I like to buy gifts. I like to get gifts, too. My partner, unfortunately, is not huge into either one. However, after almost a decade together, he's learned that he doesn't have an opt out clause, and he has progressively gotten better and better and buying me gifts.
It helps that he figured out a way to make it easy on him. And I liked his way so much, I've recently taken a page from his book.
The magical solution? Uncommon Goods.
For those not already familiar with it, Uncommon Goods is a web store with the following vision:
UncommonGoods (www.uncommongoods.com) is an online marketplace offering creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. At UncommonGoods, we believe that creativity and the expression of individuality represent two great human treasures. We have set out to create a business that makes uncommon goods accessible to everyone.
And they succeed. They have a huge variety of products, all "uncommon," and many handmade and/or made with recycled materials. Mark tends to buy nearly all of my gifts there. Some favorites have been:
Birth Month Flower Necklace, $48
I think these pendant necklaces, commemorating birth months with their traditional flowers, rather than stones, are fantastic. Mark got me one for my birthday last year.Caia Koopman Cases, $30-$36
When I started carrying business cards, Mark bought me this gorgeous, quirky Caia Koopman case to carry them in. I get compliments on it all the time.Recycled Tin Flower Art, $40
Mark got me the first of these two recycled tin art pieces for my birthday last year, and I loved it so much he got the other one for me for Christmas. They now hang as a set in the hallway of our house.Sari Scarf, $48
The blue version of this gorgeous scarf, made from recycled silk saris, is one you might recognize if you've been reading here for long--I've had it for several years and I wear it all the time. I love mine so much, I bought Mark's mother an earth-toned version for Christmas, and she wears hers all the time, too.
For Mark's birthday earlier this month, I decided to follow his example and go for all-Uncommon Goods gifts. The site is large and varied, so I started with the recommendation section: Gifts for Men (found here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-men). They divide their recommendations in all kinds of ways, with sections for each member of the family, each age range, by the amount you want to spent, or for various types of personalities--there is Gifts for Dads (click here), Gifts for Brothers (click here), Gifts for Moms (click here), and so on. There were a number of interesting things in that section, but nothing struck me as perfect, so I headed over to Recycled Gifts to see if anything caught my eye. Bingo!Growbottle, $35
The first thing I picked out was the Growbottle. It's a system for growing indoor (windowsill, basically) herbs hydroponically using a recycled wine bottle. I knew Mark would love it, and he did--when he opened his, it was the first present he started playing with. I splurged and got the basil, chives, and mint versions. Yay for fresh herbs this winter in a container that is fairly cat-proof (no dirt) and easy on the eyes!Retired Wine Barrel Lazy Susan, $125
I stuck with the recycled section and found my next gift there as well. We eat a ton of antipasta at my house, and when there are more than two people at the table, that's a ton of passing little dishes around. This recycled wine barrel Lazy Susan is not only gorgeous, and completely in keeping with the kind of decor Mark likes, but totally practical. It lives on our dining table now and we've used it several times already.
Mark's final gift was one I found by accident while browsing jewelry for myself:Ebony Wood & Stainless Steel Men's Ring, $45
This I bought simply because I love the look of it, but it's also handmade in the USA, which I find to be a huge bonus!
Overall, I love Uncommon Goods because it's an easy place to get unique gifts for a wide range of people. It's not just a place for Mark and I to get presents for one another, but I can easily find gifts for our parents, friends, and other family members there as well. The packaging is environmentally sustainable, and they do eco-conscious gift wrapping (in unbleached recycled boxes and/or bags made from recycled t-shirts). They also have a blessedly easy to navigate site, and I've never had any sort of shipping issue. I recommend them very highly.
So...can you see yourself buying a gift at Uncommon Goods? How about a little something for yourself? How about with a $50 gift card? To win one, do any or all of the following (be sure to leave a new comment for each entry):
1. Take a gander at the Uncommon Goods site and come back and tell me your favorite product and who you'd gift it to.
2. Tweet a link to their family page!
3. Sign up for the Uncommon Goods email list.
4. Vote on possible new Uncommon Goods products with their voting tool.
5. Share this contest and my blog on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other social media site floats your boat.
This contest with run for two weeks, ending Thursday, September 29.
This is not a compensated review--I just love this store. The gift card, however, is courtesy of Uncommon Goods.