IBJNews

2011 Forty Under 40: Kelly Campbell

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 
About me...
Kelly Campbell
Founder and co-owner
The Village Experience
Executive director
The Village Cooperative
32
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
BlackBerry
Most-used apps:
Facebook
Twitter
Favorite stuff:
Books, including "Half the Sky," by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and "The Blue Sweater," by Jacqueline Novogratz; movies, including
"I Dreamed of Africa," "Pride and Prejudice" and "Beyond Borders;" Egyptian Café; Heartland Film Festival; Indianapolis Monthly Restaurant Guide
 

Kelly Campbell believes in stepping out of her comfort zone. As founder and co-owner of The Village Experience, a fair-trade retail store and socially responsible tourism company in Broad Ripple, she’s often out of her normal time zone, as well.

After spending years working in New York in the fashion industry, she turned her attention to not-for-profits and humanitarian ventures. She now spends at least six months a year visiting developing countries, seeking struggling women who are interested in learning to support themselves by making a product to sell, as well as leading groups of travelers who will stay local, eat local and shop local.

“So many times Westerners come and they stay at Western hotels. It doesn’t really do a community any good if you go to Kenya and stay at the InterContinental,” she said.

Since launching their business two years ago, Campbell and her sister and business partner, Anne Campbell, have already expanded their store at 6055 N. College Ave. and taken 15 trips overseas. In a related solo venture, Campbell operates the not-for-profit Village Cooperative, which raises money for sustainable projects in Kenya. She and her sister decided to focus on one country, nurturing relationships there and trying to perfect a model.

Campbell has a degree in business and merchandising from Indiana University and a master’s in international relations from the University of Indianapolis and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She says the store’s growth shows that people appreciate the concept of fair trade, which means that the people who create the products get paid fair wages.

“If there was a scarf that could be produced in China for a quarter,” Campbell explained, “we’re most likely going to pay $5 or $6 for it. That money will go to make sure the woman is compensated properly.”

As the workers earn a living wage, their standards of living can improve.

She returns to Kenya in January for the opening of a preschool academy.

“To see how a little money can actually make a huge difference, is really what motivates us,” she said.•

___

Click here to return to the Forty Under 40 landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT