A few weeks ago we were approached by a representative of NOVICA to write a review of their website. NOVICA offered us a $75 gift certificate to purchase something from one of their global artisans and then write a review. Mom declined the gift certificate but purchased something on her own to provide an unbiased review.
National Geographic is an investor in NOVICA, as is the World Bank, and the Grassroots Business Fund. NOVICA’s mission is to help preserve traditional crafts that have been disappearing in many corners of the world.
NOVICA does not charge artists fees for listing items on the website. Artists remain fully independent to raise their prices, lower their prices, or remove items from the website.
NOVICA has the first-ever microfinance website where customers can purchase products and lend money directly to artisans with loans at 0% interest! This concept is possible due to the presence of NOVICA offices in each of the serviced regions. These regional offices distribute customer orders and serve as disbursement centers for artisan loans. Mom has requested that NOVICA investigate the possibility of extending the offer of 0% interest loans to American artisans and representing them on the website. She also suggested that NOVICA strike up an alliance with Women for Women International. She thinks it would be a good partnership. If you haven’t heard about Women for Women, give them a look see. Mom has been a sponsor of an Afghanistan woman for the last year.
Mom visited the NOVICA website and found it well planned, informative (photos, testimonials, etc.), very user friendly and full of beautiful treasures. She looked at EVERYTHING before making a selection – home décor, jewelry, apparel and paintings. Checking out was a breeze with several payment options. Email confirmation of the sale was immediate and status emails followed. Delivery was prompt and the package was very well wrapped for safe shipping. After opening the package, the presentation was very nice.
The package was wrapped in special paper with a lovely ribbon. Included was a post card with Greetings from Ghana to give Mom a bit of flavor of the area where her artisan hails. On the flip side of the post card is a personal handwritten message in the native language (with an English translation). There was a small note card with Kwabena Kufuor Afriyie-Addo Jr.’s artist statement and an explanation of the meaning of her purchase called Long Cool Drink.
The batik wall hanging is signed by K. Baka. It is 100% cotton using all natural dyes and dry cleaning is recommended. Mom is thrilled with the quality of the work, and she said it made her smile as she unfolded it.
To help promote NOVICA, we are having a giveaway. NOVICA has provided us with two gift certificates – each for $37.50.
Make a comment on our blog through Saturday February 4th and we will enter your name into the drawing. You can even enter extra times by blogging about our giveaway or Facebooking about the giveaway. But make sure you leave us comments that you either blogged or Facebooked so we can enter your name for the extra drawings.