Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

August 12, 2011

Marketing intern Ashley added some uncommon experience to her resume this summer by perfecting the art of kite flying with the High Art Kite.

I had never flown a kite before, and in New York City my opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are fairly limited. When I saw the High Art Kite, I thought it was a great chance to test my urban kite flying skills.

I love the slightly devious look of the Winged Demon design and took the kite out to the East River Park to test on a sunny Saturday.

The kite includes directions for assembly and comes together quickly (but also folds up neatly for easy storage and transportation).

Unfortunately, my first attempt at kite-flying failed. There wasn’t enough wind along the East River that day, and there’s not enough room to get a running start without running into cyclists.

A few weeks later into the summer, I headed out to a very windy Brooklyn waterfront next to the UncommonGoods office, with much better results.  See the video below to get an idea of how easy it was to fly out on the docks in Sunset Park.

Conclusion: at just $12, the High Art Kite is a simple and fun way to enjoy the outdoors, even in an urban setting like New York City.  For more family-friendly ideas and games to test before school starts, check out our wide selection of kits and crafts!


Top Comments of the Week

August 11, 2011

We asked, you answered. Here are the top comments from our community voting app this week.

Lindsey said” If this fits in the back pocket of jeans – perfect!!! I have been looking for something like this for years. The one I have now is falling apart and the company stopped making them. I WILL buy this as soon as you sell it.”

Thanks for the feedback, Lindsey. We don’t want you sitting lopsided, so the need for a thin, durable, card case wallets is clear. Not only are these upcycled card case wallets sleek, they’re also made by fair trade artisans using old newspapers and cleaned up plastic bags.

Nicole said: “This is insane!! I love it!!!”

Sometimes a little insanity is just what you need to liven up your wardrobe. Thanks for the enthusiasm, Nicole!

Ann said: “Do we really need to promote more alcohol? Think about the children.”

Don’t worry, Ann. If these cufflinks are accepted into our assortment, they’ll only be available in adult sizes. Since these silver-plated cufflinks feature real vintage cash register buttons, and real cash registers sometimes ring-up booze, words like whiskey,” “beer,” and “wine” grace these shiny wrist accessories.

Do you agree with our vocal voters? Visit our voting app to leave your feedback and read more community comments!


Meet the Judges!

August 11, 2011

Last week we opened our Uncommon Jewelry Design Challenge and are thrilled with the submissions we’ve received so far.  We’ll share the designs we like on the community voting app at the end of the month, then our panel of judges will pick the winner, who will receive $500 and the chance to join our lineup of unique jewelry.

Artist Kiel Mead knows good design when he sees it.  Kiel finds inspiration for his jewelry from common objects, then crafts them into unique, one-of-a-kind pieces such as the Forget Me Not Ring.  His work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Lucky Mag, ELLE, and New York Magazine.  In addition to designing jewelry and furniture from his studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he supports emerging and established designers as a founding member of the American Design Club.

If you’ve ever bought any of our jewelry or accessories, you can thank UncommonGoods buyer Erin Fergusson for her great taste in daring pieces, including some that can’t be found anywhere else.  Erin loves bright colors and funky patterns, and is especially a fan of handmade jewelry and keepsake designs.

Style and beauty expert Jenn Falik is nationally known and trusted for her style advice, and is passionate about sharing her great finds.  Jenn has appeared on The View, The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, E! News and Tyra Banks, and is a regular presence on New York City’s own local media  such as NY1 and Fox5.

Think you’ve got an uncommonly awesome jewelry design that Kiel, Erin, and Jenn would love?  Send it our way by midnight on August 31 for a chance to show off your own creativity and talent!

Maker Stories

The Science of Design

August 11, 2011

Do you have a formula for success when it comes to design? Do themes in your work emerge as a signature style? We’d love to see your original jewelry designs! Enter our first ever Jewelry Design Challenge for a chance to win $500 and the opportunity to sign a vendor contract with UncommonGoods.

Some people see math formulas, the Periodic Table of the Elements or text books and feel overwhelmed. Tiffany Ard sees these things and gets inspired. From her Chromosome Earrings to her Math Symbol Cufflinks, Tiffany is proud to produce beautiful jewelry for fashion forward nerds.

Continue Reading…


Paper to Silk

August 11, 2011

Finding that perfect gift for a special couple isn’t always an easy task.

We’re happy to provide a little advice and proudly offer our original Anniversary Book as a suggestion for a great wedding or anniversary gift. This hand-bound journal includes pages to help loving couples celebrate years the first twenty years of marriage, and features pages in 5-year increments for each year from 25-50.

You told us that you loved this little journal so much that we needed to take it to the next level. And with your suggestions, we developed a more complete Anniversary Journal featuring pages for each year up to that golden 50th anniversary.

Continue Reading…


Give Us Direction

August 10, 2011

Crumpled City Map

Emmie said: “Great idea and reasonable price – most of my travel books/maps are damaged from the winds and rain and are useless after one vacation. GENIUS!”

Would a map of New York City make navigating the boroughs a breeze? Could you use a map of London on your next European adventure? Crumpled City Maps make bringing a map along easy. Since they’re made of a durable, waterproof, rip-resistant material, you can crumple them up and stick them in a pocket or pouch. If you agree with Emmie and think this idea is genius, find your way to our community voting app and share your feedback!


This Just In: 4-in-1 Parenting Towel

August 9, 2011

Parenting Towel

William said: “This is a thoughtful product; both in quality and design. I appreciate that it holds its value over time as the children grow.”

Kara said: “I could have used this back when my kids were young. Most times the front of my shirt looked like I took a bath too.”

Trisha said: “Great idea in my opinion. Practical, useful now and later. Perfect item for UncommonGoods.”

Our buyers agree with Trisha that the 4-in-1 Parenting Towel is perfect for UncommonGoods. Thanks to community votes and feedback, this practical parenting apron, that doubles as a towel, triples as a baby wrap and quadruples as a comfy toddler robe, is now available for purchase!

We can’t wait to see which products our voters will help us add to our assortment next! Visit our community voting app to tell us which goods you love.


Fresh Idea

August 9, 2011

Natural Air Purifying Bag

Ann said: “We need to keep the air cleaner! Plus if it gets rid of allergens-well that’s priceless. And it’s not that pricey either. Does it have an odor to it? How many months does it last?”

Ann may be pleased to know that this practical little pouch is stuffed with bamboo charcoal, a natural, non-toxic, odor-free material that’s been used as an air freshener for centuries in Japan. The charcoal is solar-activated, so you just set it in direct sunlight for an hour once a month and it sops up smelly particles and allergens in the air for up to two years.

Do you agree with Ann that cleaner air is a beautiful thing? If you want to see the Natural Air Purifying Bag in our lineup, go to our voting app and make a stink about it!

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