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Supporting Artisans from Around the World with NOVICA

NOVICA sustainable bracelets made in Thailand

It sounds silly as a person who works online but I hate online shopping. Very few people I know have had a good experience – the shipping was delayed, the items were the wrong size or colour, or the delivery just didn’t turn up at all – so I’ve remained skeptical and not tried it, unless it was from a chain store where I was sure I would have no issues.

When NOVICA approached me about working together to promote their brand  I was still a little hesitant but with the backing on National Geographic – a brand I know, use and trust – I decided that a girl has to take a chance every once in a while and in this instance it paid off.

Full of fun pieces which show off each persons beliefs, heritage or something about their country – think weaved pashminas from the Andes or Batik printed clothing from Indonesia – the artisans on NOVICA didn’t make it easy for me to choose which pieces I wanted to buy. Scrolling through pages of items I finally settled on two items which excited me: something pretty and something tea related.

Elephant teapot from NOVICA Java/Indonesia

The first items I bought were two twin beaded bracelets created by Tiraphan Hasub. Inspired by traditional Thai jewellery, Tiraphan puts a modern twist on her creations. I loved the contrast of the colours against each other, the coconut shell button and just how pretty they look against my skin – a perfect reminder that sun and summer is just around the corner.

The second item – and my favourite item in the store – was the Buddah and the Jade Elephant tea pot created by Putu Oka Mahendra who is based in Indonesia. It is said that when you see Buddha riding an elephant you will receive good luck and health… and in this instance, very good tea as well!

Despite my fears everything was delivered fast – it took three-days for the items to be shipped from both countries – and they were carefully wrapped and sealed to ensure there was no breakage.

One thing I didn’t take into consideration was that Thai women’s wrists are significantly smaller than my Australian wrist, so the bracelets are a little tight on me; but being made of leather they should loosen over the coming weeks. Aside from that I am very happy with my purchases!

Elephant teapot from NOVICA Java/Indonesia and bracelets from NOVICA Thailand

NOVICA artisan card

NOVICA really places the emphasis on the artisans. On each items page you can read about the artist, where they are from and some of their story. Each item will also be accompanied with a small card explaining with some more information about the artist and the piece.
Instead of receiving a nameless piece I know share a little knowledge of who they are and why they created it, and without the knowledge I would have never known why Buddha was riding on an elephant.

To further support the artists affiliated with NOVICA they has partnered with Kiva to offer small loans to help improve the businesses, families and lives of the artisans.

NOVICA artisan card

NOVICA curation board

Another feature is that you can ‘curate’ boards of your favourite items. This can be for yourself or to enter one of the competitions which are frequently held on the NOVICA site. If you need some inspiration check out some of these lists;

Elephant teapot from NOVICA Java/Indonesia

You can’t always bring gifts home from overseas but with NOVICA you can find similar-styles or pieces that inspire the memory of travel.

Want a Chance to Win?

NOVICA was kind enough to give me $50 to spend in their store but also want you to share the experience so are giving an extra $50 to one lucky winner.

To enter just follow the prompts on the widget below, ‘Like’ Bitten by the Travel Bug on Facebook and leave a comment with which item you think you’d like to buy if you won the $50 gift voucher. The winner will be announced on Sunday through Twitter, Facebook and emailed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Which item would you buy from the NOVICA store?

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Olivia
    April 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

    How great is that site??

    I’d love to get the Prasiolite solitaire ring, ‘India Compassion’. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    April 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Great site! If I won, I’d put the $50 towards either an alpaca sweater or the mother turtle teapot (so cute!). Thanks!

  • Reply
    Katherine | Kapcha The World
    April 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Oh my god- so many cute things. I love elephants. So much to choose. Either the tea pot like yours but in sapphire, the Sterling silver dangle earrings ‘Loving Elephants’, the elephant ring, the condiment set or the elephant cuff bracelet – or all the above! lol

  • Reply
    cosmoHallitan
    April 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Love, love, love this! It’s so important to support artisans around the world. With all the cheap plastic crap being sold in the tourist markets, many of these craftsmen are losing their livelihoods and traditional arts are being lost. Kudos to you and Novica!

  • Reply
    Hogga
    April 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    love the teapot!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      April 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Hehe, thanks Hogga! Couldn’t resist something tea related and the elephant is pretty neat!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Bird
    April 10, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I absolutely love the Emerald afternoon wall hanging, I could see it hanging over my bed. What a great site, so many fantastic pieces from around the world!

  • Reply
    Narelle Rock
    April 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I would buy the 100% alpaca scarf, ‘Jade Valley’ just beautiful, perfect for winter!

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 12, 2013 at 7:01 am

    This is beautiful!!! I love this kind of stuff. 🙂

  • Reply
    nicole | the wondernuts
    April 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    those bracelets are cute. =)

  • Reply
    Trish
    April 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Wow. I’ve been staring at novica.com for the last two hours trying to decide what I like best and I really can’t. So many gorgeous things to choose from. What a fabulous thing that they do. Hello birthday & Christmas shopping.

  • Reply
    Angela
    April 15, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Oh my gosh. Too many to pick from. But probably a bracelet? I have no idea.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    April 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I really like the silver ring with the pale green stone!

  • Reply
    bob humphrys
    April 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I would pick 2 bracelets ,1 for my girl friend in Thailand and 1 for me so we are always reminded of each other while we are apart xxxx

  • Reply
    Theresa
    April 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I love the soapstone ‘tea rose’ candleholders, which would add some exotic ambiance to my multicultural home.

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