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Market Colors is an online store and nonprofit organization. Our team collaborates with craftsmen in Africa and India to create handmade products that will sell well throughout the world. We exist to equip African men and women with a sustainable income, generated through the sale of their products.

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Filtering by Category: Our Favorite Things

Our Favorite Things: November '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Jessica Porter

It's official...the holidays are here! November is definitely one of my favorite months to celebrate. In this edition of Our Favorite Things, we've included annual traditions and found some new twists on old favorites. From the food to the family to the shopping on Black Friday, November is "stuffed" with favorite things.

1. Puzzle

I don't know about you, but I love a good puzzle. For a relaxing day with friends or family, turn off the television, put away your cell phone, and bring back an old hobby. Being a Florida native, fall colors are a rare thing to witness. No matter! Pull out a fall-themed puzzle, piece that autumn scene together and enjoy the season!

2. Stuffin' Muffins

Y'all, I was a little worried when fellow intern Grace told me the name of a new recipe she had found. Stuffin' Muffins? As far as I was concerned, stuffing shouldn't be anywhere but crammed in a turkey. But after taking a look at the recipe I was convinced that Stuffin' Muffins are brilliant! Your favorite stuffing ingredients all neatly contained in a muffin cup. No more fighting with that last breadcrumb to stay balanced on your fork. And the recipe we found has all kinds of yummy ingredients like acorn squash, fresh rosemary and dried cranberries! Added bonus - it's gluten free! Who knows? This recipe could be your family's new favorite this Thanksgiving.

3. Thankful Tree

As we all know, November and giving thanks go hand in hand. But why not put a new twist on showing your gratitude? This craft is great for families with little ones learning just what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. Crafting a Thankful Tree is a beautiful and personal way to display what you're thankful for all month long.

4. Califia Farms Iced Coffee

I tend to go through phases of obsession with certain products-the kind where I buy it when I am halfway through so I don't have to live a second without it. (Anyone with me?) It had been a while since I found a product like that. Enter Califia Iced Coffee. I'm a sucker for great branding and pretty packaging so of course the moment I first locked eyes with the Double Espresso Iced Coffee I was sold. It was like at first sight but it was love at first sip. Guys. I'm not joking when I say this deliciously perfect blend of cold brew and almond milk with a touch of sweetness can brighten the darkest of days-plus it's dairy free, soy free and guilt free at just 80 calories per serving. The people at Califia have done a very good thing!

5. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Hands down, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I absolutely love seeing New York City packed with families excited to see the gigantic balloons, marching bands, extravagant floats and (my favorite) the Rockettes! It just warms my heart that this event has been bringing people together to enjoy Thanksgiving for over 80 years. For me, the Parade signifies the beginning of a day to celebrate family and give thanks for everything I have been blessed with. Plus, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will forever make me feel like a kid again.

6. Lily Dawson Peacock Pyrite Earrings

Ok, I confess I'm not the greatest at accessorizing. Trying to coordinate too many pieces tends to overwhelm me. So whenever I come across a piece of jewelry that makes a statement big enough to stand on its own, I am all over it. Fellow intern Jordan shared Lily Dawson designs with me through her Instagram, and after perusing their website I fell in love with these Peacock Pyrite Earrings. I adore how unique, yet simple, they are! I'm all about simple accessories and when I find one I've seen nothing like before, I just can't resist.

7. Market Colors Scarf

Time to build the hype! This gorgeous scarf from Ethiopia is coming your way within the next few weeks. In Florida (where we are!) scarves are used pretty much completely for style. However, we know that in the rest of the world, they are used for warmth on the many cold days of fall, winter, and early spring. Because of that, we are so pleased that little baby screams warmth while being perfectly unique and woodsy.

Our Favorite Things: October '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Jessica Porter

In Florida, where fall feels a lot like, well... spring, summer, AND winter, we have to do everything we can to make it feel a bit more crisp, cozy, and autumn-y. Because of that, we've done our research on what things scream "fall!" Please enjoy our October favorites filled with fall delights as well as other new surprises.

1. Bath & Body Works "Leaves" From pumpkin-spice everything to bonfires at night, October is all about the smells. And now for two years in a row, one of my "scent traditions" has been the delicious "Leaves" candle from Bath and Body Works. The name may be a little off-putting, but trust me, once you get a whiff of the red apples and spiced berries this scent contains, you'll have this candle burning all season long.

