Meet Curt Bayer and Bethany Baker at One World Market
One World Market is one of downtown’s most fascinating and unique shops on the Commons. When you step inside this specialty store, you are in for a worldly experience. As you browse through two floors of hundreds of items, you’ll find many fair-trade, cultural crafts & housewares handcrafted by artisan groups from all over the world, especially from Asia, Africa, Latin America & the Middle East. And, the prices are extremely reasonable too, with items ranging from $1.99 for decorative miniature figures to $100 for quality made tapestries.
“Our Mission is to provide vital income to disadvantaged artisans and their families in impoverished areas of the world by marketing their handicrafts, telling their stories, and promoting economic justice through fair trade. Our vision is that one day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity & respect, and be able to live a life of quality,” says Curt Bayer who has served as the shop’s manager since One World Market opened in 2000.
Bayer notes, the shop started as a Ten Thousand Villages affiliated store 20 years ago and became independent in 2014. One World Market provides a living wage to its staff and is recognized as a certified living wage employer by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center.
Bayer is originally from central Pennsylvania and worked at Penn State University for 15 years prior to moving to Ithaca in 1995.
He says he simply fell in the love with this community because of its many grassroots movements and willingness to embrace fair-trade practices.
“I love being able to bring to Ithaca wonderful creations made by artisans from all over the world. I love retail and deeply believe in the mission of Fair Trade,” says Bayer. “The Commons is a lively place, you never know who you will meet. It’s delightful to have conversations each day with people who travel here from all over. We are fortunate to live in Ithaca and we are so thankful to the Ithaca community for supporting our store and the mission of fair trade for 20 years.”
Also, at this cultural gift shop, you’ll meet Bethany Baker, Bayer’s trusty and knowledgeable assistant. Bethany provides stellar customer service and is sure to help any customer find a treasure worth giving a home, says Bayer.