Terri (Henschel) Neil '78, a UW-Eau Claire elementary education graduate, has launched Artisans of Ghana, a new small business with a fair trade focus. The business imports handcrafted goods directly from Ghanaian artisans. Neil's venture was inspired by a March 2011 volunteer trip to Ghana. There she found colorful textiles, drums and art pieces.
Neil works closely with individual artisans and skilled craftspeople to offer unique items, many of them one of a kind. Most of these individuals are based in the village of HoHoe, located in the eastern Volta region of Ghana. By purchasing directly, Artisans of Ghana is able to help ensure that craftspeople are paid fairly for their products and labor.
Neil thanks UW-Eau Claire for sparking a lifelong passion for travel and learning. In 1975 she and a group of about 50 other students from the UW System spent the academic year studying in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"Spending the year abroad was life changing," Neil said. "Looking back, I can see that the experience was invaluable in shaping my worldview and current aspirations."
More information about Neil's business can be found on the Artisans of Ghana Facebook page, facebook.com/artisans.of.ghana.