2. J. Crew Socks Gentlemen, there's something for you too. J. Crew has some pretty awesome socks that will amp up any outfit. Solids, stripes, camo, they've got it all. I love anything that will add some style to your wardrobe and keep your feet happy too.

3. A Beautiful Mess photo app Thanks to smart phones, editing and sharing photos is now easier than ever. I am having a ton of fun adding filters, borders and doodles with the "A Beautiful Mess" photo app. Created by bloggers Elsie and Emma, this app helps your photos "speak for themselves." By adding an arrow doodle here or a fancy border there, your photos can become even more uniquely you.

4. World Map Earings Here in the Market Colors office we love our maps! They remind us of where we've been, the people we've met and the places we've yet to go. So we were ecstatic when we found these vintage World Map Earrings. No longer are maps just for decorative wall hangings. These beautiful earrings are a simple accessory that carry a big meaning.

5. Pumpkin Seeds Of course, it wouldn't be October without pumpkins. The pies, the patches, the lattes - I love them all! But I especially love a new twist on an old favorite. Pumpkin carving has always been an October classic and the age old question still remains: what to do with all those seeds? Well, here are five new recipes that add a unique spin on roasting pumpkin seeds. From Ginger-Orange Zest to Cinnamon Sugar, you've got to try these fun flavors!

6. Love Nail Tree Love Nail Tree is a company that specializes in graphic design t-shirts and vintage-inspired jewelry. The products are what caught my eye, but their aim and mission for the company is what really intrigued me. Behind every product they sell there is a message, a story to tell. Love Nail Tree believes these stories are "the necessary drive for the kind of dialogue needed among people for change." Products with a purpose are definitely some of my favorite things.

7. Forest Cable Scarf  It may still be near 80 degrees here in Florida, but that doesn't mean I won't rock a scarf. It's so warm and cozy I just can't wait for a chill in the air. I love the deep forest green, white tribal detailing and wonderful handmade Ethiopian craftsmanship. This scarf is a must-have for October.

Our Favorite Things: September '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Emily Moore

Fall is in the air! Yesterday marked the first day of the most wonderful season of the year - fall! From donuts to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, our team loves this time of year. As with every month, we put together a list of our favorite things for September. Enjoy!

1. Blue Bird Bake Shop Located in the Audubon Park Garden District area of Orlando, this little bake shop is a gem. Cupcakes, coffee, and cute décor, what more do you need? They have original cupcake flavors year round, as well as seasonal flavors. The team at Market Colors is in love with the Neapolitan - chocolate and vanilla cake with strawberry icing. It might be the best cupcake I have ever had... and I have had A LOT of cupcakes.

2. Eos Lip Balm The never-ending quest of searching for the perfect lip balm may finally be over! My new favorite definitely has to be Eos. These organic lip balms are made with shea butter and jojoba oil. You don't have to know what either of those are to understand why people are obsessed with this little egg-shaped lip balm. From Sweet Mint to Pomegranate Raspberry, the flavors are unique and soothing. Eos has lived up to their name and perfected the "evolution of smooth."

3. French Breakfast Donuts I could eat breakfast for every meal of every day,  so I love finding out about new and exciting recipes to try. These donuts are easy to make and delicious, plus they will make your kitchen smell amazing. Also, what says fall more than delish and fresh donuts?!

4. Wooden Photos This craft is my favorite kind... one that looks much more complicated than it really is. Lizzie loves this look so much that she made tons to put all over the Market Colors office. It is really an inexpensive way to highlight a unique photograph. This tutorial video shows you how it's done.

5. Paper Paris If you know me, you know I am obsessed with all things Paris. Ever since I was blessed enough to visit, I am drawn to anything with an Eiffel Tower on it. My love is a little intense. So when I saw this paper Paris city that I could carry around with me all the time, I freaked out a little. This free paper cut lets me reminisce being in the city I love whenever I want. It’s the perfect addition to my growing Paris collection!

6. Milk Frother I was with a friend at IKEA when she got really excited about a display of these three dollar milk frothers. I drink a lot of coffee so for three dollars, I thought “Sure, why not!” and got myself one. It was probably the best three dollars I have ever spent! It makes my coffee and tea just a little more special in the morning. But wait, there is more! It is also perfect for hot tea or for mixing chocolate milk or hot cocoa. After spending the night at my place and seeing my frother, that was all my mom wanted for her birthday this year. It has become a kitchen necessity in my family!

