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
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 Candle
Half 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 Whistles
In 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 Society
Who 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 Coffee
Downtown 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 Bag
Sometimes 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!