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Maker Stories

A Throne For Your Trinkets: Tracy Shea’s Pedestal Jewelry Holder

April 22, 2016

Tracy Shea | Pedestal Jewelry Stand | UncommonGoods

Tracy Shea remembers her first time. As a sophomore at Ohio’s Mentor High School she took a ceramics course and was instantly hooked. “From the minute I touched clay, it’s always been something I wanted to do,” she recalls.

She scored a partial scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of the Arts, but ended up accepting a full-ride to a different college. “My parents refused to pay for an art education,” she explains. “They were like, ‘You’ll never make it as an artist.’”

Fast forward three decades and the Garrettsville, Ohio mom of two spends her days making her popular Pedestal Jewelry Holder. The lace-imprinted ceramic stand — fitted with 50 holes to hang earrings — was born from a desire to display heirloom pieces passed down to her from her aunt. Eyeing her collection “drove me to think, people have stuff that they don’t necessarily want to throw in a drawer,” she says. “People collect stuff for a reason — there are emotional ties. So this is a special place to put things that are really special.” She puts her process — and her life as an artist — on display.

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Gift Guides

12 Must-Have Jewelry & Accessories Pairings To Fit Your Unique Style

December 3, 2015

When you have a unique sense of style, finding jewelry and accessories with the right amount of flair can be tricky. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our original and inspired finds, so let your funky flag fly and make a statement with our fashion-forward picks. Here are 12 quirky jewelry and accessories pairings that let you celebrate your eclectic tastes and might even start some new trends!

Beach Marble Necklace & Tie Dye Socks| UncommonGoods

Beach Marble Necklace & Tie Dye Socks

Call on your inner child for some fashion advice! Echoing a sense of playfulness and carefree style, these one-of-a-kind Beach Marble Necklaces and Tie Dye Socks are an easy way to sprinkle some color and fun into your daily ensemble.

Floral Watch Birth Month Flower Necklace|UncommonGoods

 Floral Wood Watch & Birth Month Flower Necklace

Every flower has a special meaning and no two blooms are alike. Nurture your independent sense of style with these feminine floral accessories. Pair your Birth Month Flower Necklace and Floral Wood Watch for a graceful reminder of the infinite possibilities found in nature.

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What items are you most eager to add to your inventory?

November 16, 2015

We are passionate about showcasing creative product design here at UncommonGoods. Our buyers search high and low for unique products that come complete with a compelling story behind the who, what, where, when, why, and how they are made. As we prepare for the end of year madness that is the holiday season, take a peek at what our buyers have on their wish lists for the New Year.


Megan Stickel, Assistant Buyer – Children, Desktop & Leisure

I’m looking for a variety of items to grow our children’s category. I’m particularly looking for items that inspire creative problem solving like prompt journals. Our Portachair Harness is a good example of a product that creatively solves a problem. I’m also looking for creative memory keeping ideas (e.g. storage, journals, personalized products) in addition to musical items for older kids, decor items for kids (e.g. rugs, lamps, and bedding). High on my wishlist are also science kits and DIY kits that are not mass distributed. These are particularly hard to find. Handmade games followed by interesting and accessible musical instruments are at the top of my wishlist for our leisure category. I’m also looking for arts and crafts tools/accessories (e.g. handmade knitting needles) and cool tech at accessible price points. Our Magnetic Bike Lights and DIY Smartphone Projector are good examples of what I’m looking for on the tech side.


Jamie Hoffman, Buyer – Home Decor, Garden, & Seasonal 

For our home decor category, I’m looking for creative storage solutions like bookshelves, key holders/racks and coat racks. I’m also keen on finding new bath caddies and accessories in addition to up-cycled or unique lighting (e.g. reading lamps, table lamps), and area rugs. For our garden category, I’m looking for indoor planters with personality that integrate form with function. Weather instruments (e.g. rain gauges, outdoor thermometers), wind spinners, kinetic garden sculptures, sun-catchers, birdhouses, and bird feeders also rank high on my wishlist.


NeQuana Rollings, Associate Buyer – Tabletop

Eating utensils/flatware are at the top of my wishlist in addition to everyday drinking glasses, serveware (e.g. bowls and platters), and wedding registry-friendly items.