7. Maasai Warrior Laptop Case - Market Colors Whether you’ve just headed back to school or are just looking for a cozy home for your laptop, this case is a perfect fit! I have a friend who never bothered to use a laptop case before was gifted one and uses it on the regular now. With a roomy front pocket and two great colors to choose from, trust me, your laptop deserves this case!

Our Favorite Things: August '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Emily Moore Is it already August? My, how this summer has flown by and here we are, looking at a new school year. This month's Favorite Things was curated by our friend, Emily. Emily loves coffee, cat-lady things, and rollerblading (even though she is seriously prone to falls). With back to school in mind, here are some of Emily's favorites.

favoriteboardaug
favoriteboardaug

1. The Seven Year Pen

It may be a little strange, but I love taking notes. There is no greater feeling than having a perfectly smooth pen glide across my college-ruled, spiral bound notebook. No typing notes for this girl. This pen’s selling point is that it has seven years’ worth of ink in it (assuming I don’t lose it first!) I look forward to testing this and will let you know in approximately seven years.

2. Market Colors - Yoga Bag

School is stressful. All the homework, deadlines, cramming, and late night study sessions can take their toll on your body. Yoga provides a great mind and body work out that helps keep me sane during my busy semester. And what is better than a cute yoga bag to carry everything in? Even if you have never done yoga, this bag will make you look like a pro- no one needs to know the truth.

3. Exuma Pants

These pants break the fashion rule that you have to give up comfort for style! They can be dressed up or down so they are perfect for a lunch date or a night on the town. In tons of colors and patterns, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect pair that speaks to you.  They are so comfy you could sleep in them, but let’s face it—they are too cute to not show off.

4. Broiled Grapefruit

Everyone at the Market Colors office is obsessed with this summer snack! I was a little hesitant to try this recipe though—broilers and I have had a long and sometimes rocky relationship. I can honestly say, though, that I was able to make these without burning down my kitchen, which means it really is easy. But how could something so easy and simple to make taste so darn good? It cannot be explained except that they are warm and sweet and juicy, and it will take all the strength you have to stop after one. These are perfect for a summer afternoon snack, or dessert, or breakfast… whenever.

5. Fooducate App

I first found out about this app from a friend in school, who, one day during our lunch break, asked if she could scan the packaging of my Healthy Choice meal. Even though I was thoroughly confused, I handed her the packaging and watched as she brought her phone up to the barcode and proceeded to nod her head and say, “not too bad”. She must have seen the curious look on my face and began to show me this fooducate app. This app recognizes the food you scan, and then provides nutritional information, a rating (A-F scale), and also healthier alternatives in that category. It is awesome!  I downloaded it on the spot and as soon as I got home I began frantically scanning everything in my kitchen- yogurt, goldfish crackers, cereal, anything!

6. Paper Bird’s album “Rooms”

Around every six months or so, I go through a different music phase. Currently I am on a folky kick and when I am not listening to Mumford and Sons, I am probably listening to Paper Bird. I had the pleasure of seeing this band live at a small venue and was completely blown away by their performance. They were fantastic and some of the nicest people I ever met. I’ve been obsessed with this new album of theirs and it is the perfect album to blast in the car with the windows down. Singing along and dancing is also recommended, particularly for the tracks “As I Am”, “Blood and Bones”, and “Hold it Down”.

7. The Learning Tea

Founded by Katrell Christie, The Learning Tea is a scholarship program for young Indian girls to become educated and have opportunities they have never dreamed of. Hearing about the conditions these girls have lived through and how The Learning Tea gives them the ability to hope is truly inspiring. I have been so lucky to be able to go to college, and to see what these girls go through really puts it in perspective. When I return to school this month I am not going to dwell on all the homework and studying I have to do but I will take it as a reminder of how blessed my life has been.

Our Favorite Things: July

Lizzie Wirgau

by Lizzie Wirgau

favoriteboardjuly
favoriteboardjuly

1. Fancy Milkshake RecipeWhat in the world says summer better than a milkshake with bright colored sprinkles? This mountain of goodness has a grand total of 3 ingredients! We love the Cooking Classy site because many of their yummy recipes look so impressive but are actually very easy to make. We kind of love food here at Market Colors! And those sprinkles? So fancy.

