-wrapping while you wait!

The only tough part now is figuring out which of the dozens of perfect wedding gift options to choose.


BOTTOM - hogla-picnic-basket Background short BOTTOM - circle-dance-sculpture Background short BOTTOM - hearts aplenty card
Hogla Picnic Basket Circle Dance Sculpture Hearts Aplenty Card

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