Gift Guides

Gifts for Teens: 20 Cool Gifts for People Under 20

October 21, 2016

More than any other age group, teenagers go through a crazy roller coaster of changes. Once they bid farewell to the “little kid” years, they really start to explore who they are, who they’re not, and who they want to become. They are on a constant quest to find a voice (and, perhaps, the #perfecthashtag). We think this period of self-discovery is really awesome. Here at UncommonGoods, we’re all about encouraging individuality. So we hand-selected 20 of our coolest items for the savvy, curious, flourishing and fun-loving teens in your life. These gifts will not only be Instagram worthy keepsakes, but also little stamps of uniqueness during this holiday season and beyond.

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

Uncommon Impact: Sending Light and Love with the SolarPuff

October 17, 2016
SolarPuffs lighting the way

All images and videos courtesy of Solight Designs ™

Some of us take light for granted. The sun goes down, we flip a switch, and our homes are flooded with an electric-energy-fueled sunshine substitute. But for the 1.6 billion people in the world without access to electricity, it’s not that easy.

In many areas around the globe, kerosene is used in place of electricity. Kerosene, like gasoline, is a fossil fuel made from petroleum. It’s expensive, it has to be burned to create energy, and burning it creates air pollution. Unfortunately, many families don’t have access to any other source of light. That makes cooking, studying, or even seeing the face of the loved one sitting right across the room impossible without the aid of kerosine lamps. Use of these lamps can be dangerous. They get hot, they send soot into the air, and in some cases, they even use open flames.

Aiming to bring a safe, clean alternative to kerosene to those living by lamplight, product designer, architect, and Professor of Design and Material Culture at Parsons the New School of Design, Alice Min Soo Chun developed the SolarPuff™— an inexpensive, collapsible light powered by the sun.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Will Using an Updated Instant Camera Be a Snap?

October 14, 2016
Instant Camera Gift Lab
Research

As a photographer I’ve played with all kinds of cameras, from high-end digital cameras to dollar store 35mm, and Polaroids are no exception. So when I saw that the classic Polaroid camera has been re-imagined for the digital age with the I-1 Analog Instant Camera, I knew I had to test it out. With a trip to London and Paris coming up, I had the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Hygge: a Hug’s Danish Cousin

October 13, 2016

Hygge Collection | UncommonGoods

A hot bowl of homemade porridge for breakfast; a leisurely bike ride past warm, welcoming shops; a fresh pot of tea shared with an old friend; the comforting glow of candles—lots of candles. All of these things are hallmarks of hygge, an essential ingredient of life in Denmark. Though it has no tidy translation in English, some etymologists think it’s a distant Danish cousin of the word hug, an association encouraged by the cozy, comforting essence of both words. It may be hard for English speakers to pronounce (try “hyoo-gah”), but it’s not so hard to attain. The new Little Book of Hygge offers pointers on the Danish way to live well, while Morley College in London has started teaching hygge along with their Danish language instruction. But hygge isn’t just about warm, fuzzy feelings—it’s central to Denmark’s status as the happiest country in the world. That’s right, Denmark is consistently crowned the #1 country for happiness, according to the UN’s official World Happiness Report. And if it’s not too much of an oxymoron, the Danes are serious about their happiness. Just ask the staff of the Happiness Research Institute of Copenhagen. With chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire season just around the corner, we offer this cozy collection of uncommon goods that can help you mix more hygge into your home and lifestyle, whether you live in Copenhagen or Corpus Christi.

25321_mainnordiclights

You might say that hygge is part of the Scandinavian landscape: serene stands of fir and birch, mossy forest floors dotted with red-capped mushrooms that might just be gnomes out of the corner of your eye…Our Nordic Tea Light Trough lends a soothing alpine glow to your decor. 

Continue Reading…

Design, The Uncommon Life

Home Run Beer Pong:
A Design Double Header

October 10, 2016

Home Run Beer Pong

 

Ah, two of America’s greatest pastimes: playing baseball and crushin’ brewskis. Our ever-innovative product development team had the genius idea to combine them in our latest original product: Home Run Beer Pong. When our team is working on something new for our assortment, they typically need some guinea pigs to test it out – and lucky for us on the blog squad, people to document the process! I’ll admit, I’m no sports expert. But since I have played a fair amount of beer pong in my day, I figured I was qualified enough to tackle the reporting of this product-testing event while Cassie, our blog editor, handled the photos.

Allow me to set the scene for you. It all went down in Conference Room A-2 – the table free of it’s usual keyboards and mouse pads, instead replaced with a mini paper baseball diamond (the real game has a board, not just a sheet of paper – remember we were product testing). Our single can of Canada Dry was cracked and ready, and our two opposing teams were eager to show off their baseball playing, soda slugging skills. Another disclaimer: the real game is meant to be played with beer, obviously, but we were playing at 11 AM on a Thursday and we only had the conference room booked for an hour, so we kept it low-key. But, you’re free to chug ginger ale instead if that’s what you’re into.

From left: Team Ken (Red Team), Team Craig and Jackie (Blue Team)

Let’s meet the players. We had many statistical minds on the field/conference table, including two whole Kens! Ken “The Elder” is our Data Scientist, and Ken “The Younger” (also known as “Yung Ken” in some underground rap circles) is our Jr. Data Scientist. They obviously formed a team. Team Ken. AKA the Red Team. Next up is Craig, our Data Analyst, and Jackie, our PR Intern who did double duty slugging it out and documenting the process on the UGoods Insta. Craig and Jackie don’t have the same name (bummer) but still made a fine Blue Team.

After a brief review of the rules from the brains behind it all, Senior Product Developer Tiffany, the game commenced.

Continue Reading…

Pin It on Pinterest