Feb 7, 2012

Peek-a-Boo: NYIGF and Products with a Social Mission

To begin my recap of finds from the New York Gift Show, and the focus of today's Peek-a-Boo post, I wanted to share these two stories that really spoke to me.

As we rush up and down the aisles, scanning for product, waiting for information and taking our pictures, it is rare that these occasions allow for deeper conversation to occur. I feel very lucky to have encountered three amazing individuals who not only are trying to bring us great product but during this time are aware of their social importance and significance, trying to make an impact one day at a time.

Firstly, I met Elizabeth Suda a New York native and the Founder and CEO of Article 22.

This company, although based in NY, originates and is focused on Laos, one of the poorest countries in the world,  it's artisans and their great hand woven textile making skills.

These textiles are beautiful, feel amazing and I love the mixtures of the patterns. Of course my first question was "Can I buy this by the yard?"..

Then Elizabeth introduced me to another element of her mission: the Peace Bomb Project, where bracelets and other small accessories are made from bombs and other scrap metal that are littering this and other war torn nations.

Here is the PEACEBOMB TRAILER: Buying Back the Bombs that explains the mission a little more.

Visit Article 22 website to see more great products and find out more about the team and their mission in Laos.

Towards the end of my day, I found myself in the Children section of the show, where I always feel like I find great new products whether for my own children or for my clients.

This time though, I was so pleased to meet an incredible duo, Luis Garcia and Kalon Gutierrez from Schoolbags for Kids.

Kalon and Luis

After a trip from Kathmandu to Bangkok, Luis decided to leave behind a career as creative director for luxury beauty products and help the nearly 101 million children around the world that are in need of school supplies. So he joined forces with Kalon, and they both founded Schoolbags for Kids, where every bag purchased they will supply a child in need with a bag filled with much needed supplies.

Not only is this a great mission to have - but seriously!! - have you seen how incredibly cute these bags are??? Available in different colors and sizes, there are themed versions (I really love the wings), each bag comes with great pockets for containers, ID's, pencils, and more...

... but if you prefer a bag that will last a little longer as your child starts to age, there are these colorful models that I know my kids love. Visit them on Schoolbags for Kids today.

So I encourage you to reach out to these creative individuals and find ways that you too can help.

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