Gift Guides

Must-Have Artifacts for the Man Cave Dweller

October 19, 2017

Many years from now, when archaeologists of the distant future excavate the sites of 21st century man caves, they’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of today’s modern man. We want them to take a look at the artifacts they find and be amazed. But before future archaeologists can be amazed by their findings, it’s up to us to make sure those man caves are fully-loaded with all of the coolest things. It’s also up to us to make sure that our modern-day men are totally blown away by the holiday gifts they get this year. Help the man cave dweller in your life create a truly impressive domain with these must-have goods.

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Impact: Inside
Greyston Bakery

October 18, 2017

Even if you’ve never heard of Greyston Bakery, chances are good that you have, in fact, eaten their baked goods. Ever had a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie, or spooned your way through a full pint of Half Baked? Congratulations! You’ve had a little bit of Greyston in your belly. And it’s no coincidence that both of those flavors made it to Ben & Jerry’s top 10 list last year—Greyston’s brownies, which you can now snag in four flavors at UncommonGoods, are mind-blowingly tasty.

That’s not all, though. Like UncommonGoods (and Ben & Jerry’s), Greyston Bakery is a proud B Corp, and it’s New York state’s first Benefit Corporation, too. Founded by Zen Buddhist Roshi Bernie Glassman in 1982 in Yonkers, New York, Greyston is best known for its unique hiring model, dubbed Open Hiring™. “Open Hiring is simple,” says Ariella Gastel, Greyston’s VP of Marketing and Business Development: “If you want a job, come to the bakery, sign your name on a list, and wait to be called. No questions asked. No resume or interview needed.” Designed to break down barriers for those seeking honest work, Greyston’s policy provides opportunities to Yonkers locals who might otherwise encounter difficulty obtaining a job, whether that means they’re single parents, have trouble speaking English, or once struggled with homelessness. “It is hard to imagine how many people want to work but can’t because of barriers,” says Ariella. “Our mission is [to] create thriving communities through the practice and promotion of Open Hiring.”

Though most of our real live visits are to artist’s studios, we couldn’t resist making the trip up to Yonkers to visit Greyston’s facility ourselves. The promise of brownies, of course, was a draw, but we were equally excited to see Greyston’s mission in action and to have the chance to meet Ariella and longtime team members Cece and Raymond. Armed with questions and juuust enough space in our tummies for a brownie or two, we set off for Yonkers from Grand Central Station, a mere half hour from our final destination.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Does Our Silicone Suction Pet Set Have Staying Power?

October 16, 2017

Jackie, our very own PR pro, is back—and this time, she’s got pet bowls on the brain.

Product

Silicone Suction Pet Set

Research

About a year ago, I adopted a wonderful rescue cat from the Bronx named Orange Ivy Carter. Her name is inspired by Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, but I modified it slightly since my Ivy is orange.

Editor’s Note: It’s worth mentioning that Ivy is something of a local celebrity here at UncommonGoods, where she frequently features in our #uncommonpets Slack channel. After all, who can resist those little paws?

So regal.

Although Ivy is perfect in every way (besides her habit of biting everything that moves and eating laptop chargers), she is a very, very messy eater. Her preferred method includes using her paws to fling food out of her bowl and eat it off wherever it lands, be it the floor or walls. The area around her bowls was a complete disaster, and her paper bag place mat had to be replaced every three days since it got so soggy. When I saw the Silicone Suction Pet Set had been added to our assortment, I knew I had to give it a try.

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Julia Shaffie

October 12, 2017

Julia Shaffie, UncommonGoods Receptionist and HR Assistant

My hometown…

West Bank Demerara, Guyana, South America. A nature-lover’s paradise.

I’m inspired by…

Someone who exhibits unconditional love and never-ending mercy.

When I was a kid my favorite television program was…

Do not ask me to choose: National Geographic Explorer, Power Rangers, Highlander, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess.

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The Uncommon Life

Introducing Sunny,
Your Expert Gift Guide

October 11, 2017

Meet Sunny. Released into the wild this week, we created this expert gift guide to make your search for the perfect present a much easier endeavor.

So, how exactly does Sunny improve your shopping experience? Well, instead of browsing across all of our categories, Sunny lets you search for your recipient’s interests all at once, giving you a personalized collection of gift ideas.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Robert Hargrave

October 10, 2017

When you think “fine art,” your mind doesn’t usually jump to “plywood.” That is, in large part, why Robert Hargrave’s sculptures are so intriguing. Born in Ohio, raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and now based in Portland, Oregon, Robert handcrafts exquisite creations from layers of richly colored plywood. At first glance, you’d never guess the material—and, in a way, that’s the point. “In a homogeneous world of sameness, diversity is something to strive for,” Robert says. “My goal is to make products that are a joy to look at, a pleasure to touch, and an honor to own.”

After taking an up-close-and-personal look at Robert’s Layered Hardwood Magic Lamp Sculpture (albeit in the comfort of our Brooklyn office), we here at UncommonGoods knew we just had to find out a bit more about him, like how he manages to make two-by-fours look so darn fancy. Read on for more insight into Robert’s background and day-to-day as a creator, including a breakdown of what motivates him—and a tip o’ the hat to the sculpture that started it all.

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Design

Functional Fashion:
The Tulry Utility Necklace

October 9, 2017

*Editor’s note: The Tulry Utility Necklace is coming soon to our assortment. Get it first by pre-ordering here.

The Tulry Utility Necklace is coming soon to UncommonGoods | Pre-order here

“A lot of everyday products are designed with a male-centric audience in mind,” says designer Nate Barr. He admits that he hadn’t really thought about that until his wife, Bryn, challenged him to think from the perspective of people who aren’t always empowered to speak up. Bryn also inspired his latest invention, the Tulry Utility Necklace.

Bryn said she loved the functionality of Nate’s tools, like the Multi-Tool Box of Wonders, but had no way to carry them. “She pointed out that dresses don’t have pockets. Jeans pockets are too tight, and a purse is never big enough,” Nate explains.  She encouraged him to create a unique way to solve this problem. The result marries an elegant jewelry design with a highly functional piece.

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