I think one of the most amazing, life-changing experiences is travel. I was fortunate enough to study abroad my junior year of college, and will never forget the memories, cultures and traditions that I partook in. I think one of my favorite experiences was (surprise, surprise) the shopping. I was able to meet the artists who created amazing pieces and hear the story behind them.
Well, life has changed. I now have two kids under three, and travel just isn’t in the cards. I often dream of trips to India (gorgeous detail of the Taj Mahal), Bali (crystal clear blue water, anyone?) and Thailand (brilliant, colorful flowers).
The company NOVICA, in association with National Geographic, has found a way to bring the artisans and their story to you. They offer artisans around the world a chance to make a sustainable business by engaging in their craft and traditions. From traditional mask carving in West Africa to hand-beaded bags in Brazil, the items available are a work of art.
NOVICA offers their artisans fair prices, no binding contracts, and a free platform to sell their wares to a global marketplace. Each item is sold with an artist’s profile, and learning about century-long traditions is a gift in itself.
I recently purchased the Island Fantasy pendant necklace- a breathtaking amazonite stone set in 22k gold plated sterling silver. The story of this piece from India is just as beautiful as the necklace itself.
The jewelery making tradition has been handed down in the artist Bhavesh’s family for many generations. He had been observing gems and their faceted colors since birth, saying “…I think it was in my blood.”
Each piece comes with an embossed booklet that describes the piece as well as gives a brief quote from the artist.
I also purchased a pair of exquisite orchid petal earrings for a friend who always requests a gift of an orchid every year. I thought an everlasting one would be the perfect present for her! This particular artist, Danai from Thailand, experimented with a special way of preserving flora for two years before perfecting it. One of his main goals is to employ women in his community. This particular set is two perfect Purple Tears orchid petals encased in 22k gold.
Each piece is exquisitely packaged, whether it be in a velvet-lined box or a beautifully patterned draw string bag. This pair of earrings came with a handwritten note from Team Thailand- an incredibly personal touch!
Also, if you are looking for unique wedding anniversary gifts, but want to follow the traditional gift by year, here are some ideas that NOVICA offers:
First Year: Paper– Papier Mache Jewelery Box from India
Second Year: Cotton– Double Cotton Hammock from Mexico
Third Year: Leather- Leather Wristband Bracelet from Indonesia
Fourth Year: Flowers– Handpainted Silk Orchid Shawl from Indonesia
Fifth Year: Wood– Hand Crafted Modern Mango Wood Vase from Thailand
Tenth Year: Tin/Aluminum– Tin and Ceramic Wall Mirror from Mexico
Fifteenth Year: Crystal– Handblown “Crystal Flowers” Wine Glasses from Mexico
NOVICA offers much more than just jewelery- their
offerings span Home Decor like lamps, rugs and pillows; Fashion such as
handbags and clothing; Paintings and Photography, and a vast selection
of truly Unique Gifts. Some of the most popular categories include:
I hope you enjoy the amazing selection on their site: www.novica.com!
Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. I received a gift card in order to review the products, but am not paid for my review.