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Our Story

GLOBAL | FAIR TRADE | HANDCRAFTED

Mondo Trading Company is more than just a store. It’s a place that you can visit and explore to connect with the world around us. From communities throughout the developing world, every inspired design is crafted using local materials (often natural or recycled) using traditional skills. We offer a way for you to become part of the story…to shop your values and give gifts with meaning.  

Diane and Carolyn Hopkinson 


How We Started

Mondo Trading company was operated by two sisters: Carolyn and Diane. Carolyn has always had the travel bug. In her past, she owned a travel company called Mondo Adventure Travel. During her travels around the world Carolyn had the opportunity to visit villages where she met women who were making beautiful, handmade products.  What she noticed was that they were lacking access to a larger platform and essential resources to exercise economic autonomy. The trip urged Carolyn and Diane to move to Salt Spring Island – an artisan supportive community. Combining Diane’s background in fashion and design and Carolyn’s experience with nonprofits, Mondo Trading Company was born.

What Sets Us Apart

Our mission is anchored in the fundamental belief that women have the right to dignified, safe jobs and fair, living wages. At Mondo Trading company, we ethically source from female artisan groups in underserved communities including refugees and resettled individuals, people with disabilities, young mothers, survivors of sex trafficking, and individuals living in extreme poverty. Every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, sustainable income, which leads to the empowerment of women around the world in order to ensure the move towards a more equitable world.

What Do We Sell?

We provide Kantha blankets, Kantha robes and accessories from Bangladesh, handmade paper jewellery from Eswatini, market baskets from Ghana, soapstone from Kenya, wooden toys and olive wood products from Bethlehem. Many of these products have not only graced our selves at the store over the years but have found new welcoming and inviting homes throughout the world. We also strive to showcase the talented artists we have right here on Salt Spring Island. 

Featured Products

How You Can Support Mondo Trading Company?

Brick and mortar on Salt Spring 

Address: 118 Lower Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island, B.C., V8K 2S8 Canada

Phone number: 250.931.2553

Contact email : info@mondotradingcompany.com

Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday 10:00 am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 4pm.

Online Store – Coming Soon (Before Christmas Season)

Product Highlights

Baskets from Ghana

Here on Salt Spring Island we are known as the ‘Basket Girls’. If you’ve ever visited our shop you would know exactly why…our shop is filled with beautiful handwoven baskets. 

At Mondo Trading Company we have been selling these baskets since we opened our store over 5 years ago and we are proud to make a difference in the lives of so many women and men in Bolgatanga.

So when you buy one of these special baskets…your purchase not only contributes to a sustainable income for these weavers in Ghana but provides you with a Genuine Piece Of Art.

Kantha Blankets

The Kantha Quilts, you will see in our store are from Bangladesh. These bright and beautiful blankets, throws and robes are made of 3-5 layers of recycled saris, hand-stitched by women in Bangladesh and truly one of a kind. 

Mondo Trading Company helps to provide work for Behari women in the northern district of the country called Nilphamari, who otherwise would have very little or no income. These women are provided training in new techniques to help them expand their skills. They work in a safe environment and are given a fair wage, which helps them take care of their families and send their children to school.  

What started with blankets, duvet covers and throws, soon expanded to other products such as cushions, laptop and iPad cases, cell phone cases, toiletry and cosmetic bags and robes. 

We are absolutely in love with the Kantha blankets, they are so soft, colourful and cozy.  When we travelled to Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, we saw that we can really make a difference for these women. They need our support and that’s why we decided to give 10 percent of the net proceeds of the Kantha products back to the community.

Olive Wood Hearts

Throughout our store, you will find many olive wood hearts. Those hearts – which are not only symbols of love, but also of hope, peace and friendship –  are handmade by Palestinian artisans in Bethlehem.

The local residents were told by Greek Orthodox monks how to carve olive wood. The art developed and became a major industry in Bethlehem and nearby towns like Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, in the 16th and 17th centuries when Italian and Franciscan artisans on pilgrimage to the area taught the residents how to carve. Since then, the tradition has been passed on generation by generation.

Like in the Lolas family in Beit Jala. The brothers Joudeh and Jeries are carvers in a long line of olive wood artisans. They were trained by their father and grandfather who started their business 80 years ago in Beit Jala. They specialize in carving camels – who are a staple at the Beit Jala market – as well as prayer crosses and hearts, which are our favourites.

We sell three different kinds of hearts in our store on Salt Spring Island and in our webshop: the solid hearts, the intertwined hearts and theflat hearts. Olive wood hearts make perfect wedding and engagement decorations. Or simply a beautiful present to show someone your love, while supporting Fair Trade. 

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