|Natural flower necklace -- Twilight Sun|
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a company called Novica and asked if I would be interested in doing a review for them. As I perused the email, my interest was piqued as I read, "We work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market." National Geographic? Impressive.
I clicked on the link to their website and was immediately blown away by the huge selection of unique gifts, from exquisite wool shawls to alpaca sweaters to wrap bracelets. There is an impressive array of styles and prices. I was quickly drawn to the sterling silver jewelry. And then I was drawn in to the moving stories of the people from around the globe who pour their creativity and their hearts into these amazing products.
|Pearl Dangle Earrings -- Sublime Darkness|
The pearl dangle earrings I selected (to the left, retail value $64.95) were designed by a woman named Khun Boom. Born in 1979, Khun grew up in Chiang Mai. The dark gray iridescent pearls are set inside silver encasings that hang delicately from thin oval loops. I think they're stunning. But more impressive than the design, to me, is the young woman who made them. Here is a part of what she writes about herself on the Novica site:
"I feel that I am doing well for my age, and I am very content with how far I have come. But my real measure of success is seeing my mother smile, as she means the world to me."
Here a a few of the pieces I had on my wish list, but have not purchased (as of yet):
As I said, the sterling silver jewelry is amazing. There are so many unique designs. And I love that the website 'introduces' you to each and every artisan. You can even search by artisan, if there is one in particular that has captured your attention. Maybe there are other sites like this, but I'm unaware of them.
Novica also has a program some of you might be interested in. You can become a consultant and host home parties through the Novica Live Program. Click the link for more information about this exciting opportunity.
The site even has a unique gift finder feature, and many of the gifts can be gift wrapped. The earrings I received came in a lovely jewelry box made of saa paper, which is a handmade mulberry bark paper the Thai people have been making for over 700 years. According to the information on the bottom of the box: "Each year when the mulberry trees are harvested, the smallest branches are cut and the outer layers of bark are peeled from these branches to make the paper. This way, the trees are not cut down and new branches grow to be used again the following years." As you can see, this is a sustainable practice and it is a way of life for many living in Thai villages. Just another reason to love Novica!
This fair trade company treasures the people who make these products, and it shows! No wonder National Geographic decided to make its first investment in an online business.
"We think it will help us reach new audiences, broaden our own product offerings through our commerce channel and extend our efforts to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of world cultures," said Rick Allen, president of National Geographic Ventures.
I could go on and on about how much I love Novica! There are so many things this company seems to be doing right! I urge you to visit their website and learn more about this innovative and world changing company.
Oh, yes, I promised a giveaway, didn't I? Scroll back up to the top of this post. See the beautiful floral necklace pictured there? Well, that necklace could be yours, if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway. Twilight Sun is a real chrysanthemum blossom, preserved in resin and dangling from a black cotton cord with a sterling silver clasp,"exuding organic elegance." The retail value is $40.95. It was designed by Danai Leosawathiphong (that's a mouthful!), a Thai woman who will celebrate her 63rd birthday this coming Tuesday. "For the past 20 years or so, I have had good and bad times but I enjoyed it all. It is pretty much like black coffee -- bitter, sweet and very nice." You can read her story here.
To celebrate Danai's birthday on March 20th, I am going to announce the winner of the drawing. Once again, I am using Rafflecopter, so, click the link, grab as many entries as you'd like and I'll post the winner on Tuesday. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The products reviewed here and offered for the giveaway, were gifted to me by Novica. However, my opinions are not biased and you can count on them to be genuine.
a Rafflecopter giveaway