Handcrafted goods, like giggling babies coated in a thick layer of wax, showcase what skilled fingers are capable of. Gobble up the fruits of fingers with today's Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of handcrafted jewelry, apparel, art, and home décor from Novica.
Novica, the recipient of the November 2009 Wake Up! Award, is an online fair-trade company that showcases and sells limited-edition jewelry, apparel, art, and home décor made by artisans around the world. While browsing the thousands of artifacts on Novica's site, buyers will be introduced to the crafter through a written bio or video in a section dubbed Keepers of the Arts. Decorate lonely limbs with jewelry, such as the Gentle Day pearl-and-peridot cocktail ring from Indonesia ($59.99), or accent a pair of wrists with the Tying the Knot sterling-silver cuff links from Mexico ($51.99).
Arriving from India, the Silver Stars beaded-cotton skirt ($47.66) wraps up the body’s southerly half with tiered ruffles, lavish beads, and a freckling of sequins. Novica’s vast collection of rugs, paintings, and furniture bestow homes with a global garnish, such as the hand-carved African Gabonese wood mask Fang Forest Spirit ($54.95), which livens lackluster walls with its ivory eyebrows, black crown, and scarlet lips, and can be used as a salad bowl when flipped over.
As part of the National Geographic family and a fan of bridge metaphors, Novica creates a link between the consumer and artists from a variety of countries, including Thailand, Brazil, and India. The company personalizes each purchase by delivering every item with a special hand-written note and artist story card.