Sharon Hitchcock, Buyer – Jewelry

Mother’s Day is a big holiday for us, so I’m definitely looking for jewelry that creatively represents motherhood or grand-motherhood. In fact, I’m looking for jewelry that celebrates women! Our Strong Women Pendant necklace is doing well, so I think this is a huge opportunity in jewelry, especially with Hillary in the running for the White House. I’m also looking for watches (men’s and women’s) with intelligent design where form meets function. The watchbands must be vegan without any PVC. Last, but certainly not least, on my most-wanted list are well-priced earrings (ideally under $50) for self-purchase that can stand alone (they don’t have to be matchy-matchy with a necklace).


Jackie Udden, Associate Buyer – Jewelry & Accessories

I’m looking for jewelry holders in various materials and functionality that are decorative, but functional. These can be in the form of ceramic, wood, or metal wall hangers and pedestals. I’d also like to expand our collection of ties. I’m looking for ties that are whimsical and intelligent and that can express someone’s personality, hobbies, interests, and profession without being too novel. I’m also keen on finding more bags. I’m looking for mostly handbags, but also bags for men in all silhouettes and price points. All bags must be 100% vegan without vinyl or PVC.


We’re only as successful as our artists and designers, so if you have a product that you think is uncommon enough to join our assortment then feel free to submit through our online form or reach out to one of our buyers.


Gift Guides

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Classic Beauty

November 2, 2015

Vintage Inspired Gifts | UncommonGoods

Do you know someone who always looks like she just walked off the set of Mad Men? She might be the spitting image of Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly, or possess the timeless grace of women like Iman or Amal Clooney. You swear that her Instagram account is recorded through a rose-colored lens. Finding a gift to suit such a regal personality isn’t easy. However, one thing we’re sure of is that true vintage appeal must incorporate an element of the uncommon, something that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. (As you might imagine, we consider that our specialty). In honor of the classic beauty in your life, we’ve rounded up our favorite finds that will stun her with elegance and panache.

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Gift Guides

Celebrate Sisterhood – Gift Picks for Your Sis

July 31, 2015

Gifts for Sisters

Sister can mean the one who was born into your immediate family or the “sister” who is your closest friend. Sisters are the ones that nurture you, support you, and laugh and grow with you. Any way around it, you’re definitely more than a little similar, probably look a bit alike, and have definitely gotten on each other’s nerves a few times.

In honor of Sister’s Day – August 2nd – we’ve put together a collection of our favorite gifts for the world’s best sister. Sister’s Day is a day to surprise your sister with something special – or meet up with your girlfriends for a night out! But most of all, it’s a time to simply enjoy each other’s company, which doesn’t require a special day. Whether she’s younger, older, or not even officially related to you, we’re sure you’ll find something she’ll love.


Gifts for Women | UncommonGoods

Big Gifts For Little Sis
Your little sister is someone who looks up to you (and helped teach you to be someone to look up to), taught you how to be patient (despite driving you a little crazy), and inspires you to be responsible (and have some fun while doing it). Her oh-so dramatic entrance into your family may have changed the dynamic a bit, but she’s a gift deserving of being spoiled with a great gift of your own. She’ll love it!



Because her presence in your life is simply invaluable. No matter where the next years take you and what changes occur, you’ll always have a special connection that will never break. | Connected Hearts Necklace


No matter which one of you was icier towards the other from time to time during the occasional spat, she’ll love the cute decor! | Ice Pops


Now that she’s old enough to appreciate some personal space, she’d appreciate the Door Harp as an added seal against pesky little intruders… even though you suffered the hard way when she was littler: “Ugh, get out of my room!”


No matter if she’s a tea lover, coffee guzzler, or she’s still sticking with hot cocoa, the Zenguin Mugs are a cute and witty appeal to your mutual need to chill from time to time.


Whether she’s young enough to curl up next to you as you read along or she’s been reading legal briefs for a few years (but you read author Laura Numeroff’s If Your Give a Mouse a Cookie  with her as a kid), she’s sure to appreciate the adorable sentiment of What Big Sister Does Best (customizeable with the name of big sis!).


The Bedside Smartphone Vase celebrates the person you’ve helped her blossom into while giving her a place to dock the smartphone your parents definitely let her get at an earlier age than you.


