Since 1989, The Work of Our Hands has been offering fair trade products from around the world at our Pella, Iowa, store. In 2021 we launched a website, making our products available across the country.
We started in downtown Pella with the help of funds from individuals and churches. Central College faculty also played a crucial role in our startup. Our purpose was, and still is, to provide products that were made by artisans from some of the poorest countries in the world. From the beginning we have purchased only fair-trade products which provided fair wages and good working conditions for the artisans.
In 2013 we moved across the street to 627 Franklin Street and tripled our floorspace. By 2021 our gross sales had almost tripled as well, multiplying our orders from artisans in the developing world.
Cheryl Newendorp began managing the store in 1994 and served in that role for 22 years. When she retired in 2016, Amanda Johnson became store manager. Anna Allen joined the team as assistant manager in 2020.
From the beginning volunteer staff members have been a backbone of the operation, and they continue to be crucial. “The Work of Our Hands could not function without our volunteers,” said Amanda.
The Work of Our Hands has provided startup loans for 11 similar stores across the country. As profits allow, we also donate funding to charities both in Pella and in the developing world.
Thank you for your continued support throughout the years. Your purchases make a huge difference in communities around the world.