Monday, April 9, 2012

Novica Product Review and Giveaway

Some months ago, I was asked to do a product review for the website Novica. Product reviews are not the primary focus of my blog, but after some thought I decided to give it a try. For those of you not familiar with Novica, it's a company affiliated with National Geographic (and we all know I love me some National Geographic), specializing in handmade goods from wallets to wearables, from artists around the world, particularly South America, Mexico, and Southeast Asia. You can purchase a variety of items from a variety of artisans, or you can support individual artists with micro loans.

There's a certain kind of import feel to the site, and the items are so perfectly crafted as to look manufactured, but each item is paired with the story of its maker. I was given $50 to spend, and after some time poking around, using the site's Gift Finder and Under $50 search terms I was able to compile a wishlist, where I was able to look at all my favorite items and compare. I knew I didn't want any jewelry, but I looked at it anyway, and didn't care for much of it. It all felt like stuff I've seen before and can get just about anywhere. I looked at some home decor stuff, but, lacking a home at the moment, and not eager for more stuff to haul around I decided against that. In the end, I opted for a handmade teak cutting board from Guatemala, because, well, I've been needing a new cutting board, and I'm willing to invest in my future kitchen. And it didn't look that cumbersome to have to move.
The site is pretty user friendly and it was easy to place my order. About 10 days later, I received a beautifully packaged cutting board complete with fancy paper, worry doll and Guatemalan thank you postcard from the artist. The only problem was the worry doll was hot glued to the ribbon and difficult to remove without damaging it. I also received a brief bio about the artist.

And here it is! My lovely new cutting board, which I still have yet to use!

All in all, it was pleasurable shopping experience, although I don't for a second believe I'm changing the world one artist at a time. I'm certainly open to using this site again, but a very large part of me feels strongly in supporting struggling artists in my own country first. Probably because I am one. But is nice to support a fellow world citizen on occasion.

The good people at Novica were generous to not only give me a $50 gift code to use on the site, but also one to offer to my readers. You can use it to purchase an item $50 or under (including shipping), or you can put it towards a more expensive purchase. To enter, please check out the Novica site, and leave a comment with a link to an item you'd consider purchasing. I'll select a comment at random as the winner one week from today. Just to make it interesting, I'll allow up to two entries per person.

Please take a minute to check out these items that Novica is currently promoting:
Men's Sweaters
Silk Jackets
Men's Accessories from India
Women's Shawls from Peru

As always, thanks for reading!


Unknown said...

I really like this vase... it'd look cool empty, or maybe with some of those black stones in the bottom. (I usually don't put things in vases, myself. Being a glass guy, I don't typically clutter up the glass with anything else.)

Jocelyn said...

Looking on there now and will hopefully post links tomorrow

Unknown said...

I think this website is fabulous. It's such a great way for people to support artists around the world. Thanks for sharing!
Also, check out this awesome wool backpack.

Gina M (crave to save) said...

I would love to get this belt-

gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

ray said...

Always liked this site, glad to see them giving away gift cards, and glad to see you spreading the wealth.

I like this

Anonymous said...
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Soot said...
This mask is really different from the usual fare and I thought it was lovely. Thanks for turning me on to the site, I have some gift ideas already!

Sarah Loch-Test said...

Cool site! I love the idea of supporting artisans at home and abroad...

I'm in love with all of the fans, really. I think it'd be impossible to choose just one!

We all have enough jewelry but how about a gorgeous jewelry box! This is one of my favorites!

Unknown said...

hi Liz~ I love this wallet, hoping I am chosen in the product give-away:) Thanks for showing me such a great site! I hope to use it inthe future...I love the stories as well as the products~

AubreyLaine said...

I would love this basket
family74014 at gmail dot com

AubreyLaine said...

I'd love this necklace
family74014 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I want to make sure I enter with my pick.

This site reminds me of an awesome place in Squirrel Hill--Ten Thousand Villages.


Anonymous said...

In addition to the lavender boxes I found, this throw would also look fantastic in my living room.