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uncommon goods: better to give

Better to Give

I am all about companies that give back in some way, and one of my favorite companies, Uncommon Goods, knows it’s Better to Give.

I’ve given so many gifts from their awesome site because it’s like giving two gifts in one. With every purchase you make, Uncommon Goods donates $1.00 to the Better to Give partner of your choice. Over the 12 years they’ve been doing this, they’ve given $1,000,000 to charity.

Right now, the non-profits they’re partnering with are RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), American Forests, International Rescue Committee and Reach Out & Read. In exchange for me introducing you to this fantastic program, Uncommon Goods is going to donate $100 in my name to one of these organizations.

How do I decide which one to choose? I’m going to leave it to you since every one of these causes is so important, and I really want to hear what you think. [Read more…]

Don't Leave Home Without These Wallet Tools from UncommonGoods!

There’s a Steve Poltz song that perfectly sums up how I feel about UncommonGoods – “I love everything about you.”

Not only does this site feature an eclectic variety of cool and unusual gifts (a term I use loosely because I’ve given many of these gifts to myself), but most of them are handmade and/or recycled – something dear to my heart. Plus, with each purchase, you get to choose a charity to receive a donation. This is truly a site filled with style, substance and soul.

So, when I was asked if I wanted to review a few products from the site, my immediate — and eloquent — response was “Duh!”

I love the idea of these Wallet Tools and, apparently, am not the only one since they have already been awarded Gift of the Year status. I generously gave the Emergency Cufflinks to my husband but grabbed the Photo Frame for myself.

Yes, I have finally figured out how to share pictures on my phone but, to me, there is still nothing like a “real” photo. This wafer-thin frame is made of recycled stainless steel and totally does justice to a photo of my family on vacation in Venice a few years ago. It makes me happy every time I open my wallet and see it, and it takes up no more room than a credit card. When I pass it around to show people, I don’t have to worry about fingerprints because the photo is safe in its frame.

The cufflinks — which I was a little skeptical of at first, thinking they were an ingenious idea in theory but maybe not so practical in reality — have already served their purpose. My husband (who, as he’s gotten older, has drifted further away from both wallets and cufflinks) passed them along to our son when he went back to college after spring break and told him to stick them in his wallet just in case. Our son rolled his eyes but ended up using them on an internship interview when he realized he didn’t have any cufflinks for the new French-cuffed shirt he had picked out. Not only did they come to his rescue but he said they were actually a great conversation piece – they’re also made of recycled stainless steel, and are literally a snap to use.

You will definitely like UncommonGoods in real life but you should “like” them on Facebook, too, so you can get the latest scoop and even vote on your favorite products.

Because you need to try these products yourself, UncommonGoods is generously giving away a $40 gift card to one lucky winner. Click here for a chance to win, and earn another entry simply by leaving a comment below about which product you’d like from UncommonGoods. Bet you can’t pick just one!

On Our Soul Radar

So many organizations and corporations are donating to Haiti now, it doesn’t make sense to shop from anyone that’s not giving back.


UncommonGoods, one of our favorite online stores, will donate $5 to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund through AmeriCares and their Better to Give program when you select AmeriCares during checkout.

 With February 14 rapidly approaching, this is a unique — and green! — place to shop.  Get your Valentine a one-of-a-kind ballpoint pen made of salvaged seats from his hometown ballpark. He’ll be so touched, he’ll gladly order you one of the coveted recycled newspaper market bags or reclaimed suit tote bags that are amazing conversation pieces yet very practical.

UncommonGoods has already given more than $10,000 to AmeriCares Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, and with your help, is poised to reach their goal of $25,000. There’s never been a better time to shop for a cause.

Recycled Tie and Shirt Wallets

I take back everything we’ve everything said about suits and ties being boring, after seeing these unique wallets from Laura Skelton.

Handmade from thrift-store pinstripe suits and silk ties (no worries – they’re in excellent condition and fresh as a daisy), each wallet features a pocket for bills and two side pockets for cards. Stick a check in, and you have a great gift for a grad. Stick in pictures of the family, and it’s a much more personal Father’s Day present than just another tie.

We love that Laura has taken some of the most typical, ho-hum gifts for men – wallets and ties – and combined them in a totally creative and practical way.

Find them at one of our favorite shopping sites, Uncommon Goods.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Chef’s Knife Earrings

I was making my daily stroll – uh, scroll — through UncommonGoods, when I was stopped dead in our tracks by these sterling silver earrings that had us at “Those are Sharp!”

Designed by Debbie Howe, who’s known for her sophisticated handmade vocation/avocation jewelry, these unique earrings are definite attention-grabbers, and are equally at home whether you’re making pot roast in your kitchen or reservations at Bouley.

A side benefit of having these miniature chef’s knives dangling from your earlobes is that they may discourage family members from complaining about dinner – or anything else, for that matter. But if your leanings are toward something a little less, well, edgy, Debbie’s also designed a homey pair of whisk earrings.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.