Gift Guides

Our Guide to 25th Anniversary Gifts: Silver Linings

August 18, 2017

Did you hear? In honor of your 25th anniversary, the traditional and modern anniversary gift lists have laid down their arms and signed, at long last, a peace treaty, meaning that for once they agree on what you’re supposed to give: silver. On a serious note, congratulations on a full 25 years of wedded bliss! A quarter-century of togetherness is nothing to shake a stick at, and you should be proud of your collective achievement. To celebrate, we here at UG sifted through our vast assortment of goodies and picked out ten of our favorite silver items, which range from solid sterling animals to fully customized pairs of cufflinks. Check each of ’em out below.

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Maker Stories

Takeoffs and Landings: A Conversation with Jerry Moran

August 15, 2017

Although we know him best for his handcrafted accessories, Colorado creator Jerry Moran is much more than just a jeweler. For much of his adult life, in fact, Jerry was a self-described “ordinary guy” working in the aerospace industry, getting up close and personal with planes—not necklaces—on an everyday basis. Now Jerry pays tribute to his beloved aircraft by crafting his goods from their disused parts, giving retired planes otherwise primed for destruction an opportunity to brighten the lives of jewelry enthusiasts and aircraft aficionados alike.

To celebrate the induction of a selection of Jerry’s wares into our growing assortment, we engaged him and his wife, Mary, in a brief back-and-forth, digging deeper into the details of what drives him to create (and how he got started on jewelry in the first place). Read on for more on Jerry’s fascinating background, including an account of the pair of earrings that started it all, plus a few words of wisdom courtesy of—surprise—rugby.

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Gift Guides

Our Guide to 20th Anniversary Gifts: Three Cheers for China

August 14, 2017

Give us a two! Give us a zero! What’s that? Two-zero, otherwise known as 20! Congrats on making it through two decades of partnership, complete with highs and lows. How, according to tradition, should we celebrate your 20th anniversary? With gifts made from china, of course. We scoured the depths of UncommonGoods for our finest porcelain offerings, coming up with ten favorites that cover a good chunk of ground, from geometric serving sets to Zen-inspired decor. Read on for our top picks, plus one item featuring this year’s modern material, platinum.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How Well Does the Bard Dispense Profanity?

August 10, 2017

Our copywriter, Eric, checks out some Shakespeare silliness.

There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy

Having played a certain infamous, misanthropic card game a few times, I was curious about whether our Shakespearean version—Bards Dispense Profanity (BDP)—would provide a similar level of smutty, giggle-inducing fun. Or would it be a tedious, highbrow take on a very lowbrow phenomenon? Only one way to find out.

This report is inspired by our long-running Gift Lab series, but I took some poetic license with the scientific method. After all, Will would want it that way.

Now, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

 

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Gift Guides

Our Guide to 15th Anniversary Gifts: Crystal Clear

August 10, 2017

We’ve tried to be as faithful as we can so far to the original intent of the traditional list, but with the 15th anniversary, it’s proven just a tiny bit tough. Though the type of crystal you’re really supposed to look for this year is crystal glass, otherwise known as lead glass (eek!), we’ve stretched the truth a little and included all kinds of crystals in our 15th anniversary gift guide, from quartz to Himalayan pink salt. Read on for our top crystalline picks, including jewelry, mugs, and soaps, plus one watch for our modern crew.

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Maker Stories

Meet Lee Ann Jones, Winner of the 2017 JCK Tucson Design Challenge

August 9, 2017

Photo by Josh Huskin

Back in February, UncommonGoods partnered with jewelry industry authority JCK on the second annual JCK Tucson design challenge, pitting emerging jewelry designers against one another in (fun, friendly) competition. After much deliberation, our panel of judges—which included UncommonGoods Jewelry Buyer Sharon Hitchcock and Paula Lee, Accessories Editor for O, the Oprah Magazine—settled upon a winner whose designs embodied the spirit of creativity and fine craftsmanship we value here at UG. Jewelry lovers, meet Lee Ann Jones, winner of the 2017 design challenge and founder of the Lee Jones Collection.

Lee Ann’s winning design.

A former lawyer turned full-time jewelry designer based in San Antonio, Texas, Lee Ann blew us away with her Diamond Fairy Dust Necklace. (Trust us, there’s been a whole lot of ooh-ing and ahh-ing over her samples here at the office.) Masterfully crafted from 14k gold, Lee Ann’s winning adjustable necklace incorporates two tiny cylinders “dusted” with diamonds, one hidden discreetly at the nape of the neck. Elegant, subtle, and—best of all—sparkly, Lee Ann’s winning piece is now available for purchase at UncommonGoods, along with her equally stunning Double Heart Diamond Necklace, which features diamond-studded hearts in place of her winning work’s cylinders.

To celebrate her win and welcome her to the UncommonGoods family, we spoke with Lee Ann about her history as a jewelry designer, what inspires her, and more. Read on for her answers to our questions, and—as a bonus—some pictures of her very cute dog.

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The Uncommon Life

Bursting the Bubble: Why We’re Ditching Inflated Plastic Packing Material

August 8, 2017

There are a lot of businesses that solely focus on profit… but we’re not one of them. Of course, we do need to make a profit to succeed as a business. But it’s also important to us that in everything we do, we use our business as a force for good. That means having a positive impact on people and our planet–and continuing to make the changes that will help us do more good. 

Thanks to your feedback and our partners at Emerald Brand, a company specializing in revolutionary eco-friendly products, we are officially ditching inflated plastic packing material. While those little air-filled plastic bubbles might be fun to pop, they’re not exactly environmentally friendly. We’re excited to announce that your goods will now be shipped using Emerald Brand paper-based packing material made with 80 percent post-consumer fibers, which is not only recyclable, but also compostable. 

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kelly Decker

August 7, 2017

There’s something undeniably satisfying about uncovering a bit of buried treasure, even if that only means digging up a hunk of broken dinnerware in your backyard. Thanks to Kelly Decker, though, whose Hidden Crystal Candles are now available in three scents at UncommonGoods, you don’t even have to get your hands dirty anymore. All you need to unearth a special treat is one of her long-lasting candles made from 100% American-grown soy wax (hand-poured by the maker in California), which melt down over the course of their 5o hour burn time to reveal one of three hidden stones. Each stone has its own special meaning: rose quartz, symbolizing love; moonstone, signifying good luck; or amethyst, representing spiritual growth and healing.

Here at UncommonGoods, we like to take the time to welcome our newest makers to the fold, and Kelly is no exception. Read on to learn a bit more about what inspires her—and where she keeps her own special crystals, other than tucked inside candles, of course.

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