Shirley King | Avenida Primavera
|Elizabeth Paganelli, Owner, Fair Trade Decor. Photo Shirley King
Ending world poverty by 2030 is the committed goal of the World Bank and its President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, former President of Dartmouth University, but it is often difficult to participate locally in this important work. Now there will be help by Elizabeth and Jude Paganelli, the owners of Fair Trade Décor, a newly opened retail business at 1412 Camino del Mar. The Paganellis have introduced to Del Mar artisanal products made by marginalized populations in the ‘Global South’ created and acquired according to Fair Trade Principles.
This family operation is directed by Elizabeth’s passion for home aesthetics and her keen appreciation of the world’s emerging artisans who are trying to gain economic independence in the midst of extreme obstacles. Her choices of handcrafted goods – all produced from recycled, reclaimed or natural raw materials from the fragile countries within Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean cross-sect art with functionality.
Entering the door of Fair Trade Décor quickly arouses the question “where is my passport?” – prompted by the sweet subtly of the fragrant products and the soft exotic music all in the context of the vibrant colors and textures representing over 20 world cultures. But it is the astonishment upon encountering each of the meticulously hand-crafted creations from telephone wire, bicycle chains, bottle caps, cow bones, oil drums, tin cans, newspapers that the urgency to share our prosperity with such artists now becomes so easy and direct.
Elizabeth, a former special needs elementary school teacher, first introduced a selection of Fair Trade merchandise to the Farmers’ Markets at Little Italy, Hillcrest, La Jolla and Solana Beach where the interest was convincing enough for her to look for a storefront close to pedestrian neighborhoods and within her own community.
Already, local residents and visitors have appreciated the unique products and craftsmanship from around the globe.
A business like Fair Trade Décor relies exclusively upon goods that are manufactured, bought and sold under the strict guidelines of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) or World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) - a serious responsibility to a code of practices for the purpose of building economic independence, safe working conditions, ensuring children’s rights and cultivating environmental stewardship. Producers benefit from the mentorship of the FTF; just as the Paganellis have received guidance from FTF leaders who have a retail business in Sonoma County. Elizabeth and Jude as retailers are making the additional rigorous commitment to become an accredited member of the FTF and WFTO.
Fair Trade Décor is a remarkable retail experience that encourages its customers to learn the stories and see the faces of the artisans who have toiled to perfect their crafts. Each piece of merchandise comes with an information card about the economics of the country of origin, a photo and description of the product. A large video monitor on the back wall displays a rotation of slides of the artisans at work.
Shopping that contributes to the economic independence of individuals and communities in the poorest parts of the globe awaits us at Fair Trade Décor where decorative objects priced from a $4 carved stone to $1,000 furniture will beckon our desire to own a work of art from our world of global entrepreneurs. Store hours are 10 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. 858-461-1263.