As fair-trade stores go, Global Hands in Lake Geneva is pretty typical. Open since 2007, the shop sits a block off bustling Main Street. There’s a small selection of women’s clothing —shirts, skirts and dresses; bright scarves cover much of one wall near an equally colorful collection of handbags. Several racks contain earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
The modest inventory of fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate is a popular draw according to the owner’s daughter. The selection of gift items is also attractive—keychains, small statues, jars of Himalayan cooking salt and vases made in Vietnam from recycled magazines. At the back of the store, look for the map pinpointing all the different cities and countries that provide inventory.
Global Hands holds an annual Holiday Open House in November, when customers can score discounted hats, mittens and scarves. The event also includes free fair-trade coffee and soup samples from the Women’s Bean Project, which helps Denver-area women who are struggling with social isolation.