2. XOXO EarringsBy popular request from our interns, these little guys made the blog! I know why the girls love them… there’s just something about cute things that are tiny. Good finds on Etsy really are the best. All of the goodies from L.A. Osborn’s Etsy site are gorgeous. Be sure to check out her shop here!

3. Phone CasesWe love Wallflower Design Company! This incredible company was started by Amanda Opferman. Amanda is an amazing 17-year-old with extraordinary skill and has grown Wallflower to have around 97k followers on Instagram within a few months. We actually met her via Instagram. Amanda loved our work (and we loved her designs too!) and she wanted to help by designing cases inspired by our clutches from Kenya. Visit our store to buy your own case for an iPhone 4, iphone 5, or Galaxy!

4. 9th Letter PressI had my first tour of 9th Letter Press about a year ago. Isabel, the founder, showed me around the studio and introduced me to their massive letterpress. After a design is crafted, each card is manually pressed. Isabel’s designs are beautiful, quirky, and sentimental. She also does custom designs for weddings, birthday parties, and any gathering you could dream up! We love her.

5. Glorious Ruins by HillsongI organize my life by what songs I was thinking of during that season. Is that weird? For example, Ben Kweller will always remind me of being 15 and having my mom drop me off at the movies with my middle-school best friend, Gabriella. Hillsong will always remind me of a pivotal time in my life… the months right before I had the crazy dream to start Market Colors. God did some work on me through their songs. Their new live album “Glorious Ruins” is incredible. Stop what you’re doing and go to iTunes, Rdio, Spotify, or whatever your music program of choice may be, and take a listen.

6. DIY TowelI absolutely love this craft idea by Southbound Suarez. All you need to make this cute beach towel is a solid colored towel, a bleach pen, masking tape, stencils (hand make your own), pom or tassel trim, and access to a sewing machine. If you have the patience, you could also hand-sew your creation. Visit this link for more info and pictures.

7. The Hyppo“Have you been to Hyppo?” “Let’s go to Hyppo!” “Hyppo is sooo good.” Okay, peeps, I get it. I feel like all I’ve been hearing about the past two months are raves about Hyppo and their gourmet ice pops, aka popsicles. Their flavors change daily, but when I was last at their downtown Orlando store, they had Riesling Pear and Strawberry Basil among other fresh flavors. Their method of flash freezing is what makes these pops so darn smooth and soft. The two Hyppo shops are located in Orlando and St. Augustine. But really… they are worth traveling for.

Check back next month for more of our favorites. If you have anything you think would be a good addition to our Favorite Things posts, please email us at info@marketcolors.org with suggestions of new goodies to try!

Our Favorite Things: June '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Lizzie Wirgau

"Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind." So true, Will Smith. So very true. Blame it on the summer nights, weekend vacations, or froyo parties... I love this time of year. This summer we have six amazing interns, over a dozen new products, tons of fun events planned, and an Africa trip set to visit our incredible craftsmen!

Please enjoy this month's Favorite Things

favoriteboardjune
favoriteboardjune

1. Instagram Photo Album - Artifact UprisingOkay, so we may have stolen this amazing organization from Ashley Brooke Designs but who can blame us? It's just that good! How great is it that so many of our memories are documented through photos online? It’s convenient, and a good way to make sure they never get lost. Then yesterday, I stumbled across old photo albums and spent over an hour walking down memory lane. It was so fun to flip through my old pictures. The last actual photo album I have is from three years ago, and that is not okay! So I decided to take the plunge and design an Instagram photobook. Artifact Uprising makes it easy and affordable to display your 21st century photos the old-fashioned way. Make one for yourself or give one as a gift!

2. SafeWorldSafeWorld is a nonprofit that focuses on specific projects throughout the world with an emphasis on community, educational, medical, economic, and spiritual development. SafeWorld is a good friend of Market Colors, and we love what they are doing! One of the projects they are working on now is in Uganda. With extremely thorough planning, they are now raising funds to equip a community of 300,000 people with medical access, schooling, and more. You can be a part of the transformational work that SafeWorld is doing. Click here to find out how.

