River Fair Trade is a socially conscious, eco company whose main goal is to connect its customers with artisan-made, fair-trade goods from around the world. By offering these beautiful, handmade products both in our curated retail boutique in historic downtown Morgantown and via our website, we help to empower small collectives and single artisans worldwide to participate in the larger global economy.
The owner, Shannon Dowling, has a deep passion for fair trade that began almost 25 years ago while she was working for a small, fair-trade retail/wholesale company in Pittsburgh, PA. That passion continued to grow when she moved to Los Angeles to work for another fair-trade company specializing in clothing and textiles. Shannon was responsible for opening a retail store in Venice Beach and eventually became General Manager of both retail and wholesale operations when the company moved to Santa Cruz, CA. In 2009, she transitioned again to work for another fair-trade company based in Bali, Indonesia, becoming the General Manager of U.S. Operations. After one final move to Morgantown, WV, Shannon decided to open River Fair Trade when she realized there was nowhere to purchase fair trade items in her new hometown! Since then, she has been passionate about educating her customers and community about fair trade, has worked with numerous departments at West Virginia University as a guest lecturer, and does community outreach in local schools.