NOVICA Review – Frugal Novice


Having never traveled outside of the United States, I don’t have a collection of treasures collected from around the world. NOVICA helps me bridge the gap between my Texas town and the rest of the world – it puts products made by artisans in other countries right at my fingertips. From their site:

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.

NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

I got the chance to review products from NOVICA. I had a really hard time deciding what to pick because there was just so much to pick from! They have a wide variety of sterling silver jewelry that is just gorgeous, and I loved a lot of the home decor items too. I finally ended up choosing two things. The first is a leather wrap bracelet from Bali. It came beautifully wrapped:

and had two cards with it – one explaining the product, and another handwritten by the artisan:

Here’s the bracelet – I love the design, and it’s really well-made!

I also reviewed a bag from Thailand. Its packaging was just as pretty:

And it came with the two cards as well:

The bag has vibrant colors, and the design was created using a batik technique.

I love that I got to read about each of the artisans that created my items, as opposed to something mass-produced. On NOVICA’s mission page you can read about some of the artisan’s lives that have been changed by selling their items through the site.

NOVICA has a new program where people can host at-home parties that both support artisans and allow them to earn credits toward products. The site for the program, NOVICA Live, also shares information on how to become a consultant and go around showcasing handcrafted products.

I’d highly recommend shopping at NOVICA – you’ll find unique gifts for friends and family, and you’ll be supporting an artisan around the world at the same time. You can “like” NOVICA on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to keep up with their latest news.

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  • Shop with Me Mama (Kim) May 14, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Such beautiful things they have!

  • Katharina May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I’ve enjoyed shopping at Novica for a few years now. It’s great for Christmas gifts. Love the bracelet you pictured!

  • condro February 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    It is a paid review I believe (in exchange for free gift voucher) so I’m not surprised that it sounded so positive. Novica get their product from supplier not artist! They stock mostly $1 tourist item and spend heavily on marketing. Their product is overpriced. It should have cost less if Novica willing to invest more in buying these in bulk from Java or Bali and ship them in a sea container to the US, and fulfill the order from their American warehouse instead of bullying on the internet about fair trade. But no it is a smart Brazilian brain behind the company. It is a privately own company that never reveal their sales figure. They don’t stock the inventory in the US for two reasons, they want to eliminate business risk and to make it more emotional to the buyer to receive the item from overseas (read: directly from the artist, I mean supplier). Don’t trust Novica and don’t feel bad for not buying from them. Read “Fair trade and social justice: global ethnographies”
    By Sarah Lyon, Mark Moberg

    • Christi February 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Hi – thanks for your comment! This was a review, so I did receive a product to review. However, this was written positively because my experience was positive, and what I learned from the information on their site was positive.

    • Kitty January 7, 2015 at 12:59 am

      I know this is from a few years ago but I am so disallusioned with Novica. I had a relative give me a gift certificate for them as i really wanted a hammock. It came from Mexico. The packaging was lovely but the hammock had bits of what I fear are bug debris all over the white cotton. It is NOT part of the cotton but sitting on top of it. So I assume I can return it and use the gift cert money for something else, right? WRONG. It say first that I have to return the item to Mexico including customs charges, and that I should insure it to know that it gets there. It was $120 so I was considering doing this, then I noticed on the return policy it says there are NO REFUNDS OR RETURNS allowed for items purchased with a gift card. What the… who ever heard of that? Also they WILL NOT answer their phone. I tried before for hours, letting it ring on a speaker phone and never an answer. #&*$#* I’ve been scammed. I thought I was so savvy. Yes, I was taken in with all the artist info. No. Nope. They are bad bad people. I will have to now write off $120 that I can’t really afford to but have zero choice. I hate this. I hate hate hate this. I am already mistrustful of the world and this didn’t exactly help.

      • Christi January 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        Wow, Kitty, I am so sorry you’re having such a hard time with their customer service. If you haven’t tried already, I would highly recommend posting on their facebook page ( – that’s often a great way to reach companies and get a response. I hope you won’t let one bad experience make you jaded, though. I’ll admit I’m an optimist at heart, but there are a lot of great people out there, and there’s a lot of good in the world. :)