The New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) kicked off this Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center with approximately 2,800 vendors looking to attract over 35,000 attendees.
The show is divided up into four categories that include: new, home, lifestyle, and handmade. Within the category division, NYIGF has split the categories into subdivisions: New York’s newest, accent on design, at home, baby & child, Ex-tracts, general gift, handmade designer maker, handmade global design, personal accessories and details, studio, and tabletop & housewares.
As I was enthralled by all the small business owners, I really was inspired by the vendors in the handmade global design division. Everyone I talked to was so proud of their business and dedicated to bringing goodness to the world.
“The most rewarding aspect is knowing how frustrating the process may be, the end result is positive,” Kelly Weinberger of World Finds said.
One of the companies, Push Pull Cambodia, creates handmade pillows, bags, scarves, and other goods by working with Cambodians and using the centuries-old ikat weaving technique to produce modern day products.
Push Pull Cambodia doesn’t only support the village with employment and fair wages, but they also go the extra mile to take care of their workers. For example, after Push Pull Cambodia thought some of the workers needed to get their eyes checked they took them to a doctor (many for the first time) and got them glasses.
Other social entrepreneurs I really enjoyed chatting with include World Finds, Mata Traders, Jenny Krauss, Creative Women, and Honduras Threads.
Many of the entrepreneurs love attending NYIGF because of the benefits of foot traffic, and it provides a welcoming environment for all sizes.
“The NYIGF is known for its diversity. It is a national show that welcomes both boutique owners and large catalog companies,” Weinberger said.