Lights were strung and wares were placed on display as the evening Sip & Shop event got underway. Patrons enjoyed wine, live music and food from Wildberry catering as they shopped around at the various vendors set up in the heart of the Mill.
At the North Greenwood Street entrance one lady carefully laid out products made by the hands of people in impoverished nations. As Joe Brummitt placed the Christmas-themed knick knacks, hand towels, jewelry an other items she reflected on those that made them by hand.
“Most of our artisans are women who are head of household. They make these things and our organization will buy them to sell,” she said.
Brummitt works for Ten Thousand Villiages, an organization that has been around for nearly 70 years. The Nashville location in Green Hills has been in place since 2002. Brummitt has been involved for seven years, first as a volunteer and now as a manager.
Ten Thousand Villages in Nashville works with artisans in about 22 different countries such as Haiti, Egypt, Peru, Bangladesh and Vietnam who make items mostly from recycled materials. The business is Fair Trade, and the women involved get a chance to really make a living, Brummitt said.
“We’re focused on women, because they’re the biggest group that needs help in this area,” Brummitt said, citing a statistic that out of all the disadvantaged people in the world, around 85 percent are women.
Some of the items at the Ten Thousand Villages booth at the Mill include a nativity scene cut out from an oil drum and hammered into shape, coasters made from old magazines, pot holders made from the remains of saris and kitchen towels made from Egyptian cotton.
The Christmas at the Mill shopping event continues Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Santa Claus will be on site for pictures from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event will also include a children’s corner, door prizes drawn every hour and food. Tickets are $5 with a portion of each ticket sale going to support local charities.