At Opportunity Market in Bishop Arts, every gift comes with a story. Not just any story though, the tale of the artisan who crafted the fair trade jewelry, clothing or homeware you are purchasing.
The store, co-owned by Robert Ungemach and Keith Emmons, specializes in fair trade items meaning the pair know exactly where all of the materials are sourced, who is making the products and why. It will reopen Saturday, in celebration of World Fair Trade Day, after months of renovations to the space at 415 N. Bishop Ave.
The store is the pair's second retail operation in Bishop Arts. They opened Shambhala Body Gallery, a bath and body products store, in May 2007, but by 2011 found themselves drawn to fair trade goods.
"It is more than just aid or charity it is actually empowering people to break the cycles of poverty in the world," Ungemach said.
Opportunity Market is a complete relaunch for Ungemach and Emmons. They wanted to expand to offer fair trade clothing in addition to home goods and accessories. The clothing lines carried at Opportunity Market are all sustainably produced.
Ungemach said they are especially excited to be offering dresses from Mata Traders. The dresses are modern takes on retro styles and are offered at affordable price points. They are made in India by women who weave the fabrics, use block printing to create the patterns and sew the finished products.
Ungemach and Emmons discovered the brand at a fair trade event in Chicago, one of many they attend to meet with the artisans and distributors to ensure they can be confident in the goods they offer.
"Fair trade is a very transparent vertical, which links the retailer and the customer directly to the artisans," Ungemach said.
For the grand reopening on Saturday, 10 percent of all sales on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be donated to efforts to provide clean drinking water to earthquake survivors in Nepal. Ungemach and Emmons have committed to purchasing 10 water purifying units to donate, but hope to go beyond that number.
Plan your life:
Opportunity Market, 415 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas, Sunday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.