Gift Guides

12 of Our Favorite
New Mother’s Day Gifts

April 16, 2019

Mother’s Day’s on the way, and you’re racking your brain for new and exciting gift ideas to express how infinitely special Mom is. Well, we’re here to help. Like, that’s our actual job. We’ve put together a select list of gifts that we didn’t have last Mother’s Day. Whether she’s into entertaining, birdwatching, or getting her feminism on, you can say, “Thanks for raising me!” with something she’ll love—we guarantee it.

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Gift Guides

Video | 4 Mother’s Day Gifts for Impossible-to-Shop-for Moms

April 15, 2019

 

1. Long Distance Friendship Lamp – Mid-Century

Long Distance Friendship Lamp – Mid-Century – $95-190 Buy Now »

 

2. Luscious Lip Balm Storage Necklace Set

Luscious Lip Balm Storage Necklace Set – $12.99-89 Buy Now »

 

3. Orbits Eye Stones

Loved by the Today Show.
Orbits Eye Stones – $20 Buy Now »

 

4. Blooming Tea

Blooming Tea – $21 Buy Now »

 

Shop more gifts for Mom »

Gift Guides

Mother’s Day Gifts
for the Impossible-to-Shop-for Mom

April 15, 2019


Your mama taught you that you can do anything. “Just set your mind to it,” she said. Who knew she was setting you up to someday find her the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Sure, it’s not easy picking out something for the lady who already has everything (or claims she doesn’t want anything), but you CAN do it. Our list of gifts for the impossible-to-shop-for mom can help.
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Maker Stories

Video | Maker Story: How Meaningful Objects Helped This Designer Through Cancer Treatment

April 11, 2019

Through intense treatment, two-time cancer survivor Casey Benjamin surrounded herself with objects that inspired hope and reminded her to stay optimistic. Now, she’s paying it forward with her radiant, positivity-provoking designs. We visited her studio to learn more about her beautiful charms!

“These symbols were chosen for their power and purpose. Each charm is meant to tell the wearer’s personal story. They represent past experiences and accomplishments, as well as future hopes and dreams.“

I want to create jewelry loaded with good juju to help people rally hope and power through life’s difficult moments.”

Shop Juju Charms – $55-223 Buy Now »

 


Shop Juju Charms – $55-223 Buy Now »
 

“I wear charms to protect me and to remind me to live for today.”

Shop Charms & Spread Good Juju >>

The Uncommon Life

Slainte! The Surprising Story of Irish Whiskey & St. Patrick’s Day

March 7, 2019

The Shamrock GlassCelebrating St. Patrick’s Day

You might not feel particularly lively the morning after a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but that doesn’t stop many from partaking in the “water of life” in honor of Ireland. In other words, the rivers of Irish Whiskey will flow on March 17.

This golden-brown beverage has a rich history, so we thought we’d share a little more about Irish Whiskey.

Yours, Mine, & Ours Decanter Det

Yours, Mine, and Ours Engraved Decanter Set – $65 Buy Now »

 

Uisce on the rocks, please.

Where did whiskey come from?

Actually, whiskey as we know it came to be in Ireland. In the 6th century monks used distilled grains as the base for medicines. They called it “Uisce Beatha,” in Goidelic, or “water of life,” thanks to its healing properties. (While some may argue that whiskey doesn’t have any healing properties, keep in mind that it is antiseptic and a pain killer.) Over time, the spirit became known as “whiskey,” a mispronunciation of “Uisce.”

 

Irish Spirit

Whiskey love spread across Europe over time. For example, to Scotland, where it developed in to Scotch. It’s said that Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed imbibing in the distilled drink, and Peter the Great once proclaimed, “of all the wines, the Irish spirit is the best.”

