NOVICA's MISSION as stated on their website:
"NOVICA is different. We want to provide you with an alternative".
"We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow.At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe.
We want you to know about who you're buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.
In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together."
THE STORY BEHIND NOVICA:
“Novica has impacted the lives of thousands of artisans by connecting them to customers around the world."
The Novica geographical regions are: Andes, Bali and Java, Brazil, Central America, India, Mexico, Thailand and West Africa.
This year, they are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and want to continue helping artisans expand their businesses by providing access to microcredit.
For many years, Novica artisans asked for help with getting loans so they could expand. Novica tried everything. They connected the artisans with financial institutions. They introduced them to local banks. They even introduced them to microfinance institutions. But, unfortunately, most artisans could not obtain loans, and when they did, the interest rates were very high.
So what Novica did was to cut out all the financial middlemen and took the matter into their own hands.
They have now launched the first ever microfinance website where customers can purchase products and lend money directly to the artisans. And as there are no middlemen involved in the process the Artisan Loans will carry 0% interest.
To read more about Microcredit, Artisan Loans and the lending process, and how it helps raise families out of poverty and helps in the development of an economy by giving people the chance to establish a sustainable means of income, go here.
Some of the other inspiring collections and features are:
Eco-Friendly Green Treasures
These fall under two categories:
~ SUSTAINABLE & NATURAL
~ RECYCLED & RECLAIMED
ranging from Home Décor, Apparel, Handbags and Jewelry to Glassware, Accessories and Stationery.
Inspirational & Spiritual Gifts
ranging from sculptures, paintings, candles to jewelry and much much more.
Fair Trade Corporate Gifts
“The largest online collection of handcrafted fair trade corporate gifts.”, including items for client gifts, conference gifts, sales incentives, employee recognition and awards.
"provides a unique cultural shopping experience, where you can travel the world through entertaining home shows and see multimedia presentations of artisans creating the very items the customers will get to hold in their hands."
They now also have FREE SHIPPING on the Summer Collection consisting of lovely hammocks, garden and patio enhancements as well as summer clothing, summer decor, wearable art and gifts.
And, now for some FUN!
I was generously offered a $100 gift certificate from Novica as a thanks for posting a little review of their site and the work they do. Little did I know how much fun it would turn out to be familiarizing myself with the story behind Novica, how it all works, the talented artisans behind the artifacts and their stories, contributing to their own empowerment and success and last but not least, the amazing creations they produce.
In order to share the JOY, I chose to happily hand out half of the gift certificate as a giveaway, and YES, to use the other half myself :). The only "trouble" is that there are so many lovely products to choose from, I don't quite know where to begin. I can tell you though, I managed to have a couple of hours disappear just like that when going through the online galleries in search of some favorites. And I don't think I even got halfway through it all.
Here are only a few of my favorites ... and as you can see, leaning towards the jewelry section ... Still need to make up my mind though ... Too much loveliness!!
The only thing I ask you to do if you wish to take part is to check out the NOVICA site *here* , then "report" back to me by posting a comment and letting me and others know at least one thing you really liked (could be anything from the artifacts to Novica's mission itself), are inspired and/or moved by.
On Saturday July 2nd I will announce the lucky winner of the $50 gift certificate!!!
I'm Grateful I was invited to spread the word about this wonderful organization. Hope this speaks to you too.