Becke Dawson from SIS International Shop: Fair trade gifts from around the world

Person: Becke Dawson, owner

Place: SIS International Shop (108 E 2nd Street, Davenport, IA). As of writing, it's open Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-4pm (closed Sunday).

Thing: Eclectic gifts and goods that help improve the lives of people around the world

Brendan recently bought a beautiful artisan-made wedding card and chatted with Becke about her shop.

SIS is a fair trade store in downtown Davenport that sells gifts from over 45 developing nations around the world. (It's also right next to my office at Coworkqc, which is perfect when I need to get a last-minute gift or card.) SIS has been located in downtown Davenport for 6 years.

Fair trade is a term you might have heard before: in a nutshell, it means that these items have to support sustainability and don't use child or slave labor. Perhaps most importantly, Becke told me that fair trade also means "fair wages for the people, the groups, the cooperatives, and the farmers that are making these pieces."

Each handmade item in her shop has a story behind it and supports bettering the lives of people around the world. Her shop's suppliers are all under the umbrella of the International Fair Trade Federation, which monitors and approves member groups. It's quite the process to get this certification: "Some of these groups took 10 years to become fair trade," Becke said.

If you're visiting the Quad Cities, Becke recommends enjoying the local wildlife. "Because I drive up and down along the river so much, I know where there are good stands of trees where you can find some eagles."

Thanks to Becke for chatting with me! Check out SIS International Shop on Facebook and their website.

Know of a business, person, event, place, or something else that's making the Quad Cities a better place? We'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line.