Sometimes, you get lucky. The perks of blogging! And you will get lucky too: read until the end, I’m spreading the love by offering a $50 gift card!
Recently, Novica contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their products. I do get review requests once in a while, and I usually turn them down because the product is nothing to blog about or simply doesn’t fit the themes I enjoy writing about.
That, plus I am a terrible liar. If a products or a service sucks, I say it and I make PR people very unhappy.
I visited Novica’s website and immediately liked the concept. Novica sells home décor objects, jewellery and gifts made by artisans and artists from all over the world. It helps local talented folks selling their products by offering them a platform, and thus allows them to improve their life. This is the kind of positive “charity” I believe in—empowering people. I am a strong supporter of microcredit (I regularly contribute to various projects around the world through Kiva… and Novica also partners with Kiva!) and I think this kind of initiative, connecting sellers and buyers, can impact lives.
That, plus the store is absolutely awesome. I mean, I must have spent at least two hours selecting a product! I browsed the various categories, such as Unique Gifts for Men, Necklaces for Her, Romantic Gifts for Her, Unique Gifts for Women, Cooking Gifts, Jewelry Box Gifts, etc. The website is very easy to navigate and you can narrow down your choice by using several options, such as the region the product is from, the price, the material used, etc.
I eventually fell in love with a beautiful sterling silver jade domed ring, “Sweet Maya” made by the Jimenez Family in Guatemala. I wanted to buy something from a country we visited and I love Guatemala—it’s an amazing place full of talented and lovely people who have always made us feel welcome.
To much of my surprise, the ring was delivered through DHL only two days after I bought it. Wow, that was fast! I had expected delivery from Guatemala would take weeks.
The small carton box marked “imported from Guatemala” was my birthday present to myself. I opened it like a kid unwrapping a Christmas present. Inside, I found:
- The ring, in a plastic pouch
- A lovely postcard of Tikal with a note from the artisans
- A small pouch made of traditional Guatemala fabric
- A small booklet with the story of the Jimenez Family
Everything was neatly packaged, protected and wrapped. Lovely! I certainly wasn’t expecting such a personal touch.
The ring itself is amazing. Great quality, neatly polished silver and great finish. I put it on my finger and it stays there—I wear all the jewellery I own, I am very loyal to it.
Honestly, my experience shopping with Novica is amazing and I do plan to buy from them again. The concept is awesome, the products are amazing and the service is top-notch. I briefly ran into a technical problem when ordering and I sent an email to customer service about it. They replied right away with a solution and a plan B just in case. They care about customers… that matters to me!
So, since I’m one of these red socialist, I’m spreading the love. I have a $50 Novica gift card to give away, no strings attached, no tricks.
I do have to pick a winner though, so here the deal:
- For 3 entries: Write an article about your favourite souvenir from your travels or your special foreign lucky charm and mention the giveaway. Send me the link to the article by using the giveaway form below.
- For 1 entry: Tweet about the giveway, and don’t forget to paste the Tweet URL below!
- For 1 entry: Follow @Xiaozhuli on Twitter!
I will pick a random winner on Friday, April 5, 2013