About World's Window
The World's Window, a store with a purpose, has a mission to promote Fair Trade awareness through education, advocacy, and sales.
What We Do
The shop, located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, supports Fair Trade by offering a wide selection of high quality, certified goods to the Cedar Valley communities of northeast Iowa. The store carries unique, hand-crafted gifts, décor and foods from over 40 artisan groups and farmer co-ops in over 30 countries. Fair Trade provides fair wages, clean water and environmental sustainability. Every fair trade purchase makes a difference in our world. World’s Window is volunteer staffed except for two part-time managers. The store offers educational workshops for adults and children as well as special events throughout the year.
Why We Do It
Simply put, for a better world. By selling Certified Fair Trade items, we are helping to provide impoverished farmers, women, children and families around the world with a meal on the table, a living wage, a sustainable garden, a chance at an education and the opportunity to choose a life to live. Fair Trade addresses social injustice, sex trafficking, fair wage and healthy working conditions, trade equality and a green and fair economy.
How It Started
World’s Window began in 1982 when Vonna Yoder began educating the community about fair trade practices. She sold global artisan products at a church sponsored gift fair with the intent of helping international artisans have the opportunity for a more dignified life. After a second successful fair, the inspiration to open a permanent store was born. The new fair-trade retail store opened two days a week in a shared storefront at 18th Street/Waterloo Road in Cedar Falls. From the beginning, volunteers were dedicated and dependable, and the store thrived.
World’s Window operated as a non-profit store under the direction of the local Mennonite Church until the 1990’s when an application for nonprofit status was approved under a community Board of Directors.
In March 1991, a second store opened on College Hill, but only lasted about a year. About the same time as the College Hill location closing, a more desirable space on Main Street became available. The store operated on 3rd and Main for 7 years until moving to the current location at 214 Main Street.
World’s Window has grown! Though it is no longer a nonprofit, it remains a fair-trade retail store, that purchases artisan products from around the globe with the intention of contributing to worldwide dignity, education, and empowerment for the artisan, their family, and their community.