Twice a year we travel to New York City for the NyNow Gift Show. NyNow has thousands of booths spanning all kinds of goods and wares. Truthfully, it is both terrifically exciting and a bit overwhelming to see all the products available out there and by the time it’s done, we’re usually pretty exhausted.
When we go, we only visit about 100 booths, which are mostly in the Global Handmade section. Each booth is set up like a miniature store with all their new products highlighted for the next season. This time everyone had their fall lines on display and their Christmas stuff. For us, NyNow has two purposes: to see the new products first hand to decide what we want to carry in our stores and perhaps more importantly, to chat with all the vendors about their work with their artisan-partners. We get to hear stories about the struggles they still face and the progress they’ve made. For instance, some groups have begun new lines in new countries, one group built a new solar-powered facility, another group rebranded to widen their audience and go back to the root of their purpose.
Check out this video we made during our trip! It’s a little introduction to some of our fair trade partners and gives you an idea of what the NyNow Gift Show looks like.
We love our trips to New York for the Gift Show! We rely on these short, but action-packed, trips to keep growing our connections with our fair trade partners. They are the direct connection to all the artisans who make the products we carry and are an important part of making fair trade what it is – they too are the faces of fair trade. Just as it is important to consider who physically makes the products we use, it is also important to consider the people who are committed to bringing those products to the global market at a fair price. Each group is dedicated to making the lives and livelihoods of their artisan-partners better and giving them opportunities to thrive!
Here are a few photos of the booths and new products that will be hitting our shelves in the next few weeks/months!
New paper stars form Acacia Creations.
New night lights made from leaves from Eangee.
Great new napkin patterns from Sustainable Threads!
Cute new Night Owls made from oil drums by It’s Cactus.
Handmade Expressions changed their name to Matr Boomie, which means mother earth in Hindi, and redesigned their booth!