Field Notes: New York International Gift Fair

16/08/2011 § 2 Comments

This weekend I braved the stormy weather to drop by the New York International Gift Fair.  With my wet hair and Hunter wellies I wandered among thousands of purveyors of fine gifts, personal accessories, home decor, personal care products and tabletop collections.  I enjoyed checking in with some of my familiar favorites like Jonathan Adler, Oly and Dune and Duchess.  And of course, as I am a sucker for all things curious and decoupaged, John Derian and Company always has my full attention (I am in earnest need of a few dozen of his domed paperweights if you are feeling generous).

Delightful desk accessories aside, Barr-Co was a personal care collection that initially drew my attention solely on the strength of their product design.  But you probably could have guessed that, no?

Barr-Co is the latest product line from k hall designs, a Missouri-based company specializing in aromatic bath, body and home care products.  Owned and run by husband and wife team John and Kelley Barr, k hall designs believes in simplicity, quality, sustainability, and strives to use the most natural ingredients available.  Their products are made, labeled, boxed and packaged by hand in the US.

Barr-Co is a collection of soaps, lotions, candles and other bath products that are hand-crafted in small batches in St. Louis, Missouri.  For example, each wax candle is signed and dated by the artisan that poured it, and topped by a handmade letterpress candle cover.  Currently available only in the “original scent” — a fresh combination of milk, oatmeal, vanilla and vetiver — the products are at least 98% natural and most are vegan.  I especially like the deeply moisturizing hand salve, which is suggested for “before and after gardening.”  (I decided to take liberties with those instructions, natch.)

Hand-stamped muslin bags.

Packaged in sturdy, reusable milk bottles and parfait glassware, with labels that recall the age of tonics and elixirs, Barr-Co are not the sort of products I would hide away in a medicine cabinet somewhere.  These beauties are definitely worthy of display.

I also briefly stopped by Coral & Tusk, a lovely, Brooklyn-based outfit that specializes in embroidery and stationery.  Founder and designer Stephanie Housley has a whimsical touch, especially when rendering members of the animal kingdom.  If you’re in need of adorable embroidery, please take a moment to look over Stephanie’s pillows, framed art, merit badges and baby accoutrements.

I find myself wanting this little fox very, very badly.

Merit badges!

For more information:
Follow k hall designs on Facebook
Follow Coral & Tusk on Facebook

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