Even though she’s a different beast, you’ve learned to each find your niche and rely on each other for support – your relationship is, in a word, Symbiotic.


 Sister, Sister!
Maybe you were actually born on the same day, or maybe you’re just close enough in age that people can’t believe you’re not twins. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to let her know you’re happy to have her by your side with one of these sweet gifts. 


You are Beautiful | UncommonGoods

Because no one can be told too many times. | You Are Beautiful

Butterfly Puddler | UncommonGoods

You spent mornings fighting over the bathroom when you were kids. The Morning Glory Butterfly Puddler is a great way to tell her that you appreciate that time she let you have the first shower. (After all, waking up to fluttering butterflies in the garden is much more fun than waking up to find that someone’s already used all the hot water.)

Wine Pairing Towel Set | UncommonGoods

You two already make a great pairing, but this Wine Pairing Towel Set ensures that the wine and food selections you choose to enjoy during your hangout time are equally well coordinated.

Seven Sister's Necklace | UncommonGoods

This stellar necklace depicts the “seven sisters” astral collection, inspired by Greek Mythology. They’ll keep it close, so they’ll never seem light-years away. | Seven Sisters Necklace


The macaron is pretty close to perfect. It’s colorful, sweet, and there’s nothing else quite like it. Does that sound like someone you know?  | Les Macarons II

You Help Me Grow Planter | UncommonGoods

The You Help Me Grow Planter is a great way to let her know you appreciate all of the seeds of inspiration she’s planted in your life.


 A Sister is a Forever Friend Necklace | UncommonGoods

Nothing beats one of those sisterly heart-to-heart talks, but if a busy life has you behind on bonding moments, you can sum up what you want to say in a single line: A Sister Is A Forever Friend.


She’s Got It All
Your big sister is someone to look up to. She helped you become the person you are today. Be it her graduation, a new job, an engagement, or the birth of a child, you’re looking for a way to express how proud you are of her. Restorative, elegant, and sentimental, any of these gifts are sure to do just that – and give you a leg up to make up for all those times you had to (literally) look up to her.


An excellent way to catch the attention of your ever-reading book-lover of a sister. She’ll get her nose out of the pages at the scent of one of the Literary Candles – themed to the scent of a favorite novel – before returning afresh with new olfactory inspiration.


Artfully crafted, these alluring, colorful coasters are made from Brazilian agate rock under a philosophy of bringing elements of nature closer to the everyday home. | Agate Coasters – Set of 4

Sisters Globe | UncommonGoods

This radiant Recycled Glass Tree Globe molds shattered glass into a timeless symbol of your relationship with your sister. Even if things have broken in the past, the tree encapsulated inside the globe voices the impervious and always-growing nature of your relationship.


Reminiscent of memories of summer playtime, the Dandelion Paperweight captures a fleeting moment with your sister forever  in a beautiful glass sphere.


Celebrating Matisse’s artistic adage, this print is a reminder to always look for beauty and inspiration in your life – else you won’t see it. With a sister in your life, there are always flowers to be seen. | There Are Always Flowers


Perfect for leavening up the kitchen decor, this Baking Duo Embroidery Hoop Art is a callback to childhood memories of baking with your sister – the true baking duo.


Spritz up your sis’ routine with this collection of therapeutic-grade essential oils, aromatic medleys, and pleasant vibes. Each scent is hand-blended and suited for a specific place in your sister’s daily routine. | Aromatherapy Deluxe Gift Set


You’ve always put her on a pedestal. Let her put her earrings, necklaces, and more on the Pedestal Jewelry Holder.

Garden in a Can | UncommonGoods

She watched you grow up and took care of you when you needed a little help along the way. After that, watching the Garden in a Can grow into fresh herbs will be easy peasy. (Or should we say easy leaves-y?)


Love You Like A Sister
So, you’re not technically siblings. Big deal! She’s been there for you through thick and thin, and that makes her family in your book. Celebrate your sister from another mister with a gift that says, “thanks for sticking around, even though you totally didn’t have to.”


