Creative Means to Tackle Workplace Problems

Many large, forward-thinking corporations keep their employees distracted with puzzles and games.  Sounds non-productive, right?

Just the opposite is true; research has shown that games and puzzles create the right distractions to stop the brain from dwelling on seemingly unsolvable problems. As little as a half hour of intense play and puzzlement gives the work-a-day mind the unique gift of a brief vacation to re-boot and find alternative solutions.  

To that point, this three-dimensional spherical labyrinth challenges the limits of manual dexterity and spatial understanding as the player maneuvers a wooden marble through its entire course. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the orb is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, zig-zags, and channels—even a sliding gondola. The entire track laid out on a straight line measures up to 192′. Six intertwined pathways challenge players to complete each course without letting the marble fall off the track.

Set up friendly team building competitions with this vertical chess set that mounts to a wall, allowing games of indefinite length. Generating a sense of intrigue and anticipation–“did they move yet?”–it allows for weeks-long play without interruption. An included “last move” marker hung around a recently promoted pawn-turned-Queen signals to the opposing players that without an equally crafty counter, the game will end soon. The chessboard mounts on any wall like a framed picture with its included hardware.

Looking for an employee giveaway that displays corporate pride and is truly a unique gift? This custom jigsaw puzzle is created from a satellite map of your company HQ or any other address in the U.S. The full-color, 400-piece jigsaw puzzle is created from a view of the selected address as seen from roughly 7,500 feet. It includes surrounding details such as main roads, water features, and buildings.

Encourage coworkers and associates to regroup, relax, and play to allow their minds to think of lateral solutions. Your team will enjoy more job satisfaction and from them, you’ll receive the unique gifts of increased productivity and greater employee retention as a result.

Raise the Bar on At-Home Mixology

Impress guests when entertaining at home with a well-planned, well-stocked bar.

You don’t need everything in the liquor store, but you’ll need the basics on hand to create popular cocktails: vodka, rum, whiskey and/or bourbon, gin and tequila. You should have vermouth, an orange liqueur and grenadine. Don’t forget the mixers: soda, juice and tonic water, plus simple syrup, bitters, fresh fruit for garnish and plenty of ice.

And of course, beer. This personalized 64-oz. growler transports a beer connoisseur’s take-out draft safely from craft brewery to home refrigerator. This sleek, modern-age growler is crafted of stainless steel in a black or copper finish, with a swing-top silicone stopper and tight, air-proof seals. What sets this growler apart from others is your personalized monogram in 2-1/2″ tall letters. This growler is a great unique gift to yourself to distinguish your home bar.

Here’s another unique gift that’s beautifully monogrammed. Winner of the Queen’s Award for Innovation, this set of four personalized glasses is designed specifically for tasting whiskey. Made by Glencairn Crystal and developed with master whiskey distillers, the glasses have thick, sturdy bases that complement the depth of whiskey, thin sides that allow you to clearly see the whiskey’s color, and tapered mouths to accentuate aromas.

Those beautiful glasses deserve an equally distinctive tipple. This personalized aging kit allows you to craft your own whiskey at home. The kit comes with a genuine American white oak barrel (the same wood used for aging some of the world’s premier whiskey), flavored essences for making Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, and Marks bourbon, and a spigot for pouring neat whiskey into a rocks glass. The 67-oz. kit comes with detailed instructions for curing the barrel, incorporating ingredients, and monitoring the whiskey for proper aging.

Finally, get yourself a good cocktail book. Choose one cocktail to hone as your specialty and practice mixing it several times. Become skilled at making it and it becomes your signature drink, putting you well on your way to mixology.

Cooking Up Something New for the Kitchen

We’ve become a foodie culture. Cooking shows enjoy expanding viewership, organic and locally grown produce is on trend, and those who love to cook can never have too many kitchen accessories. To that point, we have some new ideas for unique gifts the next time you want to surprise and delight your favorite culinary.

“Forno”-style pizzas are hotter than ever…and need not be limited to the corner trattoria. This stovetop pizza oven heats up to 600° F and produces crispy 12″ pies like a wood-fired oven. This efficient stovetop convection oven bakes a pizza in as little as six minutes by using concentrated heat conducted from a gas burner. The included pizza stones distribute heat evenly across the dough to eliminate hot spots and absorb excess moisture, resulting in fast cooking times and a delicious, thin crispy crust.

What’s not to love about butter…except when cold, hard butter tears up your fresh artisanal rolls. This spreading knife softens cold butter just by using your own body heat. Unlike an ordinary knife that struggles to slice cleanly through a cold stick, this handheld spreader is made with titanium copper alloy that conducts heat from your hand through the blade. It makes an ideal unique gift for those with limited hand strength, plus this knife also works well with jams, frosting, cream cheese, and other spreadables.

This set of three non-stick pans features a scratchproof ceramic-titanium coating that makes cooking and cleanup easy. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, fried eggs slid off the ungreased pan as if cooked on air, and the impervious surface suffered no damage when scrubbed with an abrasive pad and scratched with a metal fork. The pans also allow you to cook confidently without added fat, a unique gift for dieters. And this set includes clear glass lids—a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive.

With locally produced and natural foods now widely available, it’s easier, more enjoyable, and more nutritious than ever to produce great meals in your own kitchen. By cooking at home more frequently, you’ll save money, cut calories, and gain the unique gift of satisfaction from producing tasty and good-for-you food for your family.

A Tip of the Cap to National Hat Day

Winter’s a great time to embrace headwear. Whether a beret, a bowler, a stocking cap, a fedora, a derby, or a jaunty driver’s cap, with about 10 percent of the body’s heat lost through the head, it makes sense to pop a top on your noggin. What’s more, this Sunday is National Hat Day, making for an especially worthwhile celebration of hats as unique gifts.

This winter driving cap protects against wind, rain, and snow. Made by Tilley Endurables, Canada’s premier purveyor of travel clothing, this hand-sewn hat features a windproof membrane laminated to the interior to keep you warm in cool weather and comfortable when the temperature rises. Knit earflaps extend easily and tuck away when not needed.

Here’s a hat that doesn’t just retain warmth, it creates warmth. This heated microfleece cap generates up to five hours of toasty, rechargeable battery-powered heat in wide zones directly over the ears. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this beanie-style cap is equally at home on the sled hill or the 50-yard line. A simple temperature control under the brim can be operated even with bulky gloves, and color-coded LEDs indicate which temperature setting you selected.

It really won’t be long before we look to hats to block the sun rather than winter winds. This ventilated wide-brimmed hat provides sun protection while reducing heat build-up. The hat‘s nylon mesh sides facilitate cooling ventilation and the solid, cotton twill top and brim protect the head, face, and neck from sun exposure to reduce the risks of injury from UV rays. There’s a style for ladies, too, making these hats perfect considerations as unique gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Hang on to your hat – we have many more headwear choices, unique gifts for National Hat Day and all seasons of the year.

Fast, Efficient Ways to Warm Your Space

Some of the season’s coldest air is gripping much of the U.S. If you run a ski resort, you might see this as a unique gift from Mother Nature.

The rest of us, however, are a bit chilly at work and at home…and feet meeting a cold bathroom floor first thing in the morning makes for a rude wake-up.

We have some suggestions that will gently warm your spaces without sending your heating bills sky-high. And you’ll enjoy a unique gift of your own: pleasant, toasty warmth that makes this wicked winter more bearable.

This unique bathroom heater features a digital thermostat that enables precise temperature adjustments anywhere from 65º F to 85º F using an easy-to-read LCD panel. It can be set with its integrated timer the night before to turn on automatically, ensuring your bathroom is warm when you wake up.

Is there a cold spot under your desk, around your workbench or in your favorite reading nook? This ultra-compact space heater is ideal for warming the immediate area of small, intimate spaces. This device plugs in flush with a wall outlet and is designed to provide supplemental warmth to your personal space. A digital thermostat lets you easily select a precise temperature, not merely “high” or “low”. It’s perfect for use in the office, making it a great unique gift for anyone with a desk job. 

If you’re looking to warm an entire room, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute deemed this tower heater The Best because it warmed a cold room faster and distributed heat better than any other competitor. The Best Tower Heater’s dual quartz radiant heating elements and quiet fan evenly distribute warmth throughout a medium-sized room, unlike lesser models that created cold and hot spots.

Any one of these small-but-mighty heaters will help you cope with the cold till the first day of spring…hang in there, it’s only 69 days away!

Organizing Made Easy for the Clothes-Minded

After losing weight and banishing a few bad habits, getting organized is among the most common New Year’s resolutions.

When setting out to organize your home, it makes sense to start with the bedroom closet. It’s a spot you visit at least once a day, and starting out the morning feeling organized will give you the unique gift of feeling like you’re conquering the day.

A messy jumble of shoes on the floor is a sure recipe for closet chaos. This elegant wooden tower neatly stores up to 25 pairs and rotates 360° for easy access to all footwear. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, its five levels are each subdivided into five cubbyholes large enough for storing men’s or women’s dress and casual shoes of all sizes and types.

Extending only 16½” from a closet wall or door, this trouser rack keeps 20 pairs of slacks neatly hung and readily accessible. Also a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it easily mounts to a closet wall or door with a 10-gauge steel support bracket that holds 20 hardwood dowels so you can hang trousers flush against the wall, then swing them out individually.

For organizing the dressing area, this wooden vanity table adds sensible, yet tasteful, storage space. Another exclusive from Hammacher Schlemmer, it conceals cosmetics, jewelry, and personal accessories neatly tucked away with three hinged tabletop compartments and a pull-out drawer. Its center compartment opens to display 11 divided sections and a mounted makeup mirror. It’s a beautiful and unique gift to reward yourself for getting organized.

Once your closet is organized, you just might find your mornings are more efficient. And if perchance another of your 2017 resolutions is to be on time…you’re on your way to success!

Put Fitness in the Routine For a Healthier 2017

Did you vow to start exercising more in the new year? If so, you’re hardly alone; during the year now behind us, over a third of Americans reported making a fitness-related resolution.

Fortunately, today’s equipment and devices make developing good habits so much easier. You just need to bring a little bit of motivation and we’ll help you eliminate excuses to help get you started toward the unique gifts of fitness and better health in 2017.

Think you don’t have enough space for the convenience of in-home exercise equipment? This motorless walking treadmill folds to only 14″ high for unobtrusive storage. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this treadmill’s walking platform folds flush with the handlebars for easy storage in a closet or against a wall. Plus, its resistance is created by magnetic force, eliminating the need for AC power, so you can set it up anywhere in your home.

Say your life is too busy for an exercise routine? Track how many steps you take daily, then try to increase it bit by bit as you go about your day, with an objective of 10,000 steps. This ultra-thin pedometer is no wider than a book of matches. It slips comfortably in any shirt- or pants-pocket and tracks your steps using a state-of-the-art German accelerometer for optimal accuracy no matter how the pedometer is worn. The pedometer counts up to one million steps in its 7-day memory. How’s that for a goal?!

Do aches and pains keep you from moving more? This low-impact exercise machine provides a complete cardio workout from the comfort of a favorite chair. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the pedaler combines a bike-like workout for the legs with an upper-body ergometer, letting you maintain overall cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone without putting strain on weight-bearing joints. This pedaler makes a great unique gift for anyone who likes to catch certain TV shows during their day – they can pedal as they binge-watch.

The first step is the hardest…but excuses carry no weight with us (pun intended). Take it one day at a time and persevere. Before you know it, exercise will become as ingrained in your day as brushing your teeth!

Here’s the Cure for Going B-R-R-R-Foot

If there’s someone in your house complaining about cold feet all winter long, odds are good that person is female.

That’s no coincidence. Scientific studies have shown that women’s hands and feet average 3 degrees colder than men’s. Women’s blood vessels constrict more drastically, resulting in reduced blood flow and cold extremities.

We’re here to help cure popsicle toes. This cozy foot muff provides heat therapy to warm and soothe chilly feet. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the quilted muff has imperceptible electric heating elements that surround the feet with the unique gift of gentle warmth to shake off the chill and baby tired tootsies.

Of course, men are not completely immune to the problem of cold feet. These comfortably soft gentlemen’s slippers have adjustable uppers made from Mongolian sheepskin that provide a custom fit. The sheepskin interiors’ dense, hollow fibers allow air to circulate, keeping feet toasty warm. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, these slippers have double-walled uppers made from durable chestnut-napped suede, and a grippy indoor/outdoor rubber outsole.

This electric bed warmer is designed for the foot of the bed, delivering the perfect amount of heat to keep toes toasty without overheating the rest of the body. Rather than heating the entire bed with a conventional electric blanket when only your feet are cold, this machine-washable warmer confines its heat to the lower part of the mattress, resting on top or under the covers. This makes an ideal and unique gift as a wedding present, too.

Other factors, such as hormones and fat-to-muscle ratios, also enter in to how cold your hands and feet get. Taking measures to add warmth as well as adding circulation-boosting light exercise to your routine can help. And if all else fails, just remember: cold hands, warm heart.

Did You Get One of These? It’s Up in the Air

If there was one unique gift you didn’t receive for the holidays you’re tempted to buy now for yourself, odds are good it’s a drone. And you’d be in good company: a report released earlier this year by the Federal Aviation Administration showed drone sales increased by 445 percent this year over 2015.

We’re proud to feature a selection of high-flying fun for every level of use, from the beginner to the professional…and even one designed for children.

For camera and video buffs: This ultra-high definition drone is equipped with the same Micro Four Thirds camera used by professional aerial cinematographers for capturing 4K RAW images and video. Two radio remotes—one for flight and one for camera—enable two operators to partner for optimal content capture from up to three miles away. A three-axis gimbal system stabilizes the camera while multiple flight modes manage the drone’s four propellers simultaneously, for hovering, circling, or flying over a point of interest.

For kids and beginners: Part game and part educational toy, this children’s drone dances to music, lets pilots program the flight path, and teaches a variety of other skills. Controlled by a free app, the quadcopter’s self-stabilizing mechanism keeps it aloft above the included wireless beacon, so users can focus less on steering and more on fun. This truly unique gift is safe for indoor use, with built-in sensors that help detect and avoid obstacles.

For spontaneous use and travel: this compact video drone folds up to the size of smartphone, small enough to slip into a shirt pocket. Its four micro-electric propellers deploy from each corner, forming a craft that quickly ascends, descends, and nimbly turns in any direction, remotely controlled from up to 100′ away. Pictures and video are captured on its built-in HD camera that includes a 4GB microSD card. Three speed settings enable beginners, advanced fliers, and expert aerial acrobats alike to perform maneuvers.

We have more UFOs (Unique Flying Objects) online for your high-flying enjoyment…ideal unique gifts for yourself or a friend!

Holiday Wishes from Us to You

At this time of the year that is special to so many people, we’d like to express thanks for that which is special to us: You.

Thanks to you, Hammacher Schlemmer is the premier source for unique gifts that are The Best, The Only and The Unexpected. We started in 1848 as a hardware store providing hard-to-find and high-quality tools. While the types of goods in our catalogs and online have changed, we continue the tradition of offering quality products that can’t be found anywhere else, all backed by a lifetime guarantee. Your continued patronage and loyalty make it all possible.

From everyone at Hammacher Schlemmer, here’s hoping your holidays are merry and bright and may 2017 brings the most precious unique gift of all: health and happiness for you, your family, and all those you hold dear.