You don’t need to go across the world to make it look like you have. Global Village Peoria is a local shop specializing in global products.
Located in Peoria Heights, everything in the Global Village store has to be approved by the Fair Trade Organization, and profits contribute to the Global Village foundation, a humanitarian organization that helps developing countries in Southeast Asia, focusing mainly on education.
The store is a branch of the national organization.
“Fair trade can help really improve the economic situation of communities,” current owner Nancy Long said.
The store sells a range of items, from toys and jewelry to chocolate and coffee.
Long said finger puppets and candy are some of the most popular items sold.
Global Village is run by board members and is a community effort. Some volunteers help out around the store a few days a month or half a day every week, but volunteering twice a month is most common.
There are all sorts of volunteers helping at the store, from high schoolers and college students to mothers and their kids.
Global Village also considers itself an educational resource, inviting speakers and having in-store presentations.
One of their most recent speakers was Jackie Corlett, the founder of Motif, a Fair Trade accessories company in Bangladesh.
“I do love to give people the opportunity to know about fair trade and to know they don’t have to buy on Amazon. It’s a way to invest in the Peoria community,” Long said.
The store celebrated its sweet sixteen earlier this year. There was music, games, free samples and many items on sale.
Nancy Long and some of her friends formed the idea for Global Village Peoria in 1999, but the shop itself did not open until 2002.
Long and her friends shopped at fair trade stores when they traveled to different states and thought it would be a great idea to start one in Peoria. Long is also the current board president for the store.
They started out with garage sales to get the idea rolling and then began renting space in craft stores. They moved into their current building in July 2002.
Long said even though their products aren’t the cheapest, people always leave feeling good about what they bought.
“People appreciate the fact that they’re paying a fair price for something,” Long said.
Global Village Peoria is located at 1308 E. Seiberling Ave. in Peoria Heights, and is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.