Elevate Difference


BooBoo Unisex Wrist Bracelet, Orange

Functional. Fashionable. Fun. The BooBoo wrist cuff from Truth is oh-so-cool—according to me, anyway. It’s a deep orange—a colour that has grown on me over time—and has an almost faded look. Created from distressed acrylic and cotton webbing, this BooBoo is size small, fitting me with ideal precision. These genuine non-leather bands, amusingly named “BooBoos,” are manufactured in Canada by a company called Truth.

Ladies Certified Organic White T-Shirt

Green is the new black, and no, we’re not talking about that vintage Chanel dinner party dress. From cosmetics to clothing, the determination to be more earth friendly is not just a celebrity fad, but a way of honoring Mother Nature.

Moonlit Necklace & Flying Home Ring

Having made its premiere in the northern Italian city of Turin in 1896, La bohème is now the second most frequently performed opera in the United States—so says Wikipedia. Ordinarily, the near-winner might be a little miffed at the first place slot being granted to another, but Tuscan composer Giacomo Puccini loses to no one other than himself.

2010 Complete Tibetan Calendar

The 2010 Complete Tibetan Calendar is, as calendars go, pretty nifty. It features an astrological forecast for each day of the year, determined by a combination of three factors: element combination, ruling conjunction, and auspicious combination. If you do not know what any of these things are, don’t worry; located at the end of the calendar, in the “About This” section, is a wonderfully constructed chart that explains what each astrological indicator is and how it affects a person’s daily life.

Green Arm Cuff with Wooden Marble Buttons / Flax Farm Hoop Earrings / Face Scrubbies

I have a proud family history of hand-me-downs, secondhand stores, and thrift. My mother once had a bumper sticker: “This car stops for yard sales.” I am familiar with “rummaging” as a sanctioned, communal activity for acquiring goods; have visited flea markets in several countries; filled paper sacks at $1 “bag sales”; and as a child, I often accompanied my realtor father to tag and estate sales. For years, I have longed to visit the Highway 127 Yard Sale.

2010 Slingshot Desk Organizer

I am an INFJ, which means that among my other characteristics is the somewhat innate desire to plan. Since discovering them several years ago at the Lucy Parsons Center, I have been hooked on Slingshot planners.

Black Lip Mother of Pearl Round Earrings

Today is Black Friday, the mother of all shopping days in my country of origin where business profits turn from red to black and bank accounts from black to red. Someone in the mid-sixties must have had one hell of a sense of humor to time this day to fall directly after Thanksgiving. One day Americans join with their families in (mock) appreciation of their conquested homeland and the next they begin an altogether too similar conquest, only this time it's consumer goods they're after instead of arable land.

Circle of Fire Pendant

I know this will sound strange (and very Freudian), but I like to put things in my mouth. I get a mysterious enjoyment out of experiencing an object’s texture against my tongue and teeth. Porcelain is a most odious oral encounter, and just the thought of its grainy surface scraping against my enamel is enough to send a shiver down my spine.

Quilted Gadget Bag & Small Pouch

For no apparent reason, I fell in love with elephants when I was a little girl and started an ad hoc collection. By the time I was an adult I had gathered a small army of elephant kitsch that included everything from crystal statues to jewelry to candles to clocks. My penchant for all things pachyderm made gift-giving occasions an effortless affair for all of my family and friends, but while they were appreciative of the low maintenance mental exertion, their lack of creativity had me a little bit miffed.

Poppies Silhouette Pendant

This simple yet beautiful handmade pendant has a base of a one inch square piece of fiberboard and is but one of the hundreds of choices available from NoisyBirdStudio, a husband and wife team from New Hampshire. The husband cuts out the fiberboard tiles, and the wife does the rest. Once she creates her tiny pieces of art and prints them “using high-quality laser print and paper,” she sands and seals the edges and applies a “non-toxic glass-like resin” to the top. The resin on my pendant seems very sturdy and resistant to cracks and chips.

