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.)
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.