Small Beginnings


So it started with a winter surf trip to Southeast Asia in 1999. Had been parasailing for several years at that point and had saved all the money we could. We had heard you can live on $10 per day and we were going to try to be surf bums for a month or so. So my buddy and I left the world we knew with a couple of backpacks and surfboards. Of course the trip changed my life. As I developed a sense of awareness of the wonderful culture around me, I began to see how I wanted to return. Each experience made me want to learn more language and travel further and further off the beaten path. Village after village I kept seeing and meeting friendly families that have amazing hand made products. But in their world, they worked very hard for very, very little money. So by fate or luck I met an American couple that operated a small shop back in the states. We had very like ideas and I was fortunate to learn from them. If you go to the big markets and buy products, usually it is "tourist" price. But if you can find the village where it's made, you can buy it directly from the family. We save a little bit of money by going straight to them, don't feel bad for the markets, there are plenty of tourists that they sell to and the family makes much more. If we can get a good price, then you the customer gets a good price. We want to sell all we can so we can go back each year. Each year it gets better and better, the families remember us and the kids keep getting bigger and bigger. It's amazing to see how things are made and to MAKE SURE THE WORKING CONDITIONS ARE GOOD! So I hope this helps shed some light on what BACKPACKER FAIR TRADE is. Be sure to visit our St. Augustine store (FL), Emerald Isle location ( NC ), located in the Emerald Plantation and my sisters location, located in Key West ( FL ) behind the Jimmy Buffet music studio. Thanks!