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Monday, February 16, 2015

Product Spotlight: Wonki Ware

In December, our collection of Wonki Ware pottery arrived with plates and bowls in colorful shades from aubergine to Irish green. We love this line of tableware for many different reasons, but most importantly for their fair trade production process and the individuality of each handmade piece.

South African artist Di Marshall creates Wonki Ware pottery in a small town called George and currently employs 40 people of disadvantaged backgrounds, but it didn’t start out that way.

In 1999, Marshall was living on a farm far outside of town and longed to be closer to her children when they went into the city for school each day. She opened up a small studio and slowly began to attract the attention of the local community. Before long her space was a place for potters and creative types to meet.

Not long after, a man named Artwel started coming by each morning looking for work. Not having much money to pay him, Marshall taught him about clay and developed patterns that were relatively easy and simple to reproduce but at the same captured a sensitivity in pattern and design.

Adding a third person to their team, Wonki Ware spread throughout the country and beyond.  Today the company is one of the biggest success stories in South Africa.

Wonki Ware’s process is completely done by hand – from clay mixing, rolling, shaping, sun drying, firing, decorating, waxing, to glazing. The pottery only touches a machine once it is ready for firing. In fact, it is said over 18 sets of hands will touch each piece before it is finished, making each piece special and unique. Each piece is durable, high-quality and also microwave/dishwasher safe.

1. Sun drying is just one of the many steps to making a piece of Wonki Ware pottery. 
2. Two women shape various pieces before they are sun dried and fired. These women are given fair wages and live nearby the studio.
3. No two pieces are exactly alike and neither is the process for each product in the collection.

Monday, February 9, 2015

NY NOW Market Wrap-Up

What a whirlwind trip NY NOW was this past week! While it was frigid and blustery outside, I was glad to get back to New York for a bit to see what all the vendors had to offer. Here's just a few of the beautiful items that caught my eye and will be coming to the shop in the next couple of months.

View from hotel in Brooklyn

A mix of feminine and masculine, hard and soft, delicate and edgy - these Monserat De Lucca leather totes are the perfect carry all. 

dconstruct jewelry wowed me with several items, including these ecoresin bangles. Their minimalist design is inspired by nature with each piece containing a minimum of 40% pre-consumer recycled content. Most of this recycled material is derived from architectural material that would otherwise be waste from skylights, store fixtures and vending machine covers.

While their name may say "jewelry," I was impressed with their line of iPhone covers, also made with recycled materials. 

As you can imagine, scarves and throws are everywhere at NY NOW. Pilgrim Waters' individually hand woven and hand silk screened scarves made in Kathmandu stood out. Even more impressive, this was their first trade show!

The thoughtful, sleek design of Vers wooden Bluetooth speakers is intentional in every way. Not only is it good for the home, it's good for the environment. Vers uses sustainable methods, such as 100% recyclable packaging material and encourages when the life cycle of the speaker is complete, the product is 100% recyclable. 

Potting Shed Creations' Grow Bottles have all the elements of a great gift. Made from a wine bottle, these products come with all you or a friend needs to grown their own herbs. Best of all, water sits in the bottom and a wool wick draws moisture to the potting mix to keep herbs perfectly watered.

Back in Jackson, we've gotten in some beautiful lighting, furniture and home accessories. Stay up-to-date on new inventory and products with Instagram and our Facebook page.

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