We three, Evelyn Johnson, Madeiria Myrieckes and Cindy Pardo, opened The Fair Trader in September 2007. This has been a most amazing journey. What began as one of those "why don't we?" moments became the first Fair Trade retail store in Chicago. We made a plan that embodied our vision, found Fair Trade suppliers, searched our Hyde Park neighborhood for a space that was just right, and rehabbed that space to become the colorful, bright retail store we had envisioned. The goods from around the world began to arrive, and we were in business.
None of us had ever owned a retail store before, but each of us brought different gifts and abilities to the party. Evelyn (center) is our computer guru, with many years experience in the IT world. Madeiria (right) worked in an accounting office before this undertaking, though she is trained as a nurse. Cindy (left) is a fiber artist with retail experience at a local artist's co-op. Our diversity of backgrounds has made The Fair Trader work, along with our passion for the Fair Trade movement and our commitment to bringing our customers beautiful goods from around the world.
And, we do love our customers! They stop in just to say "Hi" and to see what's new. They bring in their friends. They tell us what they'd like to see us carry in the store, and they pass out brochures and put up posters to help us advertise. They bring in their children to select a special gift for Mom or Dad. They care as much about treating people fairly as we do. We are so grateful for each of them. And thanks for visiting us on our website. We look forward to greeting you in person at our store.
We are the first Fair Trade retail store in Chicago to exclusively feature merchandise made by Fair Trade artisan groups from around the world. We have created this website so that you can learn more our store, our boutique services, and, most significantly, the importance of Fair Trade to the many creative artisans whose work we feature.
We believe that our customers care about the working conditions of the people who make what they purchase. Fair Trade, by its nature, is environmentally friendly. Many of our products are made from eco-friendly, recycled and/or environmentally sustainable materials. We also know our artisans are concerned about the world they live in, and we think you are too, which is why shopping at The Fair Trader not only makes sense, its "Shopping That Makes A Difference!"
Please remember that while you browse our site, we more than welcome you input. If you find something of interest and want more information about it, please Contact Us. If you do not see what you are looking for, chances are we may have it in our store or know where we can easily find it for you. No matter the occasion, we welcome all questions and comments. And, don't be a stranger. If you find yourself in our Hyde Park neighborhood, please stop by and say "Hi". One of us is always in the store, and we love talking to our customers! We are located 2 blocks north of theMuseum of Science & Industry, and serve Chicago and Cook County.
1623 E 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: (773) 966-5269
Mon-Fri: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm