Jewelry is my credit card’s enemy. Most times while shopping for presents for the holidays I find myself buying one gift for someone else and one for myself. Statement necklaces, rings, charms, pendants- you name it, I want. As a park employee it would also be an understatement to say I like being outside and anything dealing with nature. I found a few shops that combine that with my love for jewelry - a perfect fit!
The first time walking by the Friction Jewelry booth, my eyes were drawn to the copper, gold and silver pieces on display. But there was one product in specific I had to have. The hand dipped, one of a kind, leaf necklaces were a major magnet for me. Maple, cottonwood, birch, aspen, or oak are some of your options and I had to have a signature New York maple leaf. Shop keepers are happy to explain this intricate method known as electroforming that preserves the leaves forever. Not only that, but they are able to tell you where your leaf came from. Exclusive Central Park leaves are for sale, pictured above in a variety of colors and materials. The large maple from Central Park is handpicked and dipped then available for your purchase for $65.
Friction Jewelry: Booth E05 on the Fountain Terrace (map)
The next stop on my nature jewelry quest was Faire. Faire is a leading fair trade company that collaborates with artisans from all over the world including Ecuador, Vietnam, Swaziland and more. Their artisans use all natural materials like tagua nuts, acai seeds, coconut seeds, alpaca fibers and other unique seeds that one wouldn’t expect to wear as jewelry. The vendor was extremely helpful showing me a tagua nut before it is shaved down or polished and also the different products it can be turned into.
Faire: Booth L06 near the Tree (map)
I also must point out one last shop that caught my attention. Cliff Belts sells products made completely out of cork from trees without cutting or harming them. For those of you like me, who don’t know, cork is made from the outer bark of trees and in order to harvest it, the tree is not killed. The bark can grow back and no damage is done. This shop has branches and stumps coming out all over, as part of the displays for their belts, bags, and wallets. So take a step out of the cold and into this woodland. My personal favorite was a black clutch that was lightweight and sleek, made from cork!
The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 10am - 6pm