Gift Guides

Gift Lab: These Grilling Goods Turn Camping into Glamping

August 23, 2016

Laura Tests Grilling Goods

Research

I may not be the most glamorous glamping girl, but I do like to get out of Brooklyn once in a while to see some open, green spaces. Recently, my guy and I packed up a rental car, dropped the cats off with a sitter, and headed for the Catskills. Due to the joys of city traffic we made it to Mongaup Pond Campgrounds 5 hours later (just a couple hours later than expected).

I have been stocking up on fun camping gear all winter long, including some things for the grill from UncommonGoods. I already had the Grilled Cheese Maker, the Kabob Grilling Baskets, and both Coffee and Pine Firestarters ready to go.

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

Christine Schmidt’s Mismatched Earrings & Peculiar Pet Pendants

August 22, 2016

*Editor’s note: Christine Schmidt’s new designs are coming soon to our assortment. Get them first by pre-ordering here

Christine Schmidt in her San Francisco Studio | UncommonGoods

Christine Schmidt is a jewelry artist, printmaker, designer, illustrator, author, and fraternal twin. She says that maybe that last one influenced her decision to veer from convention and create her clever, quirky mismatched earrings: “I am myself different but a part of a unit. I’ll spare you the therapy–but I like to change it up.”

Here at UncommonGoods, we like to change it up too, and that’s why when we saw some of Christine’s mismatched designs, we couldn’t wait to work with her to create more canny combos.

We thought about a few of the interests our customers (and even many of the folks that work here) share, and worked with the artist on a new line celebrating books, space, and pets. Christine captured each of these concepts through her charming illustrations, turned them into brand new mismatched earrings, and even designed adorable cat and dog necklaces exclusively for UncommonGoods.

She took some time out from being a multi-talented super artist to tell us about her road to a creative career, her process, and working with our team.

Christine Schmidt's Mismatched Earrings | Exclusively at UncommonGoods

Books and Eyeglasses, Sun and Moon, and Cat and Dog Mismatched Earrings | Exclusively at UncommonGoods

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

Nancy Nelson’s Bee Love Jewelry: Honeycomb, Heart, and Hive Help

August 19, 2016

Many jewelry makers would describe their collections as “playful yet sophisticated and timeless.” Nancy Nelson happens to be one of them, but she isn’t referring to a new line of fall fashion must-haves; in her world, it’s the inspiration for her work: the honeycomb. Each of her bee-based designs is a sweet but serious tribute to the awe-inspiring insects that build their own hexagonal homes, produce healthy honey, and pollinate the crops we depend on every day. Her Bee Love Necklace and Earrings were shaped by the geometry of a heart-shaped piece of honeycomb given to her by her beekeeping friend Katie, but also by the vital environmental role played by bees and the alarming threat of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

BEE LOVE NECKLACE NANCY NELSON JEWELRY

There are many theories about what causes CCD, including fungicides, viruses, mites, and the commercial beekeeping process itself, in which colonies are stressed by being trucked all over the country to seasonally pollinate crops. But entomologists, apiary advocates, and artists alike are working hard to diagnose and respond to the crisis. “After learning about the epidemic of the bees vanishing from their hives and knowing that they pollinate a third of our diets, I realized I needed to do my part to help save the bees,” said Nancy. In response, she donates a portion of sales from her honeycomb jewelry collection to Bee Informed Partnership, a nonprofit organization addressing the decline of the honeybee population in the United States.

honey-bees-326337_1920

Recently, we asked Nancy to reflect on the connections between bees’ industrious design work, their role in a healthy ecosystem, and her own tribute to their creations. Continue Reading…