Gift Guides

Gift Guide: Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

June 23, 2016

Just as there aren’t official rules that fit every romantic partnership, the “appropriate” wedding anniversary gifts by year aren’t written in stone–nor iron, copper, bronze, tin, steel, gold, or diamond. The origins of the traditional anniversary gift list are shrouded by the mysterious, misty mists of time, anyway.

The “traditional” guide for anniversary gifts by year featured mostly practical items, to help couples set up their new homes. The modern list, created by the American National Retail Jewelers Association in 1937, is (surprise!) big on precious metals and gems. As much as we adore sparkly baubles, we don’t believe that jewelers have the authoritative last word on this subject.

However, an anniversary gift guide of what’s generally considered appropriate can be a lifesaver: without one, it’s easy to succumb to mental paralysis when you need to come up with anniversary gift ideas for friends or relatives celebrating X years of marriage.

With all this in mind, here is our own fresh guide of anniversary gifts by year: traditional, modern, and, of course, uncommon.
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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Randy Clinton

June 23, 2016


Randy Clinton – UncommonGoods Data Analyst, Analytics Team

My hometown…
Livonia, Michigan

I’m inspired by…
Stories of people succeeding through hard work: Louis CK changing his entire act, Bill Gates poking at a computer over the summer as a middle school student, Dennis Rodman running for an hour on a treadmill after games and any other example of people working hard.

I would like someone (maybe me) to invent…
An earpiece that translates a language into your ear in real time. It’d open global travel to a completely different experience for people who don’t have the time to learn a new language before visiting a new place and change the relationship between medical and humanitarian mission personnel and the people being helped.

If I could meet anyone, living or not, I would choose…
Thomas Jefferson. I’d want to know when he thought the revolution would be won and what he expected the country to look like. Then I’d give him an update on how things have been going for the past 200 years and see where the conversation went from there.

When I’m not working, I’m probably…
Walking around someplace new and taking photos or trying to learn something.

The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is…
The night sky with a full moon and dotted with stars far away from any Earthly light source that would pollute the sky. The moon was so bright it cast shadows on the ground.

If I won the lottery, I’d…
Commission the building of a time machine/sports car, go into the future, buy a sports almanac, travel back in time, and hand it to my old self. A sports almanac contains the scores and details about every game. Besides betting on just who wins, there’s a ton of smaller bets on things like number of points scored in the game, who scores first, etc…
It’d probably require a nuclear powered energy source but, in an effort to be environmentally friendly, I’d want to explore using garbage instead. I’ve seen this work before. 

Maker Stories

Uncommon Impact: Counting Beads, Caramel, and the IRC

June 22, 2016

As a certified B Corporation, UncommonGoods is excited about sustainability. That means more to us than just being “green”–we strive to offer products that reflect the environmental and social best-interests of everyone. So, when our makers are as concerned with sustainability as we are, we’re always eager to learn more about their process and the positive impact they’re having on the world.

While many of our makers rely on sustainable practices at one point or another in their process, we’re especially excited about those who place the wider world at the forefront of their craft–those who are making an uncommon impact.

IRC | Uncommon Impact | UncommonGoods

The International Rescue Committee is providing cash support to women-led households with the greatest need. Here, IRC staff ask a Syrian refugee about how effective she thinks the program is and whether it can be improved. | Photo: Ned Colt/IRC

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The Uncommon Life

Why it’s Better to Give with The International Rescue Committee

June 20, 2016

“The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities.                                                                                                     –The International Rescue Committee 

There’s a lot of information packed into that mission statement, and it’s difficult to actually sum up everything it means, because the organization behind it, The International Rescue Committee (IRC) does so much to help those in need. Humanitarian crises include war, natural disasters, famine, drought, and numerous other man-made and environmental tragedies. The IRC’s responses to those crises include education, vocational training, economic support, emergency medical care, and countless other programs to empower those impacted by situations they had no control over. While it’s hard to outline all of the fantastic work IRC does in a blog post, it’s less challenging to express the pride and honor we feel as we welcome them to our Better to Give program.

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Maker Stories

Inside the Caramel Sauce Kitchen with Michelle Lewis

June 15, 2016
Michelle Lewis | UncommonGoods

Michelle Lewis | UncommonGoods

I don’t know what I did to deserve the privilege of touring a commercial caramel kitchen–for work, no less. (Must be my excellent contributions to our blog.) I left home on a gorgeous, sunny day and strolled for a half-hour to a magical place where I got to taste sweet, buttery caramel sauce. Don’t hate me because my job is beautiful.

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