Courtesy of NOVICA

Courtesy of NOVICA

Mother’s Day is on fast approach, and this year’s holiday is poised to bring in the motherload. This as a National Retail Federation survey forecasts that this coming Mother’s Day “is expected to deliver highest consumer spending to date” with expenditures “expected to total a record $25 billion this year, up from $23.1 billion in 2018.” That’s a staggering amount of money showing mommy just how much we care—an endeavor for which consumers up the ante annually.

“Mother’s Day spending has been growing consistently over the past several years, and this year’s spending is expected to be the highest in the 16-year history of our survey,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are excited to celebrate all the moms in their lives, and retailers are ready to inspire consumers with unique gift options.”

With unique, sure-fire and tried-and-true gift options in mind, here are a few ideas to help streamline your shopping efforts and help you make savvy splurges to celebrate mom on her special day.

NOVICA Artisan Fair-Trade Marketplace (
If you crave distinctive style, worldly sophistication and enjoy shopping for a cause, then NOVICA—the largest online, fair-trade marketplace featuring beautiful hand-crafted products from all over the world—is for you. Their curated cache of artisans has been hand-selected, with many having overcome amazing odds by selling their goods. For example, the Blue Jasmine Batik Silk Scarf, designed by Java artisan Yuni Kristina, has expanded business into a global marketplace thanks to the help of NOVICA’s team. Originating in Indonesia, batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Kristina hand-stamps the blue patterns on the ivory textile and adds red and black designs in batik. Also noteworthy NOVICA artisans are glass-blowing artists Javier Gutiérrez and Efrén Canteras, who have worked together to preserve Mexico’s blown glass artistry. They work with lead-free, un-tempered and recycled glass that is melted at very high temperatures and formed into beautiful wares like stunning and highly distinctive drinkware and serveware. NOVICA features many other authentic crafts from around the globe and the company has sent more than $89.9 million back to their artisans to date. It’s cause-conscious consumerism at its best.

Dooney & Bourke ‘Caldwell’ Design Handbags (
The Caldwell Collection from Dooney & Bourke exemplifies understated elegance. These chic, structured bags created from python-embossed leather are refined but with a touch of glam courtesy of the gold-plated hardware embellishment. The collection of products has also been treated to repel some moisture, so those spring showers are nary a worry. One option I especially adore from the line is the Caldwell Flynn Handbag, which features rich textures of that python-embossed leather that elevates this fashion-forward bag. Soft pleats and a gold logo round out the look on the exterior, while inside there’s a light twill lining—a bright pop of red juxtaposing my choice of the deep espresso brown option. Aside from its aesthetics, what I adore about this handbag is that it’s extremely roomy, with the main compartment holding an abundant amount while also keeping you organized courtesy of deep-set pockets galore. Another piece that I especially like for when I only need to carry essentials is the Caldwell Zip Clutch. The exotic texture of python is once again artfully imprinted in leather, making this eye-catching clutch an instant outfit changer. Its classic, timeless shape makes this clutch a perfect companion. It can also be used as a coordinating wallet with the Flynn Handbag. For an effortless polish, day or night, Caldwell bags are a great choice for the season and beyond.

Grayson Monáe Handmade Flats & Fashion Accessories (
Grayson Monáe flats are walking works of art that are handmade to perfection by skilled artisans with 100% genuine leather, exquisite hand embroidery, impeccable craftsmanship, premium fabric, fine silk thread and padded soles. These characteristics, along with the attention to detail paid to each shoe, make them one-of-a-kind classics. Everything from the embroidery to the stitching, to the pearl and bead placement, to the unique designs are crafted by talented artisans. These flats are not only stylish, unique, comfy and cute, they’re also affordable with options starting at $45. They’re also highly versatile and can be worn with absolutely anything, including jeans, tights, skirts, shorts, or even formal dresses. Designed with women of all ages in mind, these are statement shoes certain to draw attention of the best kind.  Indeed, not only do they look good on women, but teenage daughters will love them, too.  In addition to the fabulous flats, Grayson Monáe also sells handmade clutches to match and beautifully-embroidered handmade scarves.

