Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

dilemma of craft vs. cheap

Monday, January 4th, 2010

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When I was at mall last week in search for an inexpensive dress for New Years, I saw a very familiar knit ‘hat’ in one of the teeny-bopper stores. It was the EXACT SAME style, hand-knit hat that I had bought just last year around Christmas time from Volang, during my (seemingly annual) trip to Union Square, NYC.

Of course, this mass produced product, selling at the mall was less than one-third the price of hat from Volang where, at the Christmas stall, I was able to chat with the craftswoman who made the very hat I wear during these cold months. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with knock-off and counterfeit luxury brand items. But, at what point does one go for quality and personal touch over price? People want to be fashionable, yet purchase items that are affordable. And even if items are affordable and supporting independent artists and designers, they’re hard to locate. There are very few outlets other than Etsy, which has been saturated with “junk” where people can purchase or browse independent designs. You could try checking out Supermarket, but the best part of experiencing the craftsmanship is actually getting to touch and feel the products! Oh the dilemma…! end rant.

On a side note, the reason I really enjoy shopping so much when traveling is because it allows me to explore new (or old) cities, while hunting for specialty items.. (outside of touristy areas, of course!) Can’t wait for the new adventures that 2010 hold 🙂 Stay tuned!

ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters and Uniqueness

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

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Hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and a wonderful new year!

I was itching to make this post earlier, but couldn’t give away the gift I used for my family Secret Santa. So, here it is -adorable holiday cookie cutters by WorldwideFred that were found during holiday shopping in NYC. Oddly (or not so oddly), I found them at Henri Bendel, located at 712 5th Avenue.

Initially, I would have never expected such a quirky gift from a prestigious fashion retailer, but after being delighted to have found a unique gift, I made the connection –uniqueness. Retailers are constantly on the search to differentiate themselves and be trend setters. They need to offer clients and customers a reason to come back. Is that reason pure product quality? Affordability? Luxury? Variety? It’s a combination of a many differentiators which range from the convenience of a one-stop-shop or being a specialty store to selling the customer service experience. Regardless the exact strategy at Henri Bendel, I was happily surprised and excited to have found WorldWideFred products there and would certainly go back to find that ‘special’ gift. It seems like a mission accomplished for both retailer and gift-hunter.

‘Fresh Label’ food packaging is brilliant

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

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Fresh Label uses the hourglass to represent time that food has been packaged. When ammonia is released from the food, the label where the barcode is located changes color and can no longer be scanned at check-out.

False labeling on food is a worldwide concern. Many consumers carefully check the food labels, however, expiry dates typed on the labels in characters are easily faked and there is a limit for its reliability.

To solve such problem, we suggest a food label which changes its color by reacting to ammonia given off by food when it is becoming spoiled. When the food is no longer edible, the food label makes a barcode non-scannable and non-purchasable with pattern. This food label is reliable and difficult to counterfeit since it directly reflects freshness.

Learn more about Fresh Label and To-Genkyo via PSFK.

Designed for Tots

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

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I was doing some research and inspiration hunting a while back and came across Boon, a design studio focused on designing products with babies and parents in mind. Above image are Benders (Adaptable Utensils), where the scoop of the utensil can be bent to accommodate the child’s grip. In addition to the great form factor and colors, the basics of function have been well considered too!

Boon offers a wide range of products that help parents all over the world. We’re committed to creating nothing but the most innovative gear—and keeping it affordable. Our design studio is always in motion, tackling one parenting challenge after another. And don’t forget our commitment to quality and safety.

A couple other infant sites that I’ve come across, who carry well thought out designs:

  • Fawn and Forest carries a great collection of products from various designers.
  • BabyWit with some cool graphics.

CraftBoston 2009 highlights

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Craft Boston featuring 200 Contemporary Craft Artists was held at the World Trade Center, Boston on March 27-29, 2009. A great show of independent crafts people and artists. Below are a few of my favorites.

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InsectLab

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a different way of measuring

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

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Who would have thought of measuring in such a way! Clever.

from Fred and Friends

Goods of Desire re-interprets food as gift

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) is one of my must-see stores whenever in Hong Kong. I love seeing all the expressive east-meets-west lifestyle elements. However, this press release has me both excited and disappointed.

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These tasty roll-bustos have an irresistible charcoal grilled aroma. They are made from natural egg white and black sugar. Egg white is full of protein and is low in cholesterol. In the production process, natural minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to health have been carefully retained. It is a delicious treat with tea and coffee.

From cigars to eggrolls: brilliant concept, but are they trying to sell me the wonderfully novel idea or the supposedly great health benefits? What do you think?

Visit G.O.D to learn more about their concept and the products they carry. Visit them in 3 HK locations here.

Taipei Night Markets

Friday, February 27th, 2009

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The first of the many Taipei night-market stops was ShiLin Night Market… I didn’t even know where to begin with the overwhelming amount of Chinese food that, even with my being Chinese, was foreign. As you may know, Chinese food (along with language) is very regional and this is evident (along with Japanese influence) in Taipei.

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airport shopping and eating utensils

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

During my trip to Hong Kong, I also took a small trip to Taipei and while waiting for my flight back to HK, I spent my remaining Taiwanese dollars at the airport. I couldn’t resist picking up this pair of chopsticks… the chopstick stand doubles as a container of sorts. Clever.

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Back in the States and catching up with some blog reading, this product reminds me of the chopsticks…

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Give It A Rest Utensils by Godefroy de Virieu, set of 6 sold for $24.

via Core77

More from my Hong Kong and Taipei trip to come shortly!

food gadget (2 of 2)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

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The patent pending FoodLoop is…

The first heat-resistant silicone food trussing tool designed to replace kitchen string and toothpicks in the prep and cooking process.

View video and buy ($10/each) from FusionBrands, who also makes previously posted IceOrb.

speaking of absinthe

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

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I came across these mints sold at PerpetualKid during my last minute Christmas shopping last month.

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Lollipops via BoingBoing

compact objects for travel

Friday, December 19th, 2008

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  • 24-7 bag from Flip & Tumble, take it wherever you go because you never know when you’ll need it!

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