Looking a gift horse in the mouth may turn a party into an etiquette lesson, whereas looking a gift basilisk in the eyes will turn the birthday girl to stone. Give curse-free gifts and goods with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of fair-trade gifts at Kirabo in East Lansing.
Stocked with 100% fair-trade items, Kirabo purveys handcrafted gifts meticulously fashioned by artisans in 37 countries. A hand-carved soapstone box ($12) can embellish shelves or mantles with its delicate mother-of-pearl inlay while discreetly enclosing small items such as jewelry or tater tots. Decorously pour steeped beverages from a blue-and-white teapot hand-painted in Vietnam with a dainty floral motif ($24), or scoop dollops of jam with a condiment spoon hand-carved from Kenyan olivewood and topped with intricately whittled African animal figurines ($5). A 1-pound bag of fair-trade-certified Ethiopian coffee ($13.25) rouses dazed reflexes with beans harvested under positive working conditions sans child labor or business-casual dress codes.
The shop's textured, terra-cotta-and-cream-colored walls abound with bright artwork anchored by a leafy, hand-painted tree bearing the names of the artisans' home nations. Patrons can navigate the shop's aisles with the help of a friendly sales associates or an astrolabe-equipped seaman while sipping complimentary coffee or tea.
225 E Grand River Ave.
East Lansing, Michigan 48823