Madison welcomed us with open arms on Saturday, December 12th! MarketPlace: Handwork of India was one of a roomful of exhibitors at the annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival, which is an event organized by volunteers of the Madison non-profit, Community Action on Latin America. The Festival drew a large crowd of people looking to shop with their values, buy sweatshop-free items, and buy handcrafted, unique gifts from around the world.
We also got to enjoy visitors from the Dane County Farmers’ Market, which was held at the same time, just above us. It was a great opportunity for people to buy groceries from their local farmers, while buying their holiday gifts from fair trade cooperatives and artisans. Another highlight was the musical stylings of the Madison “Raging Grannies”, a group that sang politically-reworked Christmas carols. And who would have thought- the Raging Grannies can be found internationally!
I was most impressed by the diversity of ages represented at the Festival. Congratulations to the parents of Madison who have raised children that think about where their money goes. I had more than young person come to the table and identify a bag or scarf that would make a perfect holiday gift for their friend. One stylish young lady kept eyeing a deep blue top with a bright bandhani print- a top that her friends kept telling her she just had to buy and she finally bought after much consideration. I hope she enjoys wearing it out and about!
The night before the Festival, I also had the pleasure of sitting down with the staff of SERRV over Nepalese food on State Street to discuss MarketPlace’s junior board. Madison is such a lovely town with a warm atmosphere, and I look forward to going back again!
Written by Rajya Karipineni