If you’re like me, you’re probably going through a season where every birthday celebration is a ‘special’ one. Up until recently, what was code for 40th is now beginning to be replaced by the unspeakable “50th” (hushed voice). And then there’s the wedding anniversaries, with the odd actual wedding too. At times like these, you really need something a bit different, something that little bit special. If your friends are arty, like to recycle and love good quality craftmanship, then head over to Uncommon Goods.
Set up by New Yorker, Dave Bolotsky, this web catalogue is full of quirky, beautiful and sometimes even useful gifts for kids through to grandparents. In fact, my favourite page is the teens page (listed under Women and also Men) with fantastic quirky ideas for teens that don’t all revolve around a smart phone. My favourite is probably the Whatever clock in the eclectic Home Decor section. The Pick Punch that makes guitar picks from old credit cards and the Scratch Map (for the jet set kid) are also very cool.
The emphasis of Uncommon Goods is found in the title: unusual, beautiful goods made by small independent artists. Bolotsky created the site to help connect these artists with buyers from anywhere around the world. For non-US buyers this does mean that the p+p is very hefty thanks to necessary export tax and air transport. That is the main downside if you’re a British buyer.
If you’re prepared to pay it though, there are some great gifts that aren’t very expensive such as this Cardboard Toolkit (my favourite) for helping kids and parents to make fantastic creations out of cardboard boxes) and What I love about you, a little book to scribble down all the things you love about that person. Both retail for £10 or under. I also like this very useful pouch for keeping all those phone/laptop cords in order when travelling – goodbye to the tangled mess in our games bag!
Talking of the love of your life, if you find your man increasingly hard to buy for (who doesn’t?) they have some great ideas in the gifts for men section: the Solar Powered Charger & Light for the guy who loves camping – or at least the idea of it ;-). And for those partners that keep asking you where you put their keys (“Where you last left them”) this looks like THE answer. The incident on Christmas Day this year when my husband’s misplacement of car keys forced the whole family to hunt around for 2 hours at 9pm at night makes him one sure candidate for this gift! (and you don’t want to know where we found them…..).
Wedding presents can be tough for those couples who’ve been married before or come late to marriage. Let’s face it, they simply don’t need any Denby plates or cutlery sets. Personalised pictures like the one posted below and at the top of the post make a really lovely original gift, especially if the couple are different nationalities. I’ve not seen these in the UK for sale, but correct me if I’m wrong.
In fact, I did a search for a few items to see if they could be bought cheaper here in the UK. There are a few, for sure, like the Pick Punch and Whatever clock, but in the main they either aren’t available or aren’t cheaper. For example my favourite item in the whole catalogue, the word/poetry blocks Words Cubed, isn’t available to buy here, nor the Portable Table Tennis Set nor the Love is cushion (appropriately named as I’m finding it hard not to love that). However, with the cost of P+P so high, you may still find it hard to justify purchasing them…
And as an extra incentive, if you buy something this month, Uncommon Goods will double your donation to their current charitable partner, International Rescue Committee. I like that a lot.
I also really like the ethos of the company that places equal value on each team member: check out the Staff Bios page for details on every single member of staff from the CEO to the security men. This alone makes me want to buy something to support such an enlightened company.
So pop over and take a look. Some lovely things for those lovely people in our lives….
This is a sponsored post but all the views are entirely my own.