Japanese Floral and Forest Pendants

My first assignment for the Indian edition of Marie Claire was to write a book review of Kamila Shamsie’s novel Burnt Shadows. Having never written for a glossy mag before, I was quite excited about this opportunity—but nervous too. Bigger publications have a tendency to censor unflattering sentiments that might alienate potential advertisers, and when it comes to fiction, I’m not easy to please. If I failed to be impressed by Shamsie’s work, would I still get the gig?

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Earrings / Lady Robot Red Pocket Mirror

I used to be a fussy gal when it came to keeping up appearances. I obsessively straightened my hair, checked my makeup many times a day, and had a sizable collection of collared shirts. Along the way—between the radicalizing of my politics, inheriting much of my grandmother's wardrobe, and deciding that what I call ugly chic best represents my humble upbringings and current socioeconomic situation—I put my flat iron in storage, threw out all of my makeup (save for a mascara wand for special occasions), and gave away all my collared shirts that required starch.

Euoko’s Y-00 Instant Precision Cellular Masque / Leaf & Rusher’s Active Serum

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental hazards in India. Caused largely by vehicles with aged diesel engines and industrial emissions, the same technology that is moving the country forward in the global economy is moving people backward in terms of individuals’ health. Half of the children in Bangalore are now afflicted with asthma, and Kolkata has the highest number of cases of lung cancer in the world.

Better Than Chocolate Vibe

Italian researcher Dr. Andrea Salonia believes that women who eat chocolate have better “overall sexual function and sexual desire” than women who shun it. Chocolate is even said to have aphrodisiac qualities due to two chemicals: tryptophan, which increases serotonin (a feel-good mood stabilizer), and a stimulant similar to amphetamine that “is released in the brain when we fall in love." Still, the debate rages on. So which is better—sex or chocolate? And, if it is sex, can a vibrator make the same a claim?

Hyacinth Collection Crystal Moon Necklace

I was born March 23, 1980 at 1:30 a.m. in San Diego, California. This moment of happenstance means that I just made the cut for being the fire sign Aries, a bold astrological identification. This arbitrary timing is also the cause of my birthstone being Aquamarine, a barely-there blue resembling the clarity of the ocean in a place untouched by tourism like Lakshadweep.

Wings Earrings

When I was coming up, it was all the rage to pierce your ears in multiple places—the higher the potential risk for infection, the better. Multiple holes in your cartilage was not only standard; it was expected. I knew guys who wore safety pins in their ears, whether they'd been professionally pierced or not. I had a friend who let her high school boyfriend pierce her nipple with a safety pin too.

Green Meadow Earrings

When cold weather settles over the Northern Hemisphere, it's all I can do to get out of bed in the morning. I live far enough north that the daylight time literally cuts in half—what was once a twelve-hour-day becomes six measly hours of cloud-covered sunshine. In addition to bundling in many layers, pulling the cat in for extra snuggles at night, and cranking up the heater, I try to keep my appearance fresh. I can all too easily spiral into a dark months depression.

Tooth-y Post & Live Life/Love Life Earrings

I hover in that funny in-between space of generations. Having come into this world in 1980, I teeter between Gen X and Gen Y status. I remember the Reagan presidency, the first Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin wall—though I didn’t really understand the impact of any of these things at the time.

2010 Wall Calendar: Anne Taintor

“She was one cocktail away from proving his mother right” is the text accompanying a modestly dressed, yet sexily posed, 1950s woman that adorns the cover of the 2010 Wall Calendar by Anne Taintor. Why is it that these satirical sentences bring a smile to our faces? Why does it give us such pleasure to poke fun at these Leave it to Beaver prototypes? Whatever the analysis, it works.

Rhubarb N Blueberry Spice Soap

I am a soap snob, but not without good reason. I don't want to imbibe chemicals into my skin, and just about everything with scent tends to make my skin dry out or cause an allergic reaction.

Sagebrush & Pinon Soy Candle

My reasons for reviewing the Sagebrush & Pinon candle from Soy Candles by Phebes were somewhat self-serving. I was intrigued by the name, and I wanted to try my hand at writing a product review. Ama encourages reviewers to do a little research before requesting items for review, but I happily assumed a candle that smelled like sage would be a welcome accoutrement to any abode.

