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new york city

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Rebekah Krikke

October 22, 2015


Rebekah Krikke, Assistant Production Manager, Product Development

My hometown…
A hybrid of central Illinois and Kobe, Japan.

I’m inspired by…
Long walks, new perspectives, gratitude, and the color orange.

What I love about Product Development is…
Seeing a product take form as it moves from concept to reality.

When I’m not at work, I’m usually….
Exploring random neighborhoods in New York, relaxing at home with my husband, or being “productive” at a local coffee shop.

My favorite place to bring out-of-towners is…
Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I’m most looking forward to _______ this summer.
Going to my first Indian Wedding in Bangkok.

An uncommon fact about me is….
I studied Japanese tea ceremony for a few years in high school. I love green tea, so much so that my family named our Boston Terrier “Matcha.”

If I could put my desk anywhere in the world it would be…
An ocean view office where you can hear the waves from your desk and go on occasional swim breaks for inspiration.

My favorite uncommon good is…
Our Personalized New York City subway signs.

The Uncommon Life

Mapping Manhattan Contest Details

January 1, 2014

Mapping Manhattan Contest DetailsBecky Cooper’s Mapping Manhattan Project is not yet complete. She wants you to illustrate your special New York story in a map so her project can grow, and doing so could earn you a copy of her book and a framed print of your choice. Here’s how to participate:

1. Print out the blank map.
2. Illustrate your unique New York story.
3. Say that ten times fast.
4. Mail your completed map to Becky by May 31, 2014.

Becky Cooper
PO Box 302
New York, NY 10163

Becky will choose her favorite illustration and the UncommonGoods Social Media team will contact the winner in early June.

Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Emilie Shapiro

August 5, 2013

Jewelry designer Emilie Shapiro | UncommonGoods


I would definitely consider it love at first sight. The moment I saw the ragged edges and claw-like setting of the Raw Gemstone Necklaces, I knew I wanted to meet the designer. (And get one for myself.) So I invited myself to her Long Island City office and studio for a meeting.

Whenever I meet one of our incredible artists, I try to find similarities between myself and these seemingly normal people making extraordinary things. Our artists can make us all feel so much from a necklace or a wine glass that it makes me wonder if there is some super-human element they possess. Finding a common ground might indicate some greatness within myself. So I always look for a connection.

With Emilie Shapiro, it’s the love of treasures -digging through her rock and shell collection, hunting for pieces in her grandmother’s jewelry box, rediscovering something others have overlooked and bringing it all back to her worktable to create something new – that keeps her ticking. I too share her love of found objects and breathing new life into them.

Meet Emilie, lover of found objects and handmade jewelry designer.

Emilie's essential tools | UncommonGoods

What are your most essential tools?
I absolutely could not live without my stone collection. It’s something I’ve been working on since I was about 3 and picked up my first seashell (my first business was selling painted seashells on the beach), and then moved on to rocks and crystals. I have stones, minerals, shells, bones and wood from all over the world!

Where do you find inspiration within this space?
I have a lot of treasures in my studio that I’ve collected throughout my life. From simple things that I find on the street or beach, to beautiful pictures of my grandmother, mother and niece. I think you define what is precious in your own life – whether it’s a piece of coral you found washed up on the beach or a ring made of brass and rough gemstones. Someone designed it, but the beholder defines the meaning.

Emilie's studio | UncommonGoodsEmilie's studio | UncommonGoods

Where does down time fit into a day in the studio?
We take lunch really seriously around here! I love to cook so I like to bring food for my assistant, Chrissy, to spice up our work day. We’re both pretty excited about my CSA this summer. This week I made pesto with kale and garlic scapes – it was delicious!

What was the toughest lessons you learned as a young designer starting a business?
Trust your instincts, because they’re usually right.

You are your best advertisement – wear your work because you never know who you’ll meet!

Act professional, then you’ll be treated professional.

Always look people in the eyes when you speak.