Sebastien Barthelemy S&B Apparel (www.SandB-English)
Sebastian Barthelemy’s S&B, a fashion company located in Seine-et-Marne, France, offers a wide selection of t-shirts and hoodies featuring colorful pop culture designs based on various heart shape emojis. Mom can wear these shirts to express what she’s feeling with universal love and humor. Designs for women, men and children include famous personalities, country flags and other fun and heartfelt ways to communicate through clothing. S&B believes that the symbol of the heart is extremely communicative and profoundly universal, and serves as the inspiration for their design ideas. Something else to love is the fact that all of the garments are made from 100 percent sustainable, organic cotton.

Dr. med. Christine Schrammek Skincare Line (
For women keen on focusing on skin health and wealth, check out the medically-inspired skin care products from the Dr. med. Christine Schrammek collection by Kosmetik—a 60-year-old German skincare company. Products in this innovative, dermatologist-created line boast proven ingredients, and are individually targeted to meet the needs of different skin types. Thanks to their high ingredient concentration, Dr. Schrammek products seamlessly combine dermatological knowledge with high-end skin care, resulting in rave reviews from women across the globe. Dermatologist, allergologist and anti-aging expert Dr. med. Christine Schrammek-Drusio’s professional occupation as a doctor with her own practice strengthened her desire to create a connection between cosmetics and dermatology. Today, thousands of aestheticians and users worldwide reportedly take advantage of the company’s skin care products. The company offers a skin care portfolio with seven product lines addressing different skin types and concerns, with each combining innovative and proven components to optimize skin health. All products are dermatologically tested, and many are clinically tested, to ensure optimum efficacy.

Playground Sessions Keyboard/Piano Lessons Membership Bundle (
Give the gift of music and an enriched life by helping Mom learn how to play her favorite songs on the keyboard or piano at home in an easy and fun way. Playground Sessions, a company co-created by Quincy Jones, is passionate about using its innovative technology and musical expertise to help people improve themselves and enjoy life more. The company offers a bundle that includes a full-featured and elegantly designed keyboard well-suited for the beginner player. In addition, the Playground Sessions bundle includes over-ear portable headphones, sustain pedal, sheet music stand and more. The included USB cable lets users connect to Playground Sessions online instruction via a computer or iPad. With step-by-step interactive lessons, real-time feedback and scores, she’ll be playing on day one!

VocoPro Pop-Up Oke Bluetooth Karaoke System (
Pop-Up Oke is a great gadget gift for singers who would enjoy a fun, all-in-one wireless karaoke mic with a built-in mixer/speaker, complete with its own light show! From audio leader VocoPro, the Pop-up-Oke microphone can connect to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and use YouTube or any number of different karaoke apps to access and enjoy hours of entertainment. Singers can also use the onboard MP3 SD/TF player to perform with recorded MP3 tracks. The multi-color LED lights can be turned on or off and, when on, will automatically “dance” to the beat of the music to add a visual excitement to any karaoke session. The system features a new generation of wireless karaoke microphone technology, including an all-in-one portable design. It’s just perfect for small karaoke gatherings and road trips. it also features innovative music link technology that can pair two Pop-up Oke devices to perform duets, a shock mounted professional condenser microphone to reduce handling noise, and a user-replaceable lithium ion rechargeable battery.

VocoPro Karaoke Dual Bluetooth System (
Also from VocoPro is KaraokeDual, a powerful 2.1 digital boom box with high-quality DSP effects that allow singers to sound their best. The system has a powerful 100W amplifier with dedicated subwoofer allowing for high quality karaoke audio. Users can connect via Bluetooth and stream karaoke audio wirelessly, or can connect the KaraokeDual machine to an Internet-connected Smart TV with the available digital optical input. Either scenario allows users to access thousands of tracks through YouTube or a favorite karaoke app. The KaraokeDual also comes packaged with two digital 2.4Ghzband wireless vocal microphones, each of which has the controls built right into the handheld for maximum convenience. It also features a vocal eliminator feature to reduce the original vocals on non-karaoke tracks as well. Turn Mom’s living room into a karaoke studio for friends and family, filling the space with great-sounding music and vocals for hours of fun and entertainment.