 3. Bleached Envelope Clutch - Market ColorsWe’re so excited and we just can’t hide it! Our new summer line is now available on the website, and this clutch has us ready for a day at the beach, an afternoon at the park and a night on the town! Handmade in Kenya, this bleached burlap dream comes complete with a leather wrap-around strap for an added touch of class, and can fit all the essentials and more. You’ll even get a card that will help you get to know the craftsman who made your item. It just doesn’t get any better. It’s safe to say this clutch will be a timeless one.  

 4. Doublenest Hammock (Eno) by Eagles Nest OutfittersI saw this little beauty for the first time on our Market Colors camping trip. Everyone knows sleeping on the ground in a tent isn’t that comfortable, but not everyone knows that there is something else you can do to make your night more pleasant. Enter in the Eno. The Eno is a hammock made for sleeping outdoors overnight. Find two posts, trees, structures… anything… and hang your Eno. This cocoon-like bed will keep you covered and give you more natural back support than sleeping on the ground in your tent. And the best part is that if you don’t have a place to stay, just hang up your Eno and call it a night.

5. You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth“You’re not only amazing. You’re enough. You’re beautiful. You’re wanted. You’re chosen. You’re called. You’ve got what it takes… not just to survive but to change the world.” I love this book. From its encouraging words to witty statements, this book fills me up. As women, we so often feel inadequate. But those inadequacies can be shattered when we realize how great and amazing God thinks we are. Holley Gerth equips you to forget the expectations of the world and embrace the beauty of who God created you to be. 

6. Hunter VisionEye drops, contacts, contact case, contact solution, glasses, glasses case, and glasses cleaner. That used to be my life every time I packed for trips. After getting LASIK, I don’t even have to think twice about my eyes when I’m packing for my adventures. This month, Hunter Vision is offering a special promotion where you could win free 3D LASIK! Dr. Hunter is a specialist in LASIK surgery, premium custom cataract surgery, dry eye issues, and general eye care. Dr. Hunter and his team really are the best and, on top of that, they have the most advanced technology in Central Florida.  Hunter Vision offers complimentary consultations to find out if you're a candidate for this life changing procedure. I could talk about the amazingness of LASIK for days but you really just have to "see" for yourself! Click here for info about how to win LASIK this month!

7. RELEVANT MagazineBased in Winter Park about ten minutes from our office, this publication for twenty and thirty somethings focuses on “faith, culture and intentional living.” Each issue is filled with killer design, stunning photography and thought-provoking stories covering everything from your favorite bands to political issues to spiritual struggles. Each Relevant article I have read has caused me to think more, dream bigger, or form an opinion. An added bonus, you can now subscribe to receive each issue on your iPad! I would op for both because who doesn't love some snail mail now and again? In addition, RELEVANT has an incredible podcast that our team loves listening to!

8. The World's Best Cheese BallWe all have a few go-to dishes we love to make for parties. For me, it’s this cheese ball. It’s impressive, considering how inexpensive and easy it is to make. I’m a little hesitant to reveal how simple this cheese ball is (and I know, can we please think of a better name than “cheese ball”?) because my friends will now know that it has just four ingredients. I do put a spin on this and add some bacon bits. But otherwise, stick to this recipe and get ready for the compliments! Click here for the recipe.

Our Favorite Things: May '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Lizzie Wirgau May Day. College Graduations. Cinco de Mayo. Mother's Day. Memorial Day. And, best of all, it's the time when it starts to feel like summer is upon us! Even though I've been out of college for a little while (2 years this week!) I still think in "semesters" and I know that nothing beats summer. Now, I realize that technically, summer doesn't begin until June 22nd. But with the summer heat already blazing in Orlando - a high of 90 degrees this week - it seems only appropriate we begin celebrating a little early.

We're gearing up for a LOT of things this summer: - Our new crew of interns starts up next Tuesday. - We will be selling tons of new products (did someone say leather?) - These products will be from our current partners as well as our new craftsmen communities in Namibia and Uganda. - We will be having a benefit show on June 7th at Summit Church. - We'll be taking a documentary trip to Africa late this summer.

What an exciting time of preparation. I love May!