Life is to short to work with unkind people. There are a lot of good people in the world, sometimes you have to take the time to find each other.

Emilie's rock collection | UncommonGoods

What advice would you offer the you of 5 years ago?
5 years ago I was entering my Senior year at Syracuse University feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders – who was I going to apprentice for? Would I work for a larger fashion company? Would I head back to Florence and continue my studies? Would life go on after college, etc? Looking back, I would tell myself to relax and that it would all work out the way it should. I would have experiences that would eventually lead me to where I am, and where I’m going.

How do you set goals for yourself?
I think the toughest and most important part of being your own boss is creating a schedule, and then sticking to it! My goal for my new collection is expanding my wedding & engagement line. Creating new designs is the fun part, sticking to my schedule is the hard part!

Emilie Shapiro's creative studio | UncommonGoods

How and when do you decide to celebrate a victory?
Victories are so important, whether they’re small – like finding a great deal at a garage sale, or big – like getting into UncommonGoods! To celebrate any victory, big or small, I usually meet my best friends for drinks.

What are some new skills you are trying to acquire to perfect your craft?
I am trying to get more into traditional goldsmithing and recycling techniques. Starting with 24k gold and blending other metals to create custom alloys for beautiful hues of gold. I’m going to take a class at Liloveve Jewelry School in Williamsburg where I currently teach the wax carving classes and some other specialty techniques. It’s so beautiful there!

Emilie's favorite quote | UncommonGoods

What quote keeps you motivated?
The most amazing part about my job is creating every single day and doing what I love. Whether it’s designing a new piece, seeing my work in a new Gallery or boutique, or teaching someone to do something how to create something that didn’t exist before – I am creating something tangible that will be here way beyond me.

How do you recharge your creativity?
A great yoga class! It’s so important to keep a healthy body and mind, but to also make time for yourself when you run your own business. I find the most challenging part of being your own boss is making a schedule and sticking to it so you don’t end up pulling all nighters – I hope those days are behind me!

Where does collaboration come into play with your craft?
I teach jewelry classes and am constantly learning so much from my students. I am always blown away by their talent and eagerness to learn, and always learn new things about myself when working so closely with my students.


NYC Green Resources

February 7, 2013

For those present at our How To Make It event panel on Tuesday, February 5, and those interested in learning how to implement greener practices in their home and their work space, here is a list of green resources in New York City from Rebecca Krauss of the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s EcoBiz program.

ConEd provides free energy assessment

Choose an ESCO (energy service provider) to save money and/or go green

Find your recycling rules

Where to recycle everything else

The Uncommon Life

Help City Harvest Feed NYC After Sandy

November 13, 2012

We have been proud to work with City Harvest through our Better To Give program, donating on our customer’s behalf to an organization that helps feed New York’s hungry. The amount of people living in New York City who are considered Food Insecure is about 1.2 million (source), and that number has increased since Sandy has left many without electricity and some without homes.

City Harvest is working hard to support Hurricane Sandy victims while continuing to feed the hungry men, women and children who rely on it every day. In addition to daily deliveries to soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs, City Harvest is making emergency food drop-offs in especially hard hit areas in Staten Island, Coney Island and Red Hook in Brooklyn, and Breezy Point and Rockaway in Queens.

Since the storm, City Harvest has been accepting donations of non-perishable food from citizens and prepared foods from partnering restaurants across the city. They have rented additional trucks and hired additional temporary staff to keep food moving to where it is needed most. In the week following the storm, City Harvest delivered over a million pounds of food from their Long Island City, Queens location to emergency food partners across the city – the most ever for City Harvest in a week.

Want to get involved?

  • If you’re in the NYC area, you can volunteer with City Harvest to sort and deliver food.
  • Purchase the Plate With Purpose. UncommonGoods will donate $25 for each plate sold to City Harvest.
  • Choose City Harvest at check out and UncommonGoods will donate $1 from your purchase to help feed NYC’s hungry.

photos courtesy of City Harvest