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Whether it’s Mother’s Day or her birthday, your mom deserves something extraordinary.
A card and some flowers are boring. But what if you could get her something that was actually unique?
Something you’d never be able to find anywhere else? Something that could absolutely wow her?
The following gift ideas can do just that for you. Every item is unique, beautiful, and engaging.
On top of that, your purchase of each one also helps individuals in marginalized communities.
Through alliances with the Fair Trade Federation, every item on this list supports local artisan groups who painstakingly craft each item by hand.
Your mum gave selflessly to you all of your life. Now you can honor her for that while also paying it forward.
You’ll find below a carefully curated list of items and the stories of the artisans who have made each piece with love.
1. Tucked Tiger Eye Handmade Brass Earrings - Brass Images
If your mom likes statement pieces, these earrings are showstoppers. These unique earrings boast two gold tiger eye stones accented with brass and copper.
Each pair of earrings is handcrafted by Brass Images, a collective of 15 South African artisans that was formed in 1988. They continue to make new and exciting designs by applying extreme heat to brass.
2. 18k Gold Plated Stainless Steel Fringe Dangle Earrings- Starfish Project
If your mother wears delicate and sleek jewelry, these earrings would be perfect for her. These 18k Gold-plated dangle earrings feature a lightweight and unique design.
On top of that, each set of earrings is created by a woman through the Starfish Project. This group rescues and trains disadvantaged and exploited women to help them develop careers and become self-sufficient.
3. Red Tiger Eye Reflections Copper and Brass Cuff by Brass Images
Handcrafted by South African artisans, this brass cuff features a copper and brass design accented with a red tiger eye.
The feathering and color on this 1.5-inch bracelet is achieved by applying extreme heat rather than paints or dyes.
The artisans, Brass Images, was established in 1988 in the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, about a 4 hour drive out of Cape Town .
The long lasting success of the project is due to the fact that the group develops new designs on a regular basis and pays great attention to detail and quality.
Brass Images employs 15 people from the local community to help create high quality fashion jewelry.
As demand grows, the organization hires and trains more artisans, providing sustainable income in an area in need of employment.
Solid brass and copper are the base materials of the product. By applying extreme heat, the artisans create the interesting patterns and effects on the jewelry. No dyes are used. Each item is entirely handmade and a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
4. Goldtone Cone Pendant Necklace - Asha Handicrafts
Asha Handicrafts, located in Mumbai, India, allows village artisans to be directly paid for their handiwork. They use only sustainable, ethically-sourced materials.
5. Domed Adjustable Brass Ring by Asha Handicrafts
Bold and chunky, this geometric adjustable brass statement ring adds a little boho flair with its domed circle design making it a fun and casual style.
If your Mom has any inkling of the Shabby Chic decor style of just loves the more casual side of life, this stylish and adjustable, hand crafted brass ring by Fair Trade artists in India, is the perfect piece for a decorative focal point on whichever finger your Mom feels like wearing it on that day!
6. Double Tree of Life Metal Art - Croix des Bouquets
This hangable steel art piece is truly stunning and would look lovely in nearly every type of home aesthetic.
If your mother is interested in unique art, this piece cannot be beat. Two trees wind around each other while birds flit between their branches.
These pieces are made of recycled 55-gallon steel drums that are cut, flattened, edged, burned, lacquered, and textured by hand.
These pieces all come out of Croix des Bouquets, a part of town in the capital of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Every artist signs each piece themselves.
7. Fish Bones Metal Wall Art - Croix des Bouquet
This is another piece of upcycled wall art from Croix des Bouquets. If you zoom in on the image, you can see the texture done to the fins and tails to give the metal the actual appearance of scales.
The handiwork is just stunning and would make a beautiful addition to any mom’s home.
8. Ikat Diamond Design Hand-printed Cotton Scarf by Asha Handicrafts
This hand-printed 100% cotton scarf is soft and light with a beautiful diamond design. The colorful scarf also makes this a classy piece, one that could be worn while walking along the beach or out to dinner.
