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Best New Gifts of 2011

When people ask me, “What makes something an uncommon good?” I typically explain that it’s a product with a unique, unexpected or additional element of creative design. It’s an item that is remarkable in that, “We haven’t seen anything quite like this before” or, “Who would have thought of that?” or “I’m sure I haven’t seen this anyplace else.” Or, another way to explain this, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart might say, “I know it when I see it.”

Here at UncommonGoods we also believe that gift giving is an art form in and of itself, and a singular way to express what you’re feeling in any relationship: love, friendship, happiness, hope, joy, gratitude, recognition or appreciation. That’s why we carry thousands of cool, hand-picked items from stunning jewelry and fun accessories to creative home decor and unique kitchen items. To help make your gift giving easier and more enjoyable, I’m happy to offer my personal uncommon picks for this holiday season. They’re all either new to our assortment this year or only available at UncommonGoods… and every one is sure to put a smile on your special someone’s face.

For Your Sister, Mom or Best Friend

The best way to express how truly special an important woman in your life is to give her something that is personal, unique and will become a treasured keepsake. Our handmade Birth Month Flower Necklace is the choice for the woman who loves jewelry; our handmade Sari Scarf, made from vintage saris is for the stylish woman who loves accessories.

For Him

When it comes to gift giving for guys, think about what is practical and functional– and then consider his interests, hobbies and habits. But if he is someone who already has everything, a little humor and a lot of creative design with one of these four gifts will easily solve that problem:
Man Coasters
Face Mug
7 Deadly Sins Glasses
F Bomb Paperweight

For Kids

What child doesn’t love candy or the amusement park? Try a Gummy Bear Light (ages 3+) or year long indoor fun with an Extreme Stunt Wall Coaster (ages 5+)

For Teens

The cool thing not to tell a teenager is that any adult will also love these five gifts:

Handmade Recycled Knit Arm Warmers
Dancing Lion Speaker
Travel Stub Diary
Fortune Keeper Key Chain
Handmade Glass Bacon and Egg Earrings

A Family Gift

Holidays are about families—which was also our inspiration for creating the Family Traditions Journal. And to help make your family gift shopping easier and this holiday especially memorable, you can start your own family tradition by giving one to each member of your family and all fill out together.

For Wine Lovers

When the Corksicle made its debut at the Atlanta Gift Show this past July, we immediately recognized that this simple and innovative design for keeping wine cool without creating dilution is a must have for any wine lover.

For Pet Lovers

According to the Humane Society, 39% of US households own at least 1 dog, and 33% own at least 1 cat. So chances are that someone on your gift list is either a dog or a cat owner. With more than 400 customer reviews, Bad Dog Tumblers are one of our top all-time best gifts for a dog lover. And, the cat companion is our Inconvenient Kitty Tumblers.

Green Gifts

We appreciate and value products created from materials that otherwise would be discarded and understand why this is important to many people. For over 12 years, we have been a leader in selling creatively designed products made from repurposed and recycled materials. Here are 5 of our most innovative and creative green products for this year:

With a set of Flip It! Wine Glasses you get 2 glasses in 1—both a wine and shot glass, made from repurposed old glass wine, beer and water bottles.
Moss Terrarium, a modern take on the terrarium, features an urbanized micro ecosystem housed within a recycled wine bottle.

“Potluck” Sweater Potholders feature a casing made from a bold, up-cycled sweater picked potluck-style from a charity store.

Recycled Cotton Animal Accessories are made in the USA from yarn spun from the leftover materials from apparel and upholstery factories that would have been discarded.
Upcycled Mail Sack Pouch & Tote are handmade from repurposed mail sacks.

For a Festive Holiday

Get in the spirit of the season this year with our Reclaimed Holiday Sweater Scarf a brand new twist on a seasonal icon. And wow your guests and spark some fun conversations when you entertain with a set of Wine Hourglasses and our Recycled Holiday Record Coasters.

A Gift That Gives Back

Throughout the year we hold a variety of different design challenges that reach a broad community of independent designers and support emerging talent. Graphic designer Michael White’s iconic design on this City Harvest Plate was chosen from over 90 entries from our Harvest Plate Design Challenge. $5 from the purchase of each plate directly benefits City Harvest, supporting food collection for New York’s hungry men, women and children.

At UncommonGoods, we believe in giving back. With our Better to Give Program, every time you order from UncommonGoods, you can choose to select a non-profit organization to receive a $1 donation from us.

About Carolyn
Carolyn grew up in Ardsley, NY, also home of the late great ice cream magnet Tom Carvel. She is a classically trained musician who loves sailing, Airedale terriers, Turner Classic Movies and Bruce Springsteen – not necessarily in that order. She lives in Shelter Island, New York and in Paulus Hook-downtown Jersey City’s historic district – with her husband Steve (a sailboat captain), Baxter (their Airedale terrier), and Marmaduke (their very large orange cat). Carolyn’s path to UncommonGoods was roundabout but understandable in a creative, business, retail sort of way. From Cornell University to Wall Street to high end fashion to starting her own business, Carolyn has always had a knack for spotting trends and knowing what people want to buy. For the past five years Carolyn has overseen the buying decisions and product selection for the UncommonGoods catalog and website. In October 2011 she took on a new role as the company’s Director of New Business and Product Development.

Written by carolyn

Carolyn is the Director of New Business and Product Development. She is a classically trained musician who loves sailing, Airedale terriers, Turner Classic Movies and Bruce Springsteen – not necessarily in that order.

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  1. Pingback: Wine Bottle Coaster | An American Brewmaster

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