In DawnEna Wiebe's job at Ten Thousand Villages, she is helping both artisans in impoverished areas of the world and local consumers get a good deal.


DawnEna Wiebe always is looking for a good deal.

Maybe that’s what makes her a good fit for retail.

Besides her new job as the manager at Ten Thousand Villages, she also sells antiques.

She recalled with a broad smile her best buy — a metal antique doll house, which she bought for $5 and sold for $68.

In her job at Ten Thousand Villages, she helping both artisans in impoverished areas of the world and local consumers get a good deal.

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit organization that provides vital, fair income to Third World people by selling their handicrafts and telling their stories, according to its mission statement.

Wiebe, 47, grew up in Halstead and has one grown son.

She brings 15 years of experience in merchandising and sales to the her new position.

She previously owned and operated the Brick Street Shoppe in Halstead from 2001 to 2004.

She also has worked as a substitute teacher and most recently several doors down at Kitchen Corner.

Wiebe said she does not have any immediate changes in store for Ten Thousand Villages.

She said she hopes to become active in the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce and for Ten Thousand Villages to remain active in downtown events.

As a contemporary Christian station played softly in her cubicle in the stockroom of the store, Wiebe talked about her desire for Ten Thousand Villages to be her “mission work.”

“The position, in a sense, brings the mission field to me, as I do not, at this time, see myself going out into the field of missions,” she said.

Wiebe said she is eager to spread Ten Thousand Villages’ message of free trade and will be available for talks to clubs and organizations.

“In Third World countries, they are paid so little, every amount of money we can get to them helps feed them and educate their children,” she said.

Education, she said, will be a key to bringing the next generation out of poverty.

“Education is a privilege,” she said. “So many of the children in these countries don’t get to go to school.”

Wiebe was particularly eager to share the story of Haitian artisans. She directed her attention to a wall of brightly colored tin cutouts and a small grouping of stone carvings.

“As they are facing great devastation, we as consumers can help by purchasing items produced by their artisans,” she said. “This, in return, will result in money being sent to them and also as a gesture we believe in them.”

She said the store also is accepting cash donations, which will be used to purchase more crafts from Haitian artisans.