Monday, November 05, 2007


The Best Kind of Bidness

Here's a first of sorts. I've never written a post in praise of a business. I did write a piece on the importance of Fair Trade coffees a couple of years ago, but businesses as such haven't done much to catch my fancy.

That changed last August, when my spouse and I wandered into a shop, Gifts of Life, while we were at a Bach Festival in North Conway, NH. (My spouse is a devotee of the Great Man, and parenthetically, the festival was quite wonderful. As usual, I digress!) We were sucking up iced espresso in the midst of a heat wave and reading local papers, the better to learn about other attractions. There was a little article on this shop, specializing not in bloody posters and tee shirts of aborted fetuses, as I first feared, but in fairly traded crafts, often made from recycled materials, from all over the world. We had to see.

We tracked down its out-of-the-way location and found its proprietor, a lady aglow with the prospect of making a difference, and lots and lots of cool gift items.
Our pictures don't do justice to them all--there are beautiful necklaces and earrings and many more baskets, both of native materials and recycled wire. There are angels made from recycled pesticide cans, the proceeds of which go to anti-malarial projects. There are cool bags made from woven juice boxes! The theme of recycling and re-creation runs through lots of the stock. Lots of hand-carved African art, lots of whimsical toys. We dropped about $200 there, and let me tell you, we are usually loath to part with much dough.

The prices are also highly reasonable. The shop's owner, who went into business by selling off some old farm machinery at her place, wants these items to be available to all sorts of
folks, not merely a few rich people who want to show off their social consciousness during the holidays. There are absolute bargains all over the place, since this enterprise has the passion of idealism as its motor.

Do follow the link to the website. You'll find truly unusual gifts that will delight you and your pals.

Perfect for Christmas season.
I wish I had the budget for doo-dads. I'd sent the DWiP a snake.
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