Welcome to VillagesAnnArbor.org where it is our profound mission to bring to you the hard work of artists from all around the world in complete adherence to Fair Trade principles. We firmly believe that hand crafted work from the most disadvantaged places on earth can be brought to you with minimal effort while ensuring that the artist is fairly rewarded for their work.

Our business revolves around three distinct areas:

1) Sourcing Art

wood toy1With our close contacts to charities around the world we have been able to make contact with hundreds of artists making everything from sculptures to toys and jewelry. The problem is that in many disadvantaged parts of the world people cannot simply set up an ecommerce store or ebay account to offer their products to people in the Western World.

This is where we step in and organize everything from transportation, customs clearance and direct payment of the artist. We pay upfront for the products they create and offer those products to customers directly in store and online.


2) Educating Artists

wood toy2Because we know what our clients do and don’t like we are able to feed that type of information back to the artist. For example, Christine is a young artist from Kenya who makes the most wonderful toy animals carved from wood. Exotic animals are very popular, but so are our local ones.

By getting some pictures of North American animals like bears, coyotes and eagles, she was able to extend the range of products and she now works full time on her passion while being paid enough for her to be able to feed and educate her three children as well as get all the health care she needs.


3) Educating Our Customers

Through the direct contact with our customers in store we are able to engage with them on how they are helping disadvantaged people. For many people the attraction is that it is not really charity, but an economic exchange where the buyer gets a unique product and the artist gets a fair price.

While Fair Trade is quite common on food produce we are not aware of this having extended to other areas of an economy. This is probably one of the most attractive reasons seen by our customers. Many of our customers have even become volunteers in both our store and in reaching out to people all over the world.

This has helped us establish much better shipping, storage and packaging resources that we simply would not have been able to achieve without the help of others.



I really hope you find the information on this site helpful and would invite you to get in contact with us. If you live in the Ann Arbor, MI area we would love for you to call into our store some time. Alternatively you can visit our Ebay store and directly make an impact on someone’s life by making a purchase. We would also appreciate if you could share our message through one of the social media links on our site.

This entry was posted on January 11, 2016, in Blogging.

Wood Work Art And Music

For this article I want to present another wonderful artisan success story that we have been able to make possible. Our mission is pretty clear and we keep it in mind with everything we do. Help aspiring artists from around the world connect with buyers in the US to achieve much better prices for their work.

A Brazilian Genius

Pedro from Brazil is one such success story and is one of our youngest artists at 22. What is incredible with what Pedro does is that he has combined two of his passions: Music and wood work. As a trained carpenter his dad wanted him to follow in the same footsteps, but he decided to deviate a little into cabinet making which allowed him to work in a more artistic way and environment.

guitarFrom a very early age his grandfather had taught him to play the guitar and as he got older he was fascinated by the different types of guitars and sounds they produce. Then one day, he decided to make his own one.

The first attempts did not work out so well and he soon figured that there was a lot more to it. With no resources or anyone to help him he started on a different approach. The problem was mainly that he couldn’t get a good or consistent sound.

Starting Over

So he basically took an existing guitar and started adding carved wood plates. This resulted in some wonderfully beautiful designs and some local musicians were quick to buy some of his work. He also started buying old electric guitars and carving them into wonderful designs.

But this was just a little side passion and the local market was neither large enough nor was there enough money to help make a living. That is where we stepped in to help him and I am delighted to report that just a few days ago we sold one of Pedro’s 20th guitars.

It is still not a full time income for him but he is starting to make a name for himself oin the intricate designs he comes up with.

The Future

We are planning to reach out to musician here in the US to see if can get to a place where he has a back log of custom orders. So far the response has been good and we are hoping that this will only keep getting better.

As you can see there are some incredibly unique ways that artists figure out how to make a living with their talents and passions. With your help as a supported, buyer or volunteer we are making a real difference in the lives of these people. Check out our designated pages for the various art works we offer and feel free to contact us if you have specific questions.

As always, you can help not just by volunteering, but also by simply sharing these stories with friends and family and maybe buy some of the art we have on offer. They make great gifts for all types of occasions.

This entry was posted on February 5, 2016, in Wood Work.

Still Life Painting


Various fine art movements as well as styles come and go from time to time. Fine art doubters do not consider Still Life painting stylish in today’s day and age, however it is recognized as a prominent kind of fine art. It’s still prominent with the general public and also numerous amateur artists find this sort of fine art to be valuable in teaching structure and also viewpoint. Artists have always had a hard time to get versions or to have enough light to repaint landscapes. Establishing non-living things is a convenient comparative.


file2451281172077Typical items to be painted are dishes of fruit, vases of flowers or a container of wine and a platter of cheese or meats. Still Life painting could have a searching or fishing style. It was preferred in western fine art from the 17th century, particularly in France, Italy as well as Holland. Dutch artists were particularly efficient in this fine art type, being prohibited from painting spiritual iconography.


