In Grimes’ South Bethany shop, every item has a story, some of them written by the proprietress herself. The author of six books, Grimes was a University of Delaware anthropology professor when she opened Made by Hand International Cooperative in 1996.
Grimes’ intent was to stock her shop with jewelry, housewares and apparel made in the far-flung locales she visited with her husband, Marco Hernandez. “When Marco and I visited groups in different countries, we saw the difference between people working under fair trade values and those who weren’t,” Grimes says.
Appalled by the deplorable working conditions of non-fair trade employees, especially women, they decided to fill their shop with items created by ethical cooperatives. For example, the Grimeses recently visited one of their suppliers in Mumbai, India. “There are 800 women in that cooperative and they make the most stunning clothes,” Grimes says. “But they also have flex-time and can work at home. We are business owners, but we believe all people should be treated with respect and dignity. Doing both is possible.”