Here I am in October 2010, five years ago, in my Fair Trade store as it was then ...
Rebuilding after the fire ... an uphill climb
Hello to all my dear customers, colleagues, friends and relatives. You may have heard that the Harper's Ferry historic area had a major fire on July 23, 2015. My store, Tenfold Fair Trade Collection, was one of the shops destroyed by the fire and closed by the fire marshal. My store and others on Potomac Street, built at least partly of stone, did not burn to the ground. Instead, the fire burned or charred everything flammable and gutted the buildings.
In the case of my store, the fire burned up almost everything inside--furnishings and an extensive inventory. A few quirky things survived: the first dollar I received from my first sale, under the melted cash register; Fair Trade chocolate bars, now smoked, that I gave away; a few pieces of silver jewelry, insulated from the fire by piles of ash. And just outside the door, a lovely Crape Myrtle, charred and blackened from the heat on the backside, is miraculously blooming like a beacon of hope on the front! Below are some photos of the store, as it looks now - after the fire.
Touching the branches of the Crape Myrtle. The map on the board gives directions to the new store.
Here I am, standing in front of the boarded-up store. It's a miracle that the Crape Myrtle tree survived.
The charred remains of the wooden staircase that once led to the upper floor of the building.
Surveying the fire damage. My new store is just up the street from this location.
Fire damage done to the building located directly behind my store.
The New Store
I’m getting ready to open on October 3, 2015 in a newly-painted and refurbished, temporary space, one block away from the ashes, at 200 High Street, Harper's Ferry. Please come visit us for the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting event at 11:00 AM. Soon after, I plan to hold our annual Block-Printing and Old Tyme Christmas events!
If you can't come in person, please visit my website at tenfoldfairtrade.com to shop for birthdays and Holiday gifts.
Below are some photos of the new store, showing the entrance walkway and the interior - as carpentry and painting are underway.
Photo Above: Here's the walkway and entrance to my new store at #200 High Street, Harper's Ferry. The store is on the street level and is beneath a beautifully preserved historic home.
There's lots of work to do in the new store. Here's a view of the counter and west side of the shop.
Here's a view of the street side of the shop, with big sunny windows. The walls are being painted green, similar to the old store.
We were finally convinced to rebuild, because ...
Tenfold Fair Trade Collection is much more than a business and a way to make a living. It is the heart and soul of my family's philosophy. Fair Trade helps Artisans in the poor and developing countries of the world earn a decent living wage for their fine hand-made craft items. Many beautiful things I have carried in my Tenfold shop are made of recycled materials, which fits my philosophy, as well!
I know the stories of individual artisans, and that by their handiwork they have made better lives for whole families and even whole villages! My store and your patronage are improving lives here and far beyond Harper's Ferry!
I am sending this email to let you know that I need your help. The fire put my family into severe financial hardship and we thought we couldn't afford to re-build. In the days that followed the fire, my grandmother's words, "every good deed is returned tenfold," came to life - in the outpouring of support from so many of you! However, we still need more donations to replace the burned-out inventory, equipment and furnishings that were lost in the fire.
If you are able, a contribution in any amount would be greatly appreciated. To contribute, please go to my website at tenfoldfairtrade.com and click on the Razoo Donate button.