I could probably write for several weeks about all the things we did and saw and ate in Iceland, but am trying to focus on my favorite things. In this case, the favorite things I came home with!
Duty Free introduced me to the adorable Icelandic world of Tulipop. Created by two Icelandic women as unique, magical characters inspired by nature, the figures captured my grown-up imagination, and it was a real struggle to not come home with the large Mr. Tree lamp. Instead, I came home with Fred and Mr. Tree keychains, and a desire to return to Iceland and buy everything else in the delightful children’s toy collection.
I also came home with a New Looxs pannier, something I hadn’t intended on buying. I had no idea there was a cool bicycle shop in downtown Reykjavik, Berlin Bicycles, until I stumbled upon it. Having regretted not buying a New Looxs bag during our 2014 honeymoon, I snapped this up regardless of price. More on that in a future blog post!
But the one thing I had gone to Iceland in search of were Tira Radiant Accessories, and creator Alice Olivia Clarke. These wonderful reflective accessories are made from Icelandic wool and recycled rubber, and hand crafted right there in Alice’s shop in Hafnarfjordur, a town on the western edge of Reykjavik.
I wasn’t sure how The Mechanic and our friends would do with such a meeting, but we had a blast talking with Alice and learning about her life, different creative focuses, product, and Iceland in general, and we all ended up buying handfuls of reflective fun. I knew in advance that I wanted one of her necklaces, because I think it is such an unusual design. I had planned on getting light gray one, to go with everything, but couldn’t resist the luscious plum colored one. And it coordinates so well with one of the sweaters I had with me! The Mechanic bought one of the reflective loops, and I also grabbed a handful of the rune reflectors. I love the meaning of the runes and am always happy to have something add good luck to my travels. Some are gifts, but I do now have them on several bags and purses!
Alice graciously whipped up a necklace for one of my friends, who wanted a color she didn’t have already created, so we got to see the artist in action! She also creates gorgeous mosaics which decorate spaces in Reykjavik and Hafnarfjordur, and rounds out her creativity with acting. Catch her in Land Ho!, a movie we plan to see soon.
I am completely delighted with my necklace and am sure I’ll wear it frequently, in all seasons. Check out her Instagram account for more fun photos of Alice and her designs! One of the joys of travel for me is to find local and unique jewelry, and get to know the designer, and this will be a cherished memory that just so happens to light up the night!