The Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership Center

Frances Anton: Bull City Fair Trade

Durham’s fair trade store, Bull City Fair Trade, was founded and is maintained by volunteers. It sources handmade crafts from artisans in dozens of countries. Frances Anton has been a steadfast volunteer with the organization since the late 1990s, taking several shifts per month, and more during the busy holiday season, which can account for a third of annual sales. She maintains an extensive knowledge of artisan groups and fair trade products. Soon after she began volunteering over 20 years ago, the need arose for a volunteer to join the board, and Frances stepped up to become the lead fundraiser for the store’s move to its current location in the 9th Street North business district, which cost $50,000. Another example of Frances’s exceptional leadership is her assistance with off-site sales which require transporting hundreds of crafts, setting up booths, and supervising helpers. Frances took the lead on that project as well as several other special sales, which make up a crucial part of end-of-year revenue. She is so competent that staff meetings are scheduled for when she is available to “mind the store” (an exception to the general policy of not leaving volunteers on their own without staff present). She is known for her sense of aesthetics, playing a valuable role in keeping merchandise displays looking fresh and interesting for shoppers.

Durham’s fair trade store, Bull City Fair Trade, was founded and is maintained by volunteers. It sources handmade crafts from artisans in dozens of countries. Frances Anton has been a steadfast volunteer with the organization since the late 1990s, taking several shifts per month, and more during the busy holiday season, which can account for a third of annual sales. She maintains an extensive knowledge of artisan groups and fair trade products. Soon after she began volunteering over 20 years ago, the need arose for a volunteer to join the board, and Frances stepped up to become the lead fundraiser for the store’s move to its current location in the 9th Street North business district, which cost $50,000. Another example of Frances’s exceptional leadership is her assistance with off-site sales which require transporting hundreds of crafts, setting up booths, and supervising helpers. Frances took the lead on that project as well as several other special sales, which make up a crucial part of end-of-year revenue. She is so competent that staff meetings are scheduled for when she is available to “mind the store” (an exception to the general policy of not leaving volunteers on their own without staff present). She is known for her sense of aesthetics, playing a valuable role in keeping merchandise displays looking fresh and interesting for shoppers.