Overland Park's Ten Thousand Villages store is just one of a number of locations throughout North America, a most worthwhile ministry of the Mennonite Central Committee that allows thousands of artisans in developing countries to earn a fair wage. Ten Thousand Villages
offers home decor, jewelry, linens, ceramics and coffee.
What to buy: While looking around for Christmas gift ideas, I saw some great ceramics that I would like to use in my garden's landscaping scheme. There are a number of interesting musical instruments available.
What to pay: Prices seem to be pretty much in line, maybe a little less, than similar items sold in commercial establishments. The difference is you know that the artisan in the third world is earning a much higher share of the purchase price at these stores.
Oak Park Mall for many years has been a favorite destination in Johnson County, Kansas. That goes for shoppers or for those who just like to hang out in malls. Anchor tenants Nordstrom's, Jones Store Company, Dillards and JC Penneys are joined by Gap, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch and all of the standard jewelry and shoe stores. Excellent food court, as well.
Great place to pick up a gift for the people back home, or a remembrance of your trip to the greater Kansas City area. Sure, you will find the obligatory Dorothy and Toto stuff, a Jayhawk or Wildcat t-shirt, and too be sure a collection of KC's finest barbecue sauces. But you'll find a lot more. My personal favorites are some of the specialty food items from the area.
What to buy: Aunt Vi's Sand Hill Plum Jelly.