2013 NY International Gift Show

by Dennis Machicao

It was that time of year again when the NY International Gift Show came to town at the end of January 2013. Like always, there where so many interesting companies with interesting designs of products that you will soon see in your local gift store. Walking through the cavernous NY Javits Convention Center I tried to find those unique product that where designed with the environment and social consciousness in mind. And I did find some.

In walking around, I came across a company called Made By Survivors that caught my interest by its name. They were showing very beautifully crafted sterling silver jewelry. In talking to the representative at the booth, she told me that this jewelry is made by women from Calcutta, Mumbai, Darjeeling, Nepal and Bangladesh and this organization trains them to be artisan goldsmiths and have become the first women goldsmiths of South Asia. But what is more interesting is that these women are survivors of slavery and human trafficking thus the name Made by Survivors. This organization teaches them a skill so that they will be able to earn wages that “reintegrates them into society and transform their identities from victim to survivor to entrepreneur”. 100% of the profits are put into the program to continue fighting slavery and empower vulnerable women and children. A fine organization indeed.  Go to www.Madebysurivors.com and help a woman or child better their lives by your purchase.

Staying on the theme of jewelry, a company called Anetta Van Haagen, LLC had a line of jewelry named Solares. And the uniqueness of the Solares line was that they were made of glass from recycled wine and soda bottles. What better way of diminishing the landfills with ugly trash than transforming it into beautiful works of art that can complement any woman’s wardrobe.  Go to www.harrison-design.com/solares and treat yourself while you are minimizing the landfills.

Now here is a company that really takes “recycling” to heart and makes the product fun and a decorative piece of art. They are reminiscent of the companies that refurbish antique cars, cars that have been sitting in a barn for 50 years and are brought back to showroom stature.   The company is called Kasbah Mod and what they do is refurbish vintage manual typewriters. Typewriters, does anyone remember what they are?  And they are 100% functional. I asked where does one get the ribbons for them and they told me they can supply them to their customers. They are beautiful, better than when they were new and come in all kinds of bright colors. You can actually use them just for nostalgia sake or as a decorative piece in your home office. Go to www.kasbahmod.com and take a look. I’ll bet you’ll be tempted to get one.

For those of you ladies that suffer from hot flashes year round and just plain heat in the summer time, have I got a product for you. The company is called Hot Girls Pearls. Not necessarily environmentally conscious, unless take to heart their tag line, “Global Cooling One Woman At A Time” but I did find them different and certainly addresses a discomforting problem that many women go through.  These pearls have a cooling jell inside them and you put them in the freezer to activate them. After keeping them for a minimum of 4 hours to get the maximum cooling effect, you just wear the strand of pearls to control your temperature. The pearls themselves are a bit large so they can contain the maximum amount of cooling jell to do the trick. But are very fashionable. Also a Neoprene travel purse with an ice pack is available to keep them cool when you travel. If you have this discomfort go to www.hotgirlspearls.com.

Another company that had an interesting product that is green, especially during these times of storms and power outages is called SOLPALS. They have solar powered hybrid nightlights called MoonBeams for the kid’s room.  They have a solar panel base with a stem attached to it holding a light head at the end of it. The solar panel sticks to a sunny window thus recharging during the day and emitting a soft glowing light of different designs and colors at night. There is also an adult version that, in case of a power outage, has a powerful light that can be used to get around in the dark.  They can also be used for camping, a reading light in the car or just anywhere when a light is called for. No batteries needed. Take a look at www.solpals.com.

So there you have it, some of the very interesting companies that exhibited at the New York International Gift Show.  Can’t wait for the Spring show to see what other new products will make your life interesting while giving back to the planet.

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