For a classic brunch date, you and your de facto sis reach for the tomato juice, vodka, and horseradish to make spicy, savory Bloody Marys, made intuitive by Alyson Thomas’ graphic representation of the classic eye-opener. | Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware


She’ll love the vibrant cherry blossoms delicately shed from the tree evoked in this beautiful spring scene. | Cherry Blossom Snow Globe

See Myself In You | UncommonGoods

They say opposites attract, but you and your “sister” see everything the same way. The I See Myself In You Pendant offers a simple, reflective expression of the affinity between both sisters and best friends – one in the same in your case. | I See Myself In You Pendant

Love Grows Here

If a relationship is a living thing, none is more vibrant and healthy than what the two of you have. The Love Grows Here Terrarium acts as a microcosmic manifestation of that relationship – lush, living greenery encapsulated in a stylish jar – complete with a customizable figure holding the sign “I <3 You.” | Love Grows Here Terrarium

Butterfly Spikes | UncommonGoods

She’s always willing to help you see the bright side of any situation. Help her see some brightly colored butterflies. | Butterfly Attracting Garden Spikes

When Life Gives You Lemons | UncommonGoods

When Life Gives You Lemons, you make lemonade, so it’s only natural that when life throws a great gal your way, she becomes an honorary inductee to your family. | When Life Gives You Lemons by Jodi Kostelnik

Four Seasons | UncommonGoods

In the yearlong cycle from Winter, to Spring, to Summer, to Fall, the only constant seems to be that you’re perennially drawn to each other’s company. The Four Seasons Necklace celebrates the unique beauty of her favorite season while embodying the spirit that keeps you as close as sisters.


Treat Yo Sis 
Maybe she’s always been the most industrious of the litter and she deserves an aromatic day of restorative relaxation – or maybe she’s always been the spoiled one. (And you’re fine with that. Heck, you’ve helped do the spoiling.) Either way, treat your sister to a set of scrubs and spreads or a centerpiece for quiet reflection.



Perfect if a hot cup of aromatic goodness is her quickest route to serenity, the Green Tea Herbal Kit includes nine herbs and three varieties of eco-certified, organic green tea from Japan, India, and Sri Lanka. Plus, it puts the tea in sisTer.


Flavor Infuser Water Bottle | UncommonGoods

Show your sis that it is possible to indulge without throwing health out the window. | Flavor Infuser Water Bottle



Bring the spa right to her and treat her with the works – she deserves it! The Spa Experience Tin boasts “farm fresh,” all natural approaches to revitalization with ingredients like goat’s milk, lavender, truffles, and whipped shea cream.

Check out our gift lab so see a member of our team see just how spa-worthy the tin is!


If she’s shea obsessed, indulge her in the Shea Butter Gift Set. Each blend of soothing salve is hand blended and contains all natural ingredients – and an especially high shea content for an extra smooth finish.


Inspired by the ancient Indian theory of acupressure, this mat and pillow supply the perfect amount of pressure that releases endorphins similar to those we receive after an intense workout. If not for providing a bit of productive pressure, what are sisters for? | Acupressure Mat and Pillow

Thumb Waterer | UncommonGoods


Is her garden her happy place? Let sis take tending to her flowers to another level of tranquility with the Thumb Waterer and it will be almost like her troubles are washing away in the rain.


Sisters nurture each other as lifelong sources of inspiration and encouragement, and this attractive journal is a place to ground those feelings. The journal itself is motivating, made from  thin strips of sustainable-sourced alder wood engraved with the message “Do What You Love, Love What You Do.” | Do What You Love Wooden Journal


This low-tech tablet allows your zen-seeking sister to peacefully reflect on thoughts before they disappear into the sands of time. | Meditation Box 



Gift Guides

Better Than Brunch: Creative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

April 26, 2015

Better Than Brunch: Creative Mother's Day Gifts | UncommonGoods

There’s one day a year that’s dedicated to all moms; this year, May 10 is that day. Mother’s Day may be a nation-wide holiday to honor the women who raised us, but that certainly doesn’t mean that there’s one gift that’s perfect for every mom. (OK, so maybe most moms are into the whole traditional Mother’s Day brunch thing, but who doesn’t love celebratory food? Treating her to pancakes is just a start.)

We rounded up all kinds of creative gift ideas to help you give mom a gift as unique as she is this year.

