Saturday, November 6, 2010

Novica Review: Table Runner and Placemats

NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites in the world.  In a unique partnership with National Geographic, they give talented artisans around the world the chance to express and showcase their unique and beautiful talents and provide access to the world market.  Artisans in far-off countries can display their wares online; Novica provides the necessary platform for these artisans to be able to do so.  Along with the art pieces, viewers can also access artists' biographies, photographs, and videos.  Furthermore, they can interact with the artists by sending messages to them and learning about their lives at home and their personal philosophies. 

I was thrilled when I was contacted by NOVICA to do a product review as I had heard of them, but had not really had the full experience of browsing through their site.  It literally took me hours to go through the many products they had available and I spent many further hours browsing through the various artist biographies and philosophies that are available on this site.  Take a look at some of the things I had my eye on:

One of the things I found particularly interesting with NOVICA is their committment to the development of these artists.  Many of these artists have had a difficult time getting loans in their various countries, despite NOVICA's help with financial institutions in the respective countries, for various reasons, some of them simply being extremely high lending rates.  What really intrigued me about the company though, was their personal committment to helping the artisans through the development of a loan partnership directly with its own customers.  While customers can still actively purchase many items, they can also donate money to the loan fund and help finance an artisan, particularly if they are interested in helping a specific artisan.  NOVICA acts as the dispersement centre for these loans to the artisans, and the artisans are not charged any lending rates at all.  It's pretty remarkable and anyone interested can take a look here: NOVICA Artisans Loans.

NOVICA also has an amazing Corporate Gifts section, and I spent considerable time checking out the items in that area alone.  I was simply amazed at the unique and amazing gifts that could be found on this area of the site.  They have one of the largest online collection of corporate trade gift collections, gifts that include items for client gifts, sales incentives, employee recognition and awards.  There are many unique gifts available for your corporation to choose gifts that will make a lasting impression. 

For my review, I ended up choosing a table runner and placemats from an artisan in Bali.  I really needed these items as my others ones were getting old and I had bought a new centerpiece for my dining room table that needed to be shown off.  I was absolutely thrilled with what I received.  NOVICA tracked my order every day and told me exactly where it was and how long it would be before I would receive it.  When the package finally arrived, it was sealed nicely in a box which I had difficulty opening up, something I did not mind as I knew whatever was inside would be protected.  This is what I saw when I opened the box:

It came wrapped up exactly like the picture on the left and at first, I didn't want to open it as it looked to pretty.  When I finally did open it, my table runner and placemats were so beautifully arranged inside, wrapped inside tissue, I knew they would not be damaged at all. And they weren't.  I went right away to put them on my table and I was toally impressed with how they looked.

These are the table runner and placemats I ordered, in taupe and dark brown.  The table runner was much longer than I expected and the placemats can be used on either side, depending on whether you want the darker or lighter sides facing up.  I was so impressed with what I received, I am considering placing some orders for some Christmas items.  I think the only drawback from a Canadian perspective when it comes to ordering, is the shipping and handling as that was pretty pricey, around $14.00.  I didn't get a chance to check if there was reduced shipping if you ordered more than one item though, or if the shipping charges were different if a product came from a different country, something I am going to check out shortly.  I will let you know what I discover. 

NOVICA, including many of its products and artisans, has been featured in many articles and features, such as Vogue, Edge, and US Today.  It has been named among the 'Fastest 50 Companies in the World', named the 'Top 100' Website, and has won a WAKEUP! Award.  If you get a chance, don't hesitate to take a look at this amazing and fascinating website.


  1. Very few people help others without wanting something back. It’s very heart-melting to know that there are still people or organization like yours that helps others achieve their goals and develop their skills and personality. My brother became one of the best painters because of merchant cash advance that helped him with the finance to hone his skills and confidence.

  2. I have to say that I’m thrilled to have found your wonderful collection of posts and wonderfully informative experiences with table runner and placemats. I can see that I will be spending quite some time perusing your many posts for the next several days. Your runner is beautiful, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences here!

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