The Lyme Tree Woman's Exchange of Old Lyme The Lyme Tree Woman's Exchange of Old Lyme Contact: Joan Ryan86 Halls Road, PO Box 425 Old Lyme, CT 06371 work Work Phone: (860) 434-7290work Work Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgINTERNET
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The Lyme Tree Woman’s Exchange is a non-profit gift shop operated mainly by volunteers in which consigned and purchased handcrafts, antiques, and collectibles are sold, and whose surplus funds are distributed according to local needs.
Started in Philadelphia in 1832, as the Ladies’ Depository, the Woman’s Exchange Movement is one of the oldest continuously operating charitable movements in the United States. What began quietly, expanded quickly after the Civil War, and by the late 19th Century there were nearly 100 Exchanges in operation across the country from New York to San Francisco.
Exchanges were fashionable shops where women who had fallen on hard times could sell their home-produced merchandise on consignment. They combined elements of charity, cooperation, and retailing, and served their communities in a variety of ways.
At first the Exchanges simply provided a venue for hand crafters to sell their goods, but gradually their mission expanded to meet women’s changing needs. Some Exchanges provided women fabric and instruction in the art of fine sewing; some purchased buildings where, in addition to their gift shops, they opened tea rooms and offered women employment there. Others made available workrooms and apartments for ladies to rent.
Today there are twenty such Exchanges remaining in the United States, places where handcrafters can market their work year round in an attractive gift shop rather than relying on intermittent craft shows for sales. When you shop at a Woman’s Exchange, you are helping a consignor to achieve economic stability and an Exchange to remain a viable business outlet for crafters and selected vendors. You will also be providing a unique gift for yourself or someone else, and, after expenses, proceeds from sales are given to other area charitable organizations.
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