The 19th century was a golden age for artists who wished to try out Still Life painting. Traditionalists would have been horrified at the time but the musicians who pushed the limits with color and form were to influence future generations. It appears tame to modern-day gallery visitors today, but the work of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists surprised both the public and doubters when they were initially exhibited.


Vincent Van Gogh used bold shade as well as extensive brushwork in paintings such as Sunflowers, most likely one of the most renowned Still Life painters in history. Regretfully, he really did not see success in his lifetime however the painting set new records when it was sold at auction as well as is now thought about to be a work of art. Paul Cézanne was an another artist who had a really individual style as well as is typically referred to as the godfather of modern art. His still life’s were experiments in perspective and also the artist distorted perspective to suit his artistic vision.

These earlier artists laid the structures for what would certainly be called Cubism. Developeded by Pablo Picasso as well as Georges Braque, through this of looking at the globe through geometry typically made use of Still Life painting as a means of expression. Juan Gris was another backer of this art type. Once again, purists tossed their arms up in disbelief as the design was given a make over.

The Pop Artists of the 1960s additionally took to the form, causing social landmarks such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. Artists repainted Coca Cola containers as well as other day-to-day items, suggesting that it was no different from an Old Master portraying a bottle of wine.

Many Aspiring Artists Are Already On Pinterest

Many Hopeful Musicians Seek Out Pinterest

The Basics

Pinterest is really the current social media web site that has actually surfaced in the face of the Web. If you are still not accustomed to exactly how this web site works, you may merely imagine doing a photo collage or a digital scrapbook. Yet this time around, you will be showing it to the whole world and also have it in social media form.

Considering that Pinterest allows you to pin in any kind of picture from your site and have it marketed all over the globe, this means that all striving artists must be on Pinterest, as this would be a great means to market their talents.

It’s For All Types Of Artists

Artists like painters, sketch artists, crafters and also sculptors, especially from disadvantaged parts of the world, should take this chance to have their works of art shown across the globe. Pinterest will certainly be a good way to have these fine arts offered like hot potatoes specifically on a social networking website that has more than 25 million users today.

An aspiring artist from the developing world can also use Pinterest to keep up-to-date on their field of interest. For all artists that have actually just begun on their craft, they may utilize all the available pins that match their interest.

Primarily, Pinterest holds pins that have tutorial lessons for various topics or updates. Artists could also utilize hashtags and connect it back to their web site for a complete view of what they need to provide, plus boosting their website’s traffic. This is in fact very good in terms of advertising a company as well as skills.


Through Pinterest, striving artists can meet upcoming people in their field and the pins that would assist in boosting their talents, and also in return, people who are interested with their abilities and also their crafts. This would really be an advantage for the social side of being a Pinterest individual.

After that comes the structure of a network! This is most likely one of the most interesting areas that any Pinterester gets involved in! Artists and also followers have the ability to comment on each other’s work and also do some form of arrangement for their passion as well as talk about their passions. People could likewise repin your images that you pinned containing your fine art or other items as well as services you can supply.

Reach Potential Customers

By re-pinning you will certainly have the ability to chat directly on other people’s work. You could have your reference set so Pinterest would be sending you email or notifications every single time someone repins your pins. Under the pin, customers might be able to leave some remarks. You should always show appreciation to those people that repin your pins, they will certainly be a large help for even more individuals to see your pins.

With Pinterest, determination is in fact an excellent attribute to have. Similar to other social network sites, creating connections with your co-Pinterest individuals is important. When you are still new to the website, as well as you still do not have all the understanding on ways to optimize everything, then you should recognize that it is normal if you still will not have sales or fans from the first day.

Create A Plan

Learn to strive on the best ways to make your Interesting a great tool. The most effective component in Pinterest is that you will certainly have individuals to direct you. Search for pins on a category of your passion or art, study exactly how they appear to make their pins achieve a large number of followers.

Without a doubt, Pinterest is the appropriate place for aspiring artists, but you should make certain that you have a quite enticing pin. Aim to pin stuff that you know a great deal of individuals will be interested in. If you do this right, you will undoubtedly have your pins go viral, and by that, it indicates your pins will be re-pinned by other Pinterest customers.

If you’re an ambitious artist, then you have to grab this excellent chance! It’s verified that for lots of self-starters and striving artists like you, Pinterest assisted them to market their abilities as well as sell their goods in the most convenient as well as the coolest method they can!

Here at villagesannarbor.org we help artists in the developing world with this task and where there is no reliable Internet connection available we even do it from our own office using our volunteers.