Homemade items are somewhat magical to me. I love having the knowledge that an individual(s) used their acquired skills and talent to create something unique with their hands. Machine made, mass produces items have none of this appeal. As a lover of both travel and culture, I am especially drawn to shops that offer handcrafted items from around the world. It is essential to me that the exchange of these items focuses on sustainability and that the creators of items are compensated fairly. Fair trade is a no brainer – it seems an act of human decency. Novica, in association with National Geographic, has embraced this belief and practice.
The purpose of NOVICA is to create a revolutionary system through which the artists and artisans of the world can display their fine works to a global audience of prospective customers. NOVICA does not charge artists any fees for listing their items on the website. Furthermore, artists remain fully independent–they are free to raise their prices, lower their prices, or remove their items from our website. By cutting out the long strings of middlemen, NOVICA allows both consumers and artisans to get the most out of each and every transaction.
I was blown away by the sheer number and variety of products that artisans have made available for sale on Novica. There are corporate gifts, womens robes, sarongs, floral bracelets, and sterling silver filigree earrings, to name a few.
After what seemed like hours spent narrowing it down to the item I wanted to review, I finally selected the “Forest Solo” Natural gold-plated leaf necklace. Upon placing my order, the necklace made its way all the way to my home from Thailand. Much to my surprise, the necklace came encased in a lovely homemade paper box with a leaf pressed into the paper. A delicate piece of paper enclosed informed me that the box was made out of saa paper from mulberry bark via a 700+ year old sustainable process in Thailand that involves utilizing the small new growth branches. The package also included a miniature postcard that contained Thai script. What a beautiful language! Before even discovering the necklace, I was delighted. The packaging alone had me aching to plan a trip to Thailand. As for the necklace, the leaf is from a rubber tree and it is encased in 22k gold. The leaf pendant is very textured and visually interesting. There is a tremendous amount of detail where the veins are which make the necklace very unique, compliments of nature and the talented artisans who were able to showcase its splendor. The delicate gold chain compliments the necklace prefectly, as it carries the pendant without detracting from it in any way. The necklace is eye-catching and I have gotten many compliments on it. I love that I am able to respond that it is a fair trade item from Thailand.
I recommend Novica without reservations! Check them out for your conscience-friendly, unique item needs!
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This giveaway ends July 3rd at 9pm EST. I will choose a winner via www.random.org and notify the winner through email.
Disclosure: I received a $30 NOVICA gift certificate to facilitate this review. All thoughts are my own.