Making A Difference with Rugs

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[et_pb_section fullwidth="off" specialty="off" background_image="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/goldbackground.jpg" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_cta admin_label="Call To Action" title="Making a Difference with Rugs" button_url="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/connect" url_new_window="off" button_text="Back" use_background_color="off" background_color="#2EA3F2" background_layout="dark" text_orientation="left" body_line_height="2em" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" header_font_size="42" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f4f4f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] By: Brooke Ophoff

I am the Assistant Manager at Ten Thousand Villages in Denver, a local nonprofit fair trade store. Our vision is that one day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality. One of the many ways that we accomplish this vision is through our Oriental Rug Event, May 13th-16th at Augustana Lutheran Church (5000 East Alameda Avenue, Denver).

Oriental rugs have an aura and intrigue all their own.  Rich in history, symbolism and cultural relevance, the art of rug making has been prevalent in countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan for centuries. The Oriental Rug Event is a partnership between Ten Thousand villages and Bunyaad, a fair trade artisan group in Pakistan.  Bunyaad, meaning "foundation" in Urdu, provides an important foundation for rug artisans by paying them a living wage to knot heirloom quality rugs on looms set within their homes. This gives men and women equal opportunity for year-round stable employment that allows them to support their families and plan for the future.  It also preserves the art form of naturally dyed hand-spun wool, as well as one-of-a-kind rug designs inherent to the villages from which they come. Every rug sold at the event helps build homes, send children to school, and create the sustainable income needed for artisans to thrive.  The larger, 10’ x 14’ rugs, take 4-6 people working 5-6 hours a day, 12-14 months to complete.  Thus, buying a rug of this size is virtually paying the salary of those people for a year. 

The Oriental Rug Event truly goes beyond "retail."  By attending this event, customers will be assisting people around the world that they may never meet, but whose artistry and creativity might grace their homes.  People that share the same goals in life such as peace, security and joy for their families can join together at this event, while taking advantage of a unique opportunity to choose from over 300 fair trade rugs.

I fell in love with the rugs from the moment I experienced them.  The next January, I began convincing my husband, Jesse, why we needed one of these rugs.  We now are the proud owners of a Red Kazak, hand-knotted in Peshawar, Pakistan.  And we love it! It also helps us stay mindful and prayerful of people on the other side of the world! I’m now trying to convince Jesse we need to take our rug to Norway with us to make our new place feel like a home.

A free Introduction to Oriental Rugs Seminar, my favorite portion of the event, will be held on Thursday, May 14th at 7:00pm at Augustana Lutheran Church. This evening will feature talks from our Rug Representatives, a video of the creation process, a Q & A session and Pakistani treats as well as time to browse the assemblage of rugs.

For more information about the Oriental Rug Event, Seminar, and Ten Thousand Villages, please visit: tenthousandvillages.com/denver or call 303.316.8773. Event Hours: Wed 10-7, Thur 10-9, Fri 10-7, Sat 10-5.

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