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The Uncommon Life

The Uncommon Life

Dad Jokes & Dancing Spiders: An Uncommon Knowledge Roundup

February 22, 2017

Uncommon Knowledge Roundup

Common knowledge. You know, the sort of stuff you’re supposed to learn in the school of life—like don’t put your tongue on the flagpole in December. Uncommon knowledge, on the other hand, is a more elusive matter. It’s the kind of facts that might make you lose a little sleep wondering why, how, or even what the heck? Our designs often inspire such tantalizing trivia and these Uncommon Knowledge highlights illustrate those quirky connections. And to keep things extra-uncommon, we’ve added a fresh batch of bonus facts. With this uncommon knowledge in mind, any of these goods are conversation-starters.

 

How Romantic is the Animal Kingdom?

Snoozing sea otters holding hands, penguins proposing with pebbles, and puppies that believe in chivalry—the animal kingdom is full of aww-worthy stories. For humans, romantic inspiration can be as simple as a walk through snowy woods. Read more >

Extra-uncommon knowledge: Male peacock spiders really know how to bust a move in their efforts to woo females. Their courtship dances include fancy footwork, rapid vibrations, and a rainbow abdomen flap that they raise like a flag.

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The Uncommon Life

Supporting Survivors and Spreading Hope through RAINN

February 17, 2017

At UncommonGoods we strive to use our business as a force for good. One of the ways we do so is by giving to non-profit organizations that we care about through our Better to Give Program–which lets you chose a non-profit partner to receive a $1 donation (at no cost to you) each time you shop.

As the leader of our Sustainability Steering Committee, I am proud that our relationships with our Better to Give partners go beyond the monetary donations we make, by having elements that include volunteer outings, speaker sessions, and attending off-site special events hosted by our selected non-profits. While all of these areas are partially what makes it an absolute blast to work for UncommonGoods, what is most inspiring is hearing about when our team members take it upon themselves to support our Better to Give partners outside of our organization.

Tanya Castin, UncommonGoods Merchant Assistant and RAINN volunteer

Since October, our Merchant Assistant, Tanya Castin, has been devoting her nights and weekends to becoming a volunteer working with one of our Better to Give partners, RAINN.  Last month, Tanya completed her training and is officially an online hotline staffer for RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. After her first night, Tanya and I caught a Nets game and stopped in at a local brewery to catch up on what made her decide to do this and what the experience is like.

A speaker session with RAINN’s Development Director Chelsea Bowers that we hosted back in August prompted Tanya to get involved. “Just hearing stories about our team members’ experiences with sexual assault and being aware of the statistics [related to sexual abuse] pushed me into taking action,” she explained. “Being an online hotline staffer was something that I didn’t know was an option, but when I found out about it through our guest speaker, I looked it up online and found that they had one slot open in a New York City-based training over a weekend, so I signed up.” Signing up was the first step toward a large undertaking. To be a hotline staff, RAINN’s requirements included an in person weekend training session (16 hours split between a Saturday and Sunday), followed by a robust online training program.

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The Uncommon Life

The Road to Romance and a First Date on Ice: Our 2017 #UncommonDate Winners

February 14, 2017

Last Valentine’s Day, we asked you to tell us about your most uncommon date. We loved reading about all the disasters and happily ever afters so much we had to do it again. This time around, we received over 75 entries ranging from adorable to downright cringe-worthy.

After hours of deliberation, we managed to select two winners and three honorable mentions.

Grand prize winner number one, Eileen Field, shared a slightly illegal and very romantic blind date story with us via our blog:

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The Uncommon Life

A Force for Good: Why We’re Doubling Our Donation to the IRC

February 9, 2017

Jodi Hilton/IRC

As an independently owned business, we have the ability to support causes we believe in and to impact the world in a positive way–so each time you shop at UncommonGoods, we donate $1 to a non-profit partner of your choice through our Better to Give program. Although the donations are at no cost to you, your purchases have allowed us to donate more than $1 million to our partners since 2001.