So now we bring you the May Favorites from the Market Colors team

favoriteboardmay
favoriteboardmay

1. I Won’t Watch“Stop Watching, Start Doing” is the mission of I Won’t Watch. This team gives us all a way to stop sitting back and watching the hurting world around us but to actually do something about it. When you buy a watch, up to $15 goes toward funding projects that improve poverty conditions in a specific part of the world. Not only is I Won’t Watch doing incredible work, but their watches are comfortable, bold, and a great conversation starter. Ah, how we love it when practicality and activism meet.

2. Anthropologie – Capri Blue Volcano CandleHalf the year, my team and I burn a variety of festive, holiday candles at the office, scented with everything from pumpkin spice to evergreen. But for the other 6 months (Yes, I know it’s odd that we celebrate Christmas for 6 months, but who can blame us?) we burn the greatest scent known to man… the volcano candle by Anthropologie. Not only does this candle smell magnificent, but it also burns for hours. You know how the scent of some candles fades after they’ve been burning for a while? Not this one. It’s on the pricier side for candles (The smallest size is $14) but it is well worth it. This candle lights up our (office) life!

3. Falling WhistlesIn my first year of college, I heard the story of the boys in Congo who were sent to the front lines of war, armed with just a whistle. Falling Whistles was created to make their weapon your voice… to become a “Whistle-Blower” for peace. The end goal is peace in Congo. They’ve been able to invest in eight Congolese visionaries that are rebuilding their communities to bring peace to Congo. On the FW site, there are a variety of whistles you can chose from to show your support for this excellent organization and to stand for peace in Congo.

4. Quinoa Salad Say goodbye to your traditional egg salad at family BBQs. This light, filling, and delicious mix will revolutionize your take on salads. Discovered by my sweet mom in Michigan, this healthy recipe is a staple whenever I come home. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is becoming increasingly popular as it is a healthy seed, not a grain, incredibly tasty and easy to cook. Whip up this delicious salad that tastes like summer and sunshine. Click here for the recipe: Quinoa Salad.

5. Walnut Animal SocietyWho says stuffed animals have to be for kids? Walnut Animal Society is a collection of stuffed animals that are both thoughtfully designed and masterfully crafted by hand. Founded by Orlando’s own Lauren Bradshaw, Walnut Animal Society is gaining popularity as these little buddies are so great to hug and ideal to display. From Henry the Fox to Eleanor the Bear, each animal is unique and beautiful… and they come with their own clothes! Miniature animals, petite clothes, and timeless creations? Now you can see why we’re in love with Walnut Animal Society.

6. Rhodia Pad“Big ideas need big spaces.” A friend once told me this when he showed me his Rhodia pad. As a creative with a million thoughts a minute, this notepad helps me get it all out while still feeling organized. Find it online or in a handful of art stores and let the creativity flow!

7. Credo Coffee – Medium Roast Guatemalan CoffeeDowntown Credo holds a special place in my heart, as I really consider it one of the places where Market Colors was formed. It’s a nonprofit coffee house where you name your own price for everything you purchase. Part of their great mission is “I press through narcissism, isolation and self-sufficiency, striving to live in authentic community.” If you’re an Orlando native and have never been to Downtown Credo, pencil in a visit immediately. If you’re out of town but believe in their mission and want to try their great Guatemalan coffee, you can now purchase beans online.

8. Market Colors – Foldover BagSometimes our selections feel like a bit of a gamble, so we’ll just order a few of them to see how well they sell. Within a week, I had to reorder more of these bad boys! They’re handmade in Kenya by a group of amazing refugee women. It might be the unique colors: burnt orange and distressed blue. Or maybe it’s the gigantasaurusness of this bag, how it fits everything you need and then even more. Either way, this bag has quickly become a fan favorite and we are so excited to support our craftsmen through its sales.

Join us next month for our June Favorite Things!

Our Favorite Things: April '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Robyn BattsSpring has sprung! Well, sort of. Here in Orlando, the weather has been so back and forth that it’s hard to keep up with what season we’re in. But here inside the Market Colors office, it’s definitely spring!

March was filled with exciting things for us. We reached our first fundraising goal within the first 10 days of our campaign and saw our second goal reached soon afterward. It was a busy month, but it showed us that God is at work and is using so many of you to help bring hope to African craftsmen. We are incredibly thankful for each and every person’s support and prayers.

