Appreciating Our Loved Ones - Valentine's Day Staff Picks - tortoise general store

Appreciating Our Loved Ones - Valentine's Day Staff Picks

Posted by Ruby Zuckerman on

Traditional Valentine's Day might look like hearts, flowers, chocolates - with an emphasis on a man showering his girlfriend with lots of gifts. Did you know that in Japan, Valentine's Day looks a little different? Overseas, it's traditionally the girlfriend who is responsible for Valentine's day gifts!

Brass container holding a single dry flower side by side with a metallic ceramic sculpture

Of course, today, in both Japan and the United States, Valentine's Day has evolved a lot further than these very limited roles. We hope Valentine's Day can be an opportunity for you to show some love and appreciation for everyone in your life -  whether it's the friend who has dropped off groceries for you, the family member who you haven't been able to visit this year, or, of course, your special loved one. We asked our staff to round up some of their favorite affectionate gift ideas. Here are five ways to express gratitude for the love in your life this Valentine's Day:

1. A gift that grows more beautiful with age

Tokyo-based Picus describes their designs as "future-antiques" - a term that speaks to their desire to build long-lasting objects that grow more beautiful over time. This, of course, is a beautiful metaphor for a relationship. 

Picus explores the long-lasting, metamorphic quality of brass - a material that will oxidize over time as it comes in contact with the oils on your fingers or the elements in the air. This aging process will result in rich, organic, beautiful tones that continue to mature with age. 

Leather is another material that will age beautifully over time. We recommend exploring our unisex CDG wallets. These classic leather designs are part of the ever expanding Comme des Garcons empire, and guaranteed to never go out of style.  

2. A gift that shines brightly 

Nothing is a more romantic gesture than Mizuki Tsurtaka's hand hammered jewelry. Since moving from Japan, Tsurtaka has founded Black Barc, a jewelry line based in Los Angeles. She uses traditional Japanese blacksmithing techniques to create her evocative, delicate jewelry. This means each piece is unique - just like your loved one. 

This particular Black Barc is inspired by the beauty of nature. Tsurtaka emulates the buds, leaves, flowers, and insects of the natural world - creating 14k gold creations that are alive with the essence of spring. 

3. A gift with symbolic meaning 

Our Sola Cubes have been customer favorites for over a decade. Each cube is comprised of a natural organic object preserved in acrylic - through a mysterious process that even we don't understand. The level of detail and precision with which each specimen is maintained is a wonder to be admired again and again. 

Some Sola Cube recommendations with particular Valentine's Day resonance include:
Desert Rose: Releasing from stress or anxiety, protecting. For the person that has helped you stay sane throughout this crazy year.
Aragonite: Grounding and connecting, bring peace. A rock for your rock.
Balloon Plant: Proof of love. The heart shaped pattern on these tiny fruits indicated a well nurtured plant, a testament to the power of a loving hand.
Bunny Tail Grass: Strong yet gentle. For the person whose tender presence in your life has helped you grow. 

4. A gift that builds a memory

Our sense of smell connects us powerfully to memory and emotion. A gift of perfume communicates: I want to remember these moments we share together. Comme des Garcons' perfumes are beyond unisex - they are perfumes for distinct personalities and moments in time. Play RED emphasizes a smell that is playful and full of red mandarin and cherry, Wonderwood incorporates the energy of construction and growth, and the MONOCLE series focusses on specific mornings spent in Japan and Lebanon. 

5. Love lives in the kitchen - a gift for a full stomach 

Many of us aren't able to take our loved ones out to a special Valentine's Day dinner - so why not surprise that special someone with a tremendous homecooked meal?

We recommend taking a look at our donabe, the Japanese word for 'clay pot'. These traditional Japanese earthenware pots can be used directly over an open flame. Our Miso Soup donabe is the perfect vessel for any kind of comfort food, and our Toban skillet is ideal for stir-fry.

Or - preorder one of our gorgeous new Dorakugama donabes, and get ready for many years to come of shared delicious meals. 

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