Last summer, we were proud and honored to welcome the International Rescue Committee to the Better to Give program. Since June 2016, we’ve raised $57,000 (and counting!) for their mission to aid refugees and families afflicted by conflict around the globe. But there’s still work to do.

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Thomas Mascaro

February 9, 2017

Thomas Mascaro, Customer Service Supervisor

My hometown is…
Verona, PA (a suburb of Pittsburgh).

My favorite food of all time is…
Any kind of pasta, but it has to be made with my mother’s homemade sauce!

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Fort Greene Park. It’s only a couple of blocks from my apartment and an amazing place to relax without a lot of noise or people. It’s also got a great view of Manhattan from the monument at the top of the park.

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods is…
A repeat customer from the past two holiday seasons. I helped pick out gifts for her grandchildren both times. This year she actually called back after Christmas to thank me and to let me know she’ll be calling for me again in November.

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
What it’s like to be part of a team where everyone helps each other out no matter how busy it is.

I’m inspired by…
People who are willing to take risks and deal with the challenges they face in order to try and better themselves. I’m also inspired by people that help others and never expect anything in return.

An uncommon fact about me is…
That I played basketball for 2 weeks in 6th grade until my coach decided that even though I was really tall for my age I had no coordination. A fact that is embarrassingly still true today. I trip constantly walking down the sidewalk and up the stairs and am always walking into something.

The Uncommon Life

Valentine’s Day Contest: Share Your Most #UncommonDate!

February 6, 2017

#UncommonDate | Valentine's Day Contest | UncommonGoods

Last Valentine’s Day, we challenged you to share anecdotes from your most uncommon dates. We expected to hear about dinners that turned into happily every after, and bizarre blind dates that didn’t leave you in love at first sight, but we had no idea we would receive so many great entries! After choosing two winners, one experience that we wished we could replicate and one we’d rather not, we learned that every courtship has an interesting story.

Whether you’re swiping through the world of online dating, or you and your special someone are years past your “silver anniversary,” we want to hear your stories.

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Wen Huang

February 1, 2017

Wen Huang, UncommonGoods Systems Administrator 

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY— I moved here at the age of 4 and never looked back!

I’m inspired by…
Good food! I love to eat and food has inspired me not only to cook, but to travel. I plan trips based on the meals that I can have while away. One of my favorite experiences was traveling to Hong Kong, I was able to try so many different types of food.

An uncommon fact about me….
I’m a BBQ Pit Master in training— Well, it is more of a hobby right now, but I’m working toward perfecting my smoked ribs.

The word or phrase that best describes me…
Adventurous and hungry.

If I won the lottery, I’d…
Buy myself a little island.

Something that always calms me is…
Watching cartoons with my baby girl—Peppa Pig is my de facto favorite (I have no choice). Whatever she wants to watch, we’re watching.

If I could travel back in time, I’d…
Try to have a bigger impact on making the world a better place.

Would you rather… be a famous chef, or a famous sports star?
Definitely famous chef.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Caitlin-Marie Miner

January 26, 2017

Caitlin-Marie Miner, UncommonGoods Graphic Designer

My hometown…
Westford, MA

The word or phrase that best describes me…
Energizer Bunny

I’m inspired by…
My sailing adventures… I have been sailing all my life. My parents have always been big sailors, so I was on board as soon as I was born. They would tie down our car seats in the cockpit and baby jumpers were attached to the boom. I can’t go as often as I used to, but we still take two weeks in the summer to bounce around the Elizabeth Islands. My favorite stop is Cuttyhunk Island, a small fishing village with a handful of locals. There is no real electricity on board so we spend a lot of time playing cards, reading, drawing, and exploring beaches and coves. It is really cool to be so disconnected and adventurous!

An uncommon fact about me…
I have two different colored eyes. My right eye is blue, my left eye is brown.

My guilty pleasure is…
PLL (Pretty Little Liars, a classic ABC Family teen drama), Dance Moms, The Bachelor #sorrynotsorry

I’m stubborn about…
Running! Oh, so many injuries…

My spirit animal is…
The “find your spirit animal” quiz I found online won’t load- so I am pretty sure it is a Unicorn.

Something that always makes me laugh…
My friends!

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