Fulton County store has global impact - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Fulton County store has global impact

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A store in a small Northwest Ohio town is helping change lives around the world. The mission of the store is to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries. The Ten Thousand Villages shop in Archbold is growing, in fact it has just doubled its space

Hundreds of rugs have been brought in to the Archbold store from Pakistan for a special showing this week. Many of the families who make the rugs have been doing it for generations. Ten Thousand Villages takes the middle man out of the process, so the artisans end up with a fair price for their creations. Yousaf Chaman has been around rugs most of his life, "Every day these artisans only do 15-20 lines in the rug, so you need a lot of patience, that's the most important thing!"

As a young child growing up in Pakistan Chaman was able to have a small hand in some of the rugs made by his family, but for the last 19 years he has worked with the Ten Thousand Villages Oriental Rug Program. Through the program artisans are able to form a long term, trade relationship with Ten Thousand Villages, getting at least 45 percent of the sale price, "These are intelligent people who need an opportunity to earn a fair income. In the end they want to send their children to school, have three meals on the table every day and have good living conditions."

The rugs have at least 15-20 colors in them and many of the colors come from things found in nature, like onions and beetles. The average 9x12 rug can have up to 6.5 million knots in it and some of the artisans can make 45 knots per minute. Each one of the rugs is a one of a kind creation. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and price ranges. They go for anywhere from a couple hundred dollars up to more than $10,000. One of the most amazing things about the rugs is just how long it takes to create each one of them, "An average 9x12 rug with natural dye and hand spun wool takes 12-14 months to make. That means they need about 46 sheep to produce the wool. They need 6 months to spin the wool by hand with a spindle and they have to collect the natural dyes by season."

Everything in the Archbold Ten Thousand Villages store is creating opportunities for people. Heather Ruffer is the Marketing Coordinator,"We do provide education and put food on tables, so coming to work everyday and being part of that, is an amazing experience."

Ten Thousand Villages partners with artisans in places like Africa and South America and Ruffer says the local support for the global business has been outstanding, "We have a lot of support from the community and I think the main part of that is the mission behind out store, there is nothing like it around here."

The rug showing  is Wednesday, October 3rd through Saturday, October 6th at the Ten Thousand Villages store on S. Defiance St. in Archbold.

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