Cookies Con Amore Italian Treats (
Cookies Con Amore is a baker of gourmet Italian cookies. While based in Southern California, the Italian born head baker, Fernanda Capraro, is inspired by recipes that can be traced through five generations. Their heart-shaped jelly is a signature item along with Italian Wedding Cookies, Biscotti, Amaretti and an array of other tasty and authentic confections. Most are also available in Gluten Free varieties. Uniquely Italian, the cookies contain the top-quality, natural ingredients, including organic butter, free range eggs and premium grade extracts. Cookies Con Amore’s traditionally Italian palate favors subtlety and focuses on an essential flavor, believing that if you are eating a lemon cookie, the flavor should unfold delicately and you should taste fresh lemon, a hint of sweetness and nothing inessential. This premium cookie brand is great for gifting, holiday entertaining and certainly as tasty “everyday” treats. Many assortments are offered in a stylish package that combines multiple cookie flavors in a single heart-shaped basket, tin or box.

SHARP Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (
The SHARP Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is an extremely efficient option perfect for every-day use, allowing users to keep their big oven clean for special occasions. The combination of superheated steam and conventional, radiant heat in all cooking modes means that food will be crispy and browned on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. Not to be mistaken with a traditional steamer or steam oven, with superheated steam up to 485°F, in conjunction with conventional, radiant heat, proteins will brown and become crispy. Sugars will caramelize. And the results are amazing. You won’t need to preheat your oven before cooking or even defrost the food the night before. You can simply place food into the oven, set the desired cooking mode, temperature and time. With multiple cooking modes, this countertop oven provides endless cooking possibilities and will eliminate the need for multiple small countertop appliances. It can broil or grill, bake or reheat, cook pizzas, warm food, and also create 7 shades of toast. Its convenient front-loading water tank is easy-to-access, and easy-to-fill with regular tap or bottled water. It’s the perfect size and provides up to 60-minutes of cooking time before refilling. And, the hidden bake element is beneath a flat oven floor so clean-up is a breeze. This really sets this oven apart from most other countertop ovens. The included broiling pan and crisper tray gives you 2-tier-cooking and they are 40% larger than a standard, quarter-size sheet pan making it perfect for anything from making sheet pan dinners for the whole family, to hors d’oeuvres for party guests.

Limoneira Lemons, Merchandise, Recipes & Tips (
From, Limoneira spokesperson, “Healthy Grocery Girl” Founder Megan Roosevelt, shows people how to make life simpler and healthier with recipe and nutrition tips, natural beauty techniques, creative decorating ideas and green, non-toxic cleaning solutions—any and all of which Mom would certainly appreciate. Buy her a gift pack of these lemons and show her how to enjoy fresh juice for glowing skin, the many benefits of lemon water and more…or cook one of their delicious meals for her like their Lemon Chicken Sheet Pan recipe. You can actually purchase gift baskets from as well as merchandise gifts well-suited for Mother’s Day, like the Lemon Sugar Candle that’ll freshen up Mom’s space. Since its inception 126 years ago in 1893, California-based Limoneira has evolved into an important sustainable grower and harvester of lemons and other citrus. Its founders were pioneers of spirit and vision that helped lay the foundations of a thriving California citrus industry. Their dedication and innovation in the agricultural industry helped found and develop many institutions that still exist (Sunkist Growers, Fruit Growers Supply and Diamond Walnut). Today, Limoneira is a global agribusiness and seller of citrus to grocery stores and food establishments everywhere.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As prolific consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. The best-of-the-best across all product, service and travel categories—as well as noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers—are spotlighted in her exclusive cross-media platform that reaches multi-millions each month through several syndication channels: print and online publications as well as broadcast TV and terrestrial radio. Connect with her at / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***


Photo courtesy of/copyright NOVICA