2015 Mother's Day Gift Ideas | UncommonGoods

Give Mom a Moment

Remember when you were a kid and you watched your mom balance what seemed like a million tasks at once? Whether she was picking you up from soccer practice on her way home from a long day at work or changing your little brother’s diapers while hoping the pot on the stove didn’t boil over in the 30 seconds she wasn’t looking, it’s likely that mom had very few moments to herself. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s not guaranteed that her life has slowed down any, but at least you can give her a gift that encourages her to remember to take a moment for herself every now and then.


Spa Experience Tin | Uncommongoods


Mom deserves to be pampered, and the Spa Experience Tin has just what it takes. Complete with Lavender Goat’s Milk Bath Tea, Bath Truffle, Wedding Cake Whispered Shea Crème, and Hint of Mint Lip Balm, this pretty package will transform her next soak into a relaxing retreat.

Meditation Box | UncommonGoods

There was a time when mom probably told you not to track sand into the house. While your dirty shoes used to stress mom out, this sand will do just the opposite. | Meditation Box

Tea Bag Pocket Mug | UncommonGoods

A hot cup of tea can be a nice start to a laid back afternoon or the perfect ending to a busy day. Either way, it’s even better when it’s drip-covered saucer free. | Tea Bag Pocket Mug

Green Tea Kit | UncommonGoods

Take tea time tranquility even further with the Green Herbal Tea Kit.  (Nine herbs and three types of tea further, to be more specific.)

New Mom

Whether you’re shopping for a brand new mother, or a mother who is just getting to know her second or third newborn, these mementos will help her celebrate the journey ahead!

Birthstone Wishing Balls | UncommonGoods


Mom can’t control everything that happens in her baby’s future, but she will always be wishing for the absolute best. Each shimmering ball of hand-blown glass comes with 52 tiny slips of paper for her to pause once a week throughout the year and record a message of hope or gratitude. | Birthstone Wishing Balls


Sterling Silver Teething Keepsake Necklace | UncommonGoods

We all know that newborns are excited to touch everything, both with their mouths and hands! So why not get jewelry that mom and baby can cherish? The cold sterling silver ring soothes baby’s teething gums, while a gentle rattling sound keeps babies entertained. | Sterling Silver Teething Keepsake Necklace 

Birthstone Definition Necklace | UncommonGoods

Did you know that the gemstones we associate with our birthmonths were also believed by the mystics to carry special meanings and even supernatural powers? Any new Mom needs all the super powers she can get! (Find out what her little one’s birthstone means here.) | Birthstone Definition Necklace 

I Heart You, Mom

There are so many ways to say I love you, but how many ways can you show her? 

A Mother's Love is Beyond Measure Spoon Set | UncommonGoods

Because a mother’s love is like a spoonful of sugar, the best kind of medicine! | A Mother’s Love is Beyond Measure Spoon Set 

What I Love About Mom By Me Book | UncommonGoods

It might be impossible to count all the ways, but this book will give you a great start. (Don’t forget to share the love with Grandma!) | What I Love About Mom By Me Book

Heart Book Box | UncommonGoods

This surprise will be sure to make this a Mother’s Day for the books! | Heart Book Box


What The Future Holds Love Locket | UncommonGoods

Whatever the future holds, this pendant will always keep your love close to her heart. | What The Future Holds Love Locket

The Art of Motherhood

We probably don’t have to tell you that parenting is a pretty tough job. It’s certainly not an exact science, but it might be a bit of an art form. Show your mama that you admire her colorful personality, creative problem solving, and technical expertise with a bit of art appreciation.

Bouquet by Wendy Gold | UncommonGoods

Flowers on Mother’s Day will make mom smile. Wendy Gold’s Bouquet will ensure that that smile is from ear to ear.

The Last Slice | UncommonGoodsIt may be true that no one knows how to bake a pie quite like mom, but artist Kendyll Hillegas is a pro when it comes to painting them. (Learn more about the artist here.) | The Last Slice

You Are Beautiful | UncommonGoods

Your mom is beautiful. Don’t let her forget it! | You Are Beautiful by Matthew Hoffman

Earth Mother

For the mothers who nurture Mother Earth, these picks will be sure to make their hearts bloom even brighter.

