Not Available in America? What the (F).uk?!

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty savvy online shopper. Call me crazy, but when I’m on the hunt for something in particular, I’ve been known to scour the internet for weeks – an exhaustive search for the one I like best. (Hey, my mom always told me not to settle!)

So, in the spirit of the Olympics beginning today in London, I hereby share a few products I’ve come across online, only to be confronted with a “” URL. It’s become clear to me that the Brits can design some really clever and unique stuff (aka “bits and bobs”). But, seriously? Not only do I have to deal with currency conversion, I have to get international shipping too? Bloody hell…

Glass Whale Fish Bowl
A couple years back I had the desire to set myself up with a fish tank. But not just ANY fish tank. It had to be a stylish conversation piece in-and-of-itself. Biorb has some sleek designs, but when I saw the Giona Aquarium with a lone orange goldfish swimming in the crystal clear belly of a wide-mouthed whale…well, that’s just smashing!

Image source Made in Design

Waldo Pancake
I’m a sucker for dry, witty, sarcastic copywriting. So when I stumbled upon these understatedly-designed yet brilliantly-written Waldo Pancake products, I wanted the whole collection. Maybe I have a warped sense of humor (aka “humour”), but having a sugar tin in the cupboard that “might be salt” or showing up at a birthday party with a gift bag not-so-conspicuously stating that it “Might be empty.” is pretty friggin’ hilarious. And undoubtedly my college French professor would squeal with delight if I gave him that tray. So, please, Mr. Pancake…no apology necessary.

Image source Really Good

iPhone 4 Wooden Case
Ever since I joined the iPhone revolution (I’m a graphic designer, so it’s a necessity to be a cult follower of all things Apple), I’ve had a hankering for a wooden phone case. This gem, with its “contrasting wood species,” is a rugged, manly and downright cool way to house the far superior breed of smartphones (bias much?). The only drawback is that it covers up the Apple logo on the back (which for me is the branding equivalent of a middle finger to Blackberry and Droid suckers users).

Image source

‘Tomato’ Ketchup Bottle
On a recent trip to London (the first of what I hope will be many), my friend and I crossed the London Bridge and strolled around the City area looking for a quick bite to eat. Despite being warned that burgers in London aren’t all that great, we decided on Gourmet Burger Kitchen (I may or may not have been swayed by their well-designed menu hanging out front). Sitting on every table, just begging for the fries to arrive, was this little cutie – a kitschy ketchup (aka “tomato sauce”) bottle (aka “squeezy”) in the shape of a tomato itself. Apparently inspired by “those seen in American diners,” I’ve yet to find an American site that actually sells them. Though, I’m happy to report I found some in brown, green, pink, yellow and white, too! Oh, and for the record, burgers on this side of the pond are definitely better. Sorry, chaps.

Image source Kleeneze

Ceramic Bird Feeder
When it comes to product design, I tend to go for the more streamlined, minimal aesthetic. So, when I was searching online for a unique bird feeder for my mom a while back, I obviously got sidetracked by the ChapelWood Ceramic Seed Feeder with its glossy pastel egg shape and chic lucite perch. It quietly says “I love nature and refuse to have my peep-peeps eat out of a chintzy plastic tube from Petco.” Believe it or not, they’re relatively affordable and coordinate well with the Birdball Belle Feeder and Earnest Charles Feeder Bell (yep, both from the UK too). Shopping stateside? Check out the equally fab J Schatz Egg Bird Feeder Collection from New York. I’d say they’d all make for a super swanky backyard that your feathered (and non-feathered) friends would want to flock to.

Image source ChapelWood

Posted by Brian

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