Irish Whiskey Shamrock Glass
Sham-Rock Glass – $48- $50 Buy Now »

 

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Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Jewelry Designer Trudy James

March 1, 2019

Jewelry maker Trudy James in her California studio, photos by Emily Hodges

Trudy James’ gorgeous jewelry designs, like her Nest Egg Necklace and Elephant and Her Little Peanuts Necklace, quickly became some of our bestselling gifts for daughters, mothers, and grandmothers. The artist handcrafts her nature-inspired pieces using high quality material that she’s collected from around the world. I dropped by her workspace in Oceanside, in between Los Angeles and San Diego, to discuss the concepts behind her sentimental pieces–she often celebrates motherhood, gratitude, and love–and to learn about her everyday inspirations. (And, of course, to try on all of her beautiful treasures.)

Trudy includes 1-4 little amazonite eggs to represent your baby birds in her Nest Egg Necklace

Trudy’s workspace is located in her home, in a room 100% dedicated to her craft. Her sweet dog, Layla, greeted me at the front door when I arrived and, alongside Trudy, led me into the well-lit studio. Stacked and organized against the back wall were “in-progress” and “completed” jewelry pieces inside labeled boxes, and her desk space proudly showcased tools and the necklaces she was currently tinkering with. At every corner of the room, I spotted photos of family and friends, travel keepsakes, and…bird’s nests, lots and lots of bird’s nests! Trudy’s space, like her designs, is truly one-of-a-kind. The moment I stepped in I could easily see that she put her entire self into her special oasis to reflect herself and her passions.

I later learned that the nests sprinkled around her studio played as small reminders and tokens of gratitude for the success of her Nest Egg Necklace design–inspiring her to not only focus on her business, but also to keep her creative vision alive. Read on to learn how Trudy came up with the concept for another design hit, how Albert Einstein influences her day-to-day work, and when her creative chaos usually begins!

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The Uncommon Life

Meet Industrial Designer Tyson Cromwell, Winner Of UncommonGoods’ Spring 2019 Scholarship

March 1, 2019

Tyson’s winning design.

We’re always on the lookout for the next great design. Of course, great designs don’t create themselves. Learning to craft something beautiful takes patience, time, and willingness to learn. We’re proud of all the dedicated folks out there committed to learning to do what they love. That’s part of the reason we started our UncommonGoods Scholarship program.

This time around, our scholarship team was mesmerized by the beauty of winner Tyson Cromwell’s furniture design. Tyson received $1,000 to use toward continuing his education at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he’s currently studying industrial design.

We asked Tyson to share a little more about his career aspirations, his love of design, and how his father helps inspire his work. Check out our Q&A below to learn more.

Tyson and his baby daughter, who inspired him to design his winning crib.

 

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Maker Stories

Inside the Artists’ Studio with Jewelry Makers Cameron and Rebecca Stern

March 1, 2019

Rebecca and Cameron Stern in their Red Hook, Brooklyn, studio

I’ve talked to several creative people who have distinct memories of watching Mr. Rogers show us how crayons are made, so it didn’t surprise me when jewelry designer Rebecca Stern mentioned being inspired by the great Fred Rogers’ televised visits to interesting factories, where he gave curious kids a look behind the scenes. I even felt a little like I was in one of those videos when I visited Rebecca and her husband (and business partner) in their Red Hook, Brooklyn, studio. Their space is filled with tiny bits of inspiration, interesting models and miniatures, and plans to make their next imaginative designs.

If you’re one of those folks who remembers feeling a sense of wonder as you watched wax pour into metal molds as a kid, I think you’d feel the same way within the walls of the Sterns’ space. From watching images on Cameron’s computer screen materialize in the 3D printer, to trying to figure out how they get their detailed dioramas so darn small, to listening to stories of family explorations and adventures, every moment in the studio left me a little more intrigued than the last. Rebecca even made a few pieces while we were there. Watch our video below to see our own version of How It’s Made, then keep reading to learn how science influences the couple’s work, why they’ll never stop experimenting, and what it looks like when you put two very tiny giraffes in an Erlenmeyer flask.

Check out our video to see how the Sterns make their Sprinkles Heart Necklace and  Sprinkle Heart Stud Earrings

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