Birds and Bloom State Pillow | UncommonGoods

Just because you’ve left the nest doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the flora and fauna of mom’s home. | Birds and Blooms Pillows – Individual States

Pocket Wall Vases | UncommonGoods

It turns out that there are many beautiful perks to being a wallflower. | Pocket Wall Vases

Dandelion Paperweight | UncommonGoods

That moment when you make a wish and blow a dried dandelion into a thousand little pieces | Dandelion Paperweight

Pottery Birdhouse | UncommonGoods

Remember when mom used to read you stories about princesses who would get dressed in the morning with the help of beautiful hummingbirds? Well, you might not be able to bring her fairy tales to life, but you can give her favorite birds somewhere to sing. | Pottery Birdhouse

Strawberry Windowsill Growbox | UncommonGoods

A stretch of window sill, abundant sun, and a little patience are all mom needs to celebrate the fruit of her labors. | Strawberry Windowsill Growbox

Do It Herselfer 

For the Pinterest-loving, get-her-hands-dirty, jump-right-in kinda mom who is always up for a DIY challenge.

Himalayan Salt Foot Care Set | UncommonGoods

Because no matter what, mom is always putting her best foot forward. | Himalayan Salt Foot Care Set



With only a few DIY components, Mom can create an efficient device to monitor when the family’s toilet paper inventory is running low, amongst other applications. Need we say more? | Modular Smart Home Kit 


Keep calm and knit on! | Birdie Yarn Bowl Knitting Kit

Nerdy Mom

Maybe she loves sci-fi or is always the first in line for the latest gadget. Maybe she’s ever on the lookout for another piece of great literature to add to her home library or the newest research on her favorite area of study. Whatever her preferred form of geekdom, she’ll be happy to see that she raised you to show nerd pride AND great taste.

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods


Mom’s more of a literati than a fashionista (and proud of it!). Let her show off her classic style with a Literary Scarf printed with pages from one of her favorite classic books.

Smartphone Vase | UncommonGoodsIt’s easy to add a little nature to her tech-filled world, even if your thoroughly modern mommy likes to keep her smartphone nearby on her nightstand or end table. | Bedside Smartphone Vase

Zodiac Embroidery Hoop Art | UncommonGoods


Mom is the brightest star on Mother’s Day, but she’s OK with sharing the sky with the constellations. | Zodiac Embroidery Hoop Art


Silver Solar System Necklace | UncommonGoods

If your science-loving mom is the first to jump in on any discussion about Pluto’s declassification, she’ll love this Sterling Silver Solar System Necklace. The “ninth planet” is present in this pretty line-up of celestial charms, making it an uncommon way to spark conversations about Pluto’s fate.

Mom Who Has It All

Whether mom is the most stylish person you know, or the most beloved hostess there is, these conversation starters won’t fail to impress!

Porcelain Bird Bud Vases | UncommonGoods

Whether or not she has it all, the last thing any mom wants to have is a water leak to clean up. This beautifully designed vase always ensures a beautiful, leak-free presentation! | Porcelain Bird Bud Vase 


Bridging the worlds of fashion accessory and art canvas, this is the piece mom didn’t even know she was missing. | Manhattan Bridge Scarf

Recycled Glass Elephant Night Light | UncommonGoods

Because she’ll always protect you and your herd, no matter what. | Recycled Glass Elephants Night Light 

Bread and Butterfly Serving Board | UncommonGoods

A party accessory that will be sure to make her heart flutter. | Bread & Butter(fly) Serving Board

Because You Treasure Her

Giving mom a bracelet or necklace might seem a little old school at first, but these new pieces put a unique twist on traditional Mother’s jewelry.

Sea Glass Sterling Clasp Bracelet | UncommonGoods

The phrase “I’m turning into my mother” gets a bad wrap, but it can be a good thing. Show her that you’re glad to be two of a kind with a Sea Glass Sterling Clasp Bracelet featuring two beautiful pieces of found sea glass.


 Silver Dreamcatcher Pendant | UncommonGoods

Thank mom for encouraging you to always follow your dreams with a piece to help her catch hers. | Silver Dream Catcher Pendant 

Mother BirdFamily Necklace | UncommonGoodsYour mama bird took care of  you for a long time before you left the nest. Now you’ve spread your wings, but you’ll never fly too far away. | Mother Bird Family Necklace

My Lucky Stars Necklace | UncommonGoods

You thank your lucky stars to have such a fantastic mother. We bet she feels the same way about you. | My Lucky Stars Necklace 


See More Gifts Mom Will Love!


