|As you step into the warmth of Global Expressions at the corner of First and Hurontario Streets in Collingwood, an aroma of fair trade coffee, handmade chocolates and fresh spices set the mood for a stimulating array of textiles, mosaics and handcrafted jewellery from around the globe. The store is wrapped in colourful and distinctive displays ready for its grand opening on November 30th.|
Global Expressions is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Paula and Don Cameron. The venture is a leap of faith for Paula, who left her job at Honda three years ago to pursue her dream of opening her own business. “The vision I had for my store was to combine a coffee shop with Fair Trade products and great Canadian merchandise,” she says. The store carries Fair Trade coffee, tea, hot chocolate, jewellery, handbags, personal accessories and home décor items. It will also feature Canadian honey, maple syrup, skin care products, pottery and baked goods.
Paula is inspired by the colours and textures of third world artists and is thrilled to support families in these countries by selling their products. But, she also finds inspiration in local artists, “I think the store reflects my personal values, supporting the “little guy,” whether it is a local entrepreneur or an artist half way across the world.”
Over the past few years, Paula has kept notes on interesting Canadian products at farmers’ markets, area shops and festival events, as well as researching with the Fair Trade Federation, locating companies that work out of Canada. Fair trade is a social movement that evolved in the 1990’s promoting equitable and sustainable trading partnerships that started to acquire Fair Trade products three years ago, provide opportunities to alleviate poverty. When she first Canadian suppliers were scarce, but now Paula is proud to say that Global Expressions will be able to source a large percentage of their products from Canadian wholesalers.
Global Expressions’ Grand Opening on November 30th is a great opportunity for an inspirational Christmas shopping experience. The store will feature 15 percent off all Fair Trade and locally made merchandise, other than chocolates and baked goods. And for Paula Cameron, the opening is a dream come true, “I love it when people’s eyes light up as they come through the door and see more than they expected.” Global Expressions is located at 9 Hurontario Street in the heart of Collingwood’s heritage district. For more information call