*The product for this review was provided by NOVICA, all opinions are my own.
Anytime shopping involves benefiting someone else - a nonprofit, a small business or artisans in a struggling country - it feels great to know that your purchase is helping someone besides yourself. However, the predicament I've found myself in more than a few times is this: Sometimes the cause is great, but the products are only so-so. In this case you have to chose if you want to support the cause anyway or if you need to spend your money elsewhere on something that better fits your needs. NOVICA works with National Geographic and is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites where you get the best of both worlds: supporting a great cause AND top quality fair trade products.
To date, NOVICA has sent over 46 million dollars to artisans around the world and currently has over 30,000 handmade treasures on their website. Last month alone, NOVICA artisans sold 23,770 products online.
Here, you can read more about their business model and I think you will be really impressed at the transparency of their operations.
I had the opportunity to shop the NOVICA website with a $75 gift card provided by NOVICA for this review. Because I had the gift card I spent part of my son's nap time looking over the entire website in search of the perfect product to try. I looked a lot at soft Alpaca scarves, Indian Cashmere Wool Shawls, Women's Clothing from Peru and home decor since I just moved into a new home.
I ended up settling on an incredible leather purse.
Since my son is two, for the time being I need a smaller purse for some outings instead of my large diaper bag. This purse was the perfect size and solution.
Isn't she lovely?
The purse was made by artist Varun Manchanda in India. In fact, when my purse arrived, so did this handwritten post card from Varun himself thanking me for my purchase.
Varun created the design of the purse, but he also prepared the leather and fashioned it all himself. Wow.
When I received the purse I was really blown away by the quality. The zippers are very sturdy, the leather is soft and the hardware looked stunning. Everything about this product was high quality.
I've already had a few people compliment my purse and it's been fun to tell them about the man who made it instead of just saying, "Yeah, I got it at Ross."
The purse includes one inside zipper pocket that I've been using for chapstick and the like. It also comes with a cell phone pocket, which I love!
Overall, I couldn't have been happier with my NOVICA product and the story behind it.