Shopping Adventure #4 – Global Gifts

June 15, 2012

About this series:

I am embarking on the very ambitious (read: slightly insane) task of visiting every single store that sells home goods down several miles of 28th Street (a major commercial road in Grand Rapids, MI) and the surrounding area. And you, lucky reader, will be subjected to it all! The goals of this venture are:

  • To know my city better.
  • To get off my bum.
  • To familiarize myself with what you can get for your money.
  • To make note of nice stores for future clients. (Yeah!)
  • And of course: it’s an excuse to shop!

Previous Adventures:
#1 – Gorman’s
#2 – New 2 You & White Barn Thrift Store
#3 – Weekends @ Furniture Row

Click here for Global Gifts’ website and location.

I’m excited about this one. This place is a bit of a gem. There is a hobby shop a few doors down that my boyfriend likes to peruse and one day after doing so we decided to wander down to this shop. We had absolutely no idea what it would be like.

It is not a big place, but if you like ethnic, beautiful, and INEXPENSIVE decorative pieces you could probably spend a couple hours getting lost in there. I had to go back with a camera to share it with you guys!

What’s more, you may have noticed the interesting phrase on their sign: “A World Hunger Project”. This store was started by a church in 1986 and is staffed entirely with volunteers. Every single thing they sell is Fair Trade, originating from all over the world. Their goal is to provide income for those in struggling economies around the globe. The more they sell, the more handcrafted goodies they can buy, thereby supporting the artists. So you can feel good about buying pretty little things! Yay!

Right inside the door and I was already intrigued.

Adorable little stone elephants.

Please note: The prices shown here represent what I saw the day I visited this store. The same products and prices may or may not be available currently.

Adorable little stone birds. You’ll notice that animal figurines are a strong theme here. There’s other stuff too, but if you like animals you’ll love this place. Also: LOOK AT THAT PRICE! $29 for a set of three hand-carved birds. True they’re not very big (the tallest one is maybe 8 inches), but for hand-made pieces like this I’d expect to pay two or three times that much on Etsy.

Pretty + Inexpensive is just all over the place.

There are several grouped display areas like this with pieces that are coordinated or all from the same country.

Birds are so likable. I’ve always loved birds. While I do think one needs to be careful not to put a bird on everything, they can really be a sweet decorative element in your home. $18 for one of the little black spotted guys and $28 for the black and white one with legs.

There’s also a fair amount of wardrobe accessories like these necklaces and scarves. I’m not a big accessorizer so I moved on pretty quickly, but there were some very lovely scarves for around $24.

Beautiful sculptures. Fairly certain everything on this table is from Kenya.

I love love love these little painted cat figurines. The one cat that’s sitting up with faint painted spots was $10; I nearly bought him the first time I visited.

This tableware is absolutely beautiful. That red hue would provide such a wonderful pop of color on your table. The set of 4 mugs was $25, which is more than reasonable for hand-painted beautifulness like this.

Sweet little carved and painted stone hearts. I especially like the black and white ones. Seven dollars?! Unbelievable. I’m certain each of these must take at least several hours to create so that price really is outstanding.

That turtle you see up there has another little turtle inside of him. It is one solid piece of stone that was hand-carved. Amazeballs! Wish I’d gotten the price on that, but I remember being floored that such an intricate piece was so inexpensive. Below that is a stunning trivet. Like I seriously want that thing in my life. And finally a collection of lovely wooden animals. I don’t think these pieces would really fit into my own decor, but if you have any kind of African theme or a child who loves giraffes, these are great. Those large giraffes were only $40 and had to be at least two feet tall. The smaller unpainted elephant was $18.

There is quite a large section stuffed to the brim with children’s toys.

Oh these textiles were to die for. Beautiful colors, shimmery gold, fantastic patterns. I really loved the white and gold one if you can’t tell. It was tablecloth sized and only $49.

These little boxes were SO. PRETTY. They must be mother of pearl, right? As you can see in the photos, the light hit them in the most fantastic way. And fourteen dollars?! The pricing at this place just shocked me over and over again. Trinket boxes aren’t something I usually freak out about, but I would love to have one of these beauties.

Well I did make one purchase when I visited! Scratch that, my wonderful boyfriend made one purchase. 🙂 When I told him over the phone that I was at Global Gifts he headed straight over, walked in and said something like, “Where’s that cat you like?” He was referring to the faintly spotted $10 guy I mentioned earlier, but then I told him that I think I was even more in love with this pair:

I hadn’t noticed them during the first visit. I loved the idea of having two pieces, and how adorable is the way they interact with one another? And at only $12.50 for the both, the choice was clear.

As you may recall from this post, my sweet cat and mouse are busy being cute here in my living room.

So it’s pretty clear I love Global Gifts. It is just an absolutely wonderful little place to find precious and special things from around the world. And again: so inexpensive! And when it’s all going to a good cause, I mean what more could you ask? Pay them a visit!

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  • Reply Cathy (InspiredDesign) June 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Great shop! I’ll take some of the red dishware and one of each of the textiles shown.
    “Put bird on it”…hilarious! Thanks for that fun:)

    • Reply Christina Ebbers June 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      You’ve picked out some excellent selections, Cathy! 🙂 And I’m glad you enjoyed the “Put a bird on it” video. It’s a classic. Thanks for stopping by!

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