Twice each year, Gift for Life selects individuals and organizations who have had a significant, positive impact on the gift and home industries, recognizing them with prestigious awards reflecting those unique contributions. It’s a pretty exclusive club, including industry luminaries, visionaries, and creatives that raise the bar high with their generosity of heart and kindness of spirit.
Our Winter 2014 Honorees
Celebrated at Party for Life, February 3, 2014
Kurt S. Adler, Inc.
Chuck Yancy Lifetime Achievement Award
Founded in 1946, Kurt S. Adler Inc. has been a leading importer of holiday decorations for more than 60 years. Its well-known lines include Steinbach and Hollywood Nutcrackers, Noble Gems and Polonaise blown-glass ornaments, Fabriché Santas, Snowfall lights and many more. With headquarters in New York City and showrooms around the country, Canada and Hong Kong, the business continues today to be run by Kurt Adler’s children – Howard, Clifford and Karen. A one-stop source for all holiday needs, Kurt Adler and the Santa’s World brand showcase talented designers and iconic licenses with products from some 200 factories in 15 countries.
Clare Brett Smith
Bert Tonkin Gift of Giving Award
President emerita, Ms. Smith was a craft importer for 15 years before joining the nonprofit Aid to Artisans, where she served as president for more than 20 years and helped to create economic opportunities for low-income artisan groups around the world. Believing in “trade not aid” – she brought Honduran cornhusk flower makers to Williams Sonoma’s Pottery Barn in the 1980s; Peruvian ceramics to Jonathan Adler in the ’90s; and then items such as Salvadoran hammocks, Macedonian rugs, Haitian metal angels and more to homes in the U.S. and Europe. Today, as an independent crafts professional based in Farmington, CT, Smith continues to be active in the industry – working with programs such as the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, hosted by the Aspen Institute; and the HAND/EYE Fund and magazine.
As founder of Trade Associates Group Ltd (tag), Mr. Glassberg is being honored posthumously with the Trailblazer Award (in future years, to be called the Norman Glassberg Trailblazer Award). Glassberg founded a company called tag while a sales representative firm in the Chicago Merchandise Mart in 1975; today tag is recognized as one of the leading designers and distributors of quality giftware, tabletop, home décor items, furniture and seasonal accessories. In addition to his business accomplishments, Glassberg was a noted philanthropist, who served dozens of local and national organizations, foundations, and public service groups. And he blazed an important trail in design and manufacturing standards that are responsible, sustainable and earth-friendly, through utilization of recycled and renewable materials. The company also practices ethical, fair trade policies and prioritizes manufacturing resources that preserve cultural traditions, encourage hand crafts, and provide a living wage to craftspeople and artisans.