Crafted by local Indian artisans from Asha Handicrafts, every scarf is made using traditional hand printing techniques, and each one is truly one-of-a-kind.
9. Set of Three Boxed Hand-Painted Uzima Design Candles by Nobunto
If your mother likes whimsy and fun, these candles are just that. Each set of three candles is hand-painted in gorgeous vibrant colors.
Each set is completely unique. Your mom won’t even want to burn these because they’re so beautiful!
Nobunto makes these candles as well as ceramics and greeting cards out of Napier, a small village in South Africa.
Most of their workers are women, and every sale helps them make good on guaranteeing an income for over eighteen families.
10. Set of Six Mahogany Wood Animal Napkin Rings - Jedando Handicrafts
If your mother loves hosting dinner parties, these napkin rings can give a touch of class and whimsy.
These are fun and adorable pieces! Each set comes with a giraffe, zebra, rhinoceros, elephant, lion, and cheetah.
Jedando Modern Handicrafts pride themselves on continuing the tradition of Kenyan carving, which is passed down from generation to generation.
Every piece is carved by hand and then painted.
11. Hand-Carved Wooden Zebra Salad Tongs - Jedando Handicrafts
Like the Animal Napkin Rings, these would be perfect for a mom that loves to be a hostess.
These are not only beautiful, but have a touch of whimsy, just like the napkin rings.
These wooden salad servers, accentuated with zebra print, are painstakingly crafted from one piece of wood. Purchasing these also benefits Kenyan carvers through Jedando Modern Handicrafts.
12. 14-inch, Bolga Tote, Neutrals with Leather Handle by Gitzell
Of all of the items on this list, this one is the most versatile.
This tote would likely impress any mom for both its beauty and its utility. Not only is it a beautiful piece, but it’s also sturdy and flexible.
Your mom could use it as a carry-on when she travels, a laptop bag or purse, a beach or day at the park tote bag, or even as a home decor piece.
This bag is fabulous.
Each tote is sustainably sourced from banana leaf and elephant grass by Gitzelli artisans in Kenya and Ghana who use the sales of these to subsidize their subsistence farming income.
13. Carved Wood Zebra Book Ends, Set of 2 by Jedando
If your mother loves to read or is a book lover in any way, a set of hand crafted safari zebras will delight her each time she sees them on her own bookshelf!
These book ends are painstakingly carved and hand painted using rudimentary tools by African wood carvers in the Machakos, Kenya region, so every set makes a one of a kind gift.
Carving is a tradition in Kenya with the children learning the craft from their parents.
From their hours of work, these wood carvers bring shape to many items like these Zebra bookends as well as olive wood bowls, salad serving sets, and animal-shaped napkin rings from pieces of olive wood, mahogany, and mpingo, or "African Ebony."
14. Dots & Flowers, Encantada Handmade Pottery Spice Shakers by Ceramica Quevedo
Want to give your mother a gift that also comes with a promise? This pair of brightly colored spice shakers are a true testament of love every time she reaches for them, whether she designates them for her daily salt and pepper shakers, or decides to keep some more exotic spices for that next meal.
Each set is painted and textured by hand from a small family-owned ceramic shop in Mexico, which provides jobs to men and women. Each piece works fits into our modern life too, by being dishwasher and microwave safe.
15. Acacia Wood Elephant Eyeglass Stand - Asha Handicrafts
While your mom may not love wearing her reading glasses, when she slips them off at night, she can set them in this adorable wood elephant eyeglass stand.
This is a charming, practical piece you can easily see her setting on her nightstand or desk, and each time she does, she’ll think of you and your thoughtful present.
Asha Handicrafts also made this piece, which means you can expect a sustainable and high-quality item from their artisans out of India.
For years, you’ve been buying your mother the same thing year after year, or maybe you’ve splurged on her a few times, but it was always on something that was never quite as special and unique as she is.
The items on this list are not only pieces that you’ll never find anywhere else, but they also give a hand (and leg) up to those who aren’t as fortunate.
Want to honor your mother and make her proud? Well, then you’ve been given the option to do just that.