Skinny Scarves

The first time I came to Kolkata, I was swindled by a little girl who couldn't have been more than six years old. While trying to find a pair of shoes in New Market, this cutie pie grabbed my hand as I was walking, turned her grinning face toward me, and cheerfully said, "Hello! What is your name?" Caught off guard, and a little stupid from lingering jet lag, I said, "My name is Mandy." Her eyes grew wide and she dropped my hand.

BooBoo Unisex Wrist Bracelet, Woven

The story behind a company and its products really makes or breaks my decision to purchase. Yes, aesthetics are a key determining factor, but my criteria goes beyond this alone. I want to know the who, what, where, when, and how behind it so that my money supports my values.

Wildflower Burst Silhouette Pendant

Before I moved to India, I sold everything I owned save for one giant suitcase full of necessary odds and ends, eight boxes of books, four over-stuffed CD holders, and a couple crates of records. All but the suitcase and its contents are stored with friends who were kind enough to lend a corner of their already crowded New York City apartments for the duration of my two-plus year excursion across the world. When one rids oneself of nearly all of one’s material possessions, the items one keeps give a pretty accurate description of what that person deems important.

Two Roads Necklace / Forever Necklace

Cloudberries—also known as 'bakeapples'—are a tiny fruit found in the Northern Hemisphere. Like jewelry designer Ioulia, who hails from Espoo in the Helsinki municipality of Finland, cloudberries thrive in colder climates and produce rich color. Influenced by their delicate vibrancy, Ioulia named her shop for the cinnamon-colored berries. In her beautiful handcrafted designs, it's easy to see the simple but elegant inspiration. I’m a sucker for pretty gift wrapping.

Spearmint Soap

Who doesn’t love soap? Besides a Chilean pal I had in college who insisted “Americans bathe too often,” I’ve never known anyone who took issue with washing. I have a complicated relationship with bathing, though. It takes me a while to deal with my hair once washed, and for this reason, I’ve been experimenting with less frequent showering this past year. Some people think this is a ‘green’ habit. For me, it’s mostly about convenience and comfort. I grew up loving baths, and my current apartment features only an awkward shower with two levels.

Replenishing Hand Cream (Rose Flower)

My paternal grandmother was the offspring of a French immigrant family that emigrated to the United States. She came of age during a time of great extravagance (Roaring Twenties) followed by a sharp decline (Great Depression) and then raised five children—three boys and two girls—by herself in St. Louis, Missouri while my grandfather reported for duty during World War II. In my grandparents' house there were two bathrooms, one pink and the other blue, a color-coded system marked by a form of gender segregation that had a utilitarian function in the large and evenly split household.

Smoove Lines: A Birthstone Bangle in Sterling Silver

For those who can’t seem to find unique (and affordable!) jewelry that isn’t of the sort sold in droves at retail chains, The Pretty Peacock is your answer. Self-proclaimed “Head Bird” Ana Talukder Simpson says The Pretty Peacock believes jewelry should evoke emotion, capture a memory, or tell a story; it’s not just about what matches with your outfit. Smoove Lines is a perfect example of this mantra.

Chocolate Rain Soy Candle

To say I was ill prepared when I moved to Denmark for love is quite an understatement. I did not research the stereotypes; when people starting shoving past me on public transit, I was surprised. The prices still startle me. And while I have a working knowledge of geography, I was not prepared for the darkness that accompanies winters so close to the Arctic Circle. A South African co-worker recently asked how I survived last winter in Copenhagen.

BooBoo Unisex Wrist Bracelet, Faded Prints, Burgundy Flower

Fashion designer Renia Pruchnicki began making Truth belts a bit by chance. Previously working as an outdoor gear designer, her employer closed their doors in 2001. From her small studio in Toronto, with a bit of savings, a small loan, and her vault of skills, Truth was born. Renia had no experience working with leather, so she began making vegan belts with faux leather textiles.