Now that March is over, it’s time to head into April and we’re bringing you some of our favorites to help you usher in springtime. So here are some of our (and hopefully soon to be your) favorite things to enjoy during April!

favoriteboardAPRIL
favoriteboardAPRIL

1. Monarch Playing Cards - Cloak & Dapper A new site designed as a modern American general store, Cloak & Dapper provides high quality men’s apparel, grooming and provisions. This classy deck is just one of the quality products offered on the site. Make game night even snazzier with these gold foil accented cards!

2. Hustlin’ Coffee Mug - Ashley Brooke Designs Ashley is our good friend and a member of our Product Development team. As a custom illustrator, she is unbelievably talented. Her site is full of custom illustration ideas, as well as cute and quirky stationery and other giftables. Our team is very inspired by Ashley's incredibly current and interesting blog. Although it’s hard to pick, this mug is one of our favorite ABD products at the moment.

3. Follow the Leader Baby Mobile - Market Colors Aren’t these little hand-stitched elephants the cutest? Our first baby product in the store, this mobile is handmade in Kenya by a group of refugee women. The proceeds provide them sustainability. What could be sweeter? And we hear the babies love them too!

4. Massa Peccati - Hoyle We are honored to announce that our friends in Hoyle have released their first album, and it is incredible! Several of us were able to attend their album release show and it was such a blast. You can check them out on facebook.com/hoylemusic or purchase their album on iTunes.

5. Cajun Shrimp - O.P.I. One of my favorite things about spring is the array of fun nail colors that are available! I tend to play it safe with pastels and neutrals, but am slowly coming out of my shell. Lizzie has been wearing this color recently and it’s so pretty. It’s vibrant, but has a pretty coral tone that makes it perfect for any outfit. I’ll definitely be sporting it soon!

6. Sevenly There are so many causes out there to support, so how can you have a hand in helping multiple? Sevenly has found a way! Each week, this organization designs a collection of awesome shirts to benefit a specific cause. As Sevenly partners with these organizations, they are not only helping to raise funds during the week, but are also raising immeasurable awareness.

7. Kinfolk Magazine The older I get, the more excited I get about entertaining and sharing meals with friends. It is so fun to see all the details of a special celebration or relaxing evening come together to create a memorable time with people you cherish. Kinfolk is a quarterly publication that focuses on lovely, simple ways to bring people together. Filled with beautiful photos, delicious recipes, and stories of finding home and comfort wherever you may be, each volume is a collection of work from contributors all over the world. One of my favorite things now is cozying up on the couch with a cup of tea and perusing the pages of the latest Kinfolk.

Join us next month for more favorites! 

Our Favorite Things: March '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Robyn Batts Okay, is it just me, or did February fly by? I know it’s a shorter month than the rest, but not by that much! Regardless, it has been an exciting, jam-packed one for us at Market Colors. In addition to rearranging and transforming part of our office space, planning some exciting events for 2013, and introducing several fantastic new products to the store, we just launched our “For the Next Craftsmen” campaign to raise funds for reaching even more craftsmen groups this year! Plenty is in store for the upcoming months, but it’s time once again to bring you our favorites!

We now present to you our March Favorites.

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favoriteboardmarch2

1. KENSINGTON GARDENS - ANTHROPOLOGIE 

The newest addition to my dresser, this floral scent lives inside a precious rectangular bottle complete with a vintage style bulb sprayer. At only $32, it makes a wonderful gift or the perfect new fragrance for your collection!

2. BRONZE PENDANT CLUTCH - MARKET COLORS

Our all-time, most popular Market Colors product is now available in three colors and is just as cute as ever! As much as we love this clutch, we especially love that proceeds go back to the Kenyan craftsmen that made it.

3. MAPLE ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS - SAY YES TO HOBOKEN (BLOG)

Brussels sprouts. The vegetable that you have vowed to hate since that dreadful day you were forced to eat them as a 5-year-old. Not anymore! Let me tell you, this recipe will have you wanting them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The sweet maple flavor and the saltiness of the crispy pancetta over the charred brussels is unbelievable!

4. KNOTTED JERSEY KNIT HEADBANDS - THE PINK RUFFLE

I stumbled across this sweet baby headband (also available in adult sizes) and immediately wanted to buy one for every baby I know. How cute is it?! We are also quite proud to introduce our first-ever Market Colors baby product this month, so keep checking the store!