Maker Stories

Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza: Out-of-this World Fashion

March 17, 2015

Inspired and entranced by the breathtaking splendor of outer space, Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza bring the marvels of the universe down to Earth in the form of interstellar accessories. The makers met while attending Parsons the New School for Design in New York and bonded over their captivation with the cosmos and their passion for fashion. Although Ali is from Caracas, Venezuela, and Ximena is from Mexico City, after graduating they set up shop in Brooklyn where they design unique textiles that take their cues from the majesty and mystery of the universe.

Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza | UncommonGoods

The self-proclaimed “space-crazed” duo explore the vast archive of images captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This invaluable astronomical tool orbits outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere, capturing high-resolution photographs that have led to many breakthroughs in astrophysics. Some of these luminous shots, such as the phases of the moon, were snapped close to home, while others that capture stellar celestial bodies and vast networks of gas clouds thousands of light years away offer us a deep view into space and time.

Hubble Telescope Milky Way Scarf | UncommonGoods

 Hubble Telescope Milky Way Scarf


Ali and Ximena say that working with these incredible views of space is the most rewarding part of their process. “These are very special and beautiful images and we are grateful to be able to work with them,” they say. After preparing the photographs digitally for printing, the designers apply the imagery to feather-light wool gauze scarves that are cut and finished by hand.

The starry-eyed pair is committed to sourcing their materials and producing everything in their home base of the Big Apple. “We always make sure that our materials are of the best quality we can get,” they say. “Most people are very impressed by the quality and vibrancy of our prints.”

Designing the Milkyway Scarf

Though they may have lofty ambitions, they also say that they’ll never forget their earthly beginnings and aim to remain environmentally conscious. They employ a waste-saving technique, carefully designing every accessory to make the most of every inch of fabric, leaving next to nothing for the landfill.

Maker Stories

Wrapped Up in a Good Book: Tori Tissell’s Literary Scarves

October 20, 2014

Tori Tissell | UncommonGoods

It doesn’t take much exposition to connect literature and art. Artist Tori Tissell fuses both with fashionable flair in her literary scarves. Full of storybook charm, they harken back to Tori’s days as a budding artist. “Some of my earliest memories are from the age of three years old when I was painting in watercolors,” says Tori, “there’s a video recording of me being asked what I want to be when I grow up–my answer was an artist.”

This passion continued into adulthood, landing Tori as a drawing and painting major before deciding to move to New York City to study fashion design. “I thought that outlet would allow for a wider audience and quicker reception of my work and ideas.” Tori was right, and after being stumped for Christmas gift ideas during the 2011 holiday season, she decided to use her education and passion for screen printing, fashion, and literature to create something memorable for family and friends. “Since those closest to me also have an affinity towards reading, [book-inspired scarves] seemed like the perfect solution for gifts and possibly more.”

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods

Tori sourced some fabric for the scarves and found a rich cream-colored knit. With this new material, she was inspired to print the scarves to resemble the page of a book. After the scarves were a hit, Tori began selecting other book texts to be screen-printed. “Initially books and passages were picked by what I favor and some of that will always hold true but lately we’ve been getting a lot of additional input,” says Tori. From Alice in Wonderland to Jane Eyre, each scarf showcases a window into a world of storybook magic.

Tori working on a Literary Scarf

Tori’s husband Chris became a part of the project when they got married in 2012. The scarves had really started taking off, and he began helping with screen printing, sourcing, and streamlining production. “By the end of that year, he was practically a full time employee on top of his other job as a computer programmer.”

Tori and Chris work out of a few spaces in Portland. “My workspace is a bit of a joke,” says Tori, “Chris is the one with a beautifully painted office, complete with overflowing bookshelves, leather furniture, and artifacts from past travels. My office is continually on the move. I either print pieces within our rented studio space in downtown Portland, or I cut and sew fabric on our dining room table.”

Tori and Chris

Wherever she happens to be working, Tori keeps pieces of inspiration handy. One such piece is the print cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, signed by the artist. This is one of many hints at her love of reading, a passion that perfectly enhances her art. Another source of inspiration can be found within. “I think it’s really important for an artist to surround oneself with his or her own work because taking on new illustrations is terrifying. It’s comforting to see what’s already been overcome and to be reminded that you can do this.”

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods

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