5. PUNJAMMIES - THE INTERNATIONAL PRINCESS PROJECT

Comfy, cute and serving a purpose! These gorgeous jammies are created by women of the International Princess Project—a program that works with victims of sex trafficking to help restore their dignity and self-reliance. We were drawn to the fun, Indian-inspired fabrics, and love that proceeds are helping to transform women’s lives.

6. DARK CHOCOLATE NIBS - TRADER JOE'S This is it, guys. My perpetual sweet tooth has found its soul mate, and its name is the dark chocolate nib. I first tried these one-calorie (can you believe it?!) treats when I visited a friend in Nevada a few months ago and became obsessed. Unfortunately, we do not have Trader Joe’s here in Orlando, but Lizzie has been so sweet to make several nibs deliveries to me after her visits to Michigan, and they have kept me going.

7. INDIEGOGO.COM

Have you had a chance to check out our video and March fund-raising campaign, For the Next Craftsmen? It’s made possible through a site that has been so helpful for us over the past year! Indiegogo provides people with the opportunity to create their own online fundraising event and shows the progress that has been made toward the end goal. Please watch our new video and see what perk interests you!

8. COLD TANGERINES BY SHAUNA NIEQUIST

Just thinking about this book puts me in a better mood. A favorite of Lizzie's, Cold Tangerines is a collections of stories about how our small, everyday moments and choices have a big impact. With stories about God, traveling, fear, self-discovery, marriage, and more, this book is incredibly challenging and eyeopening.

Join us next month for more favorites!

Our Favorite Things: February '13

Lizzie Wirgau

by Robyn Batts It’s hard to believe, but February is already upon us. Christmas has come and gone, 2013 has commenced and the groundhog saw no shadow, signifying an early start to spring! A lot has happened already this year and we can’t wait to see where the next eleven months will take us. As Market Colors grows, we realize there are a lot of things that make us tick here -- things we enjoy, are inspired by and, okay… LOTS of snacks we love to munch on.

We thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse inside the world of Market Colors by showing off some of the products, organizations, and other things that we love the most. So, we’ve decided to start bringing you -- drumroll please -- our monthly Market Colors Favorites! Our hope is to connect you with interests we share and hopefully introduce you to new things you might want to try.

We now present to you our February Favorites.

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favoriteboard2

1. FLORAL HEART CARD - Rifle Paper Co. We are huge fans of Rifle Paper Co. They're based in Winter Park, just 10 minutes from our office! Here's just one sample of a card that's simple, beautiful and a cute way to send a note to someone you love.

2. FOREST CABLE SCARF - Market Colors Okay, so this one is ours, but we just can’t help it! We love the fun tribal accents, extra long length, and of course, the fact that proceeds go back to equipping the wonderful group of Ethiopian men and women who made it with sustainable jobs.

3. NEED I SORBET MORE BOWL SET - Modcloth In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we stumbled upon these adorable ceramic bowls and fell in love. They are the perfect size for ice cream or trail mix. They'd even work great as holders for bobby pins or coins on your dresser or desk!

4. OLD PINE - Ben Howard Do you have a song? You know, that one song that no matter where you are or what’s going on, when you hear it you are instantly transported to the top of the world and are capable of conquering any feat? Here's that song for our founder, Lizzie: "I used to spend hours in Starbucks writing and re-writing the business plan for Market Colors with this song on repeat. Whenever I hear it, I'm reminded of those days before we were an actual organization."

5. BOOM CHICKA POP POPCORN (lightly sweetened) - Angie’s Popcorn When 2:00 rolls around, we’re usually ready for something sweet in the office. We recently discovered this all-natural tasty snack and cannot get over its perfect balance of saltiness and sweetness. It boasts a long list of wonderful qualities including vegan, gluten free, kosher, cholesterol free, and the sweetest of all…fair trade!

6. WARBY PARKER This awesome organization offers quality stylish prescription glasses and sunglasses at an affordable price. And even better -- with every purchase a pair of glasses is donated to someone in need.

7. VINE APP Our new favorite app, brought to you by the creators of Twitter, allows users to record and share creative 6-second videos. It’s a fun way to share tidbits of life with friends, and it's incredibly easy to use. Set up an account and follow us!

We hope you'll check out all of the Market Colors February Favorites, let us know what you think, and watch for our March Favorites next month!