Let’s Escape This Summer!

While Chicago is great, there is nothing I love more than a good vacation where I can spend all my time exploring different cultures and shopping! Doesn’t that sound nice? Lucky for us, there are so many fantastic places to travel to around the world to gain insight on how other people live and spend their time.

Here are 3 cities that will introduce you to a whole new world:


Photo from: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/Mexico/Estado_de_Jalisco/Puerto_Vallarta-935573/Shopping-Puerto_Vallarta-Markets-BR-1.html

Puerto Vallarta

I’m happy to say I spent 8 days in 2011 exploring the wonderful city of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, Mexico. A gorgeous beach town, this paradise was filled with loads of flea markets and farmer’s markets providing me a firsthand look at the culture. One market is the Rio Cuale Flea Market, which features silver jewelry, leather goods, sandals, pottery, and other handcrafted items. Don’t forget to visit the Malacon while you’re there! And always remember: Barter, barter, barter!


Photo from: http://www.destination360.com/south-america/peru/shopping


Besides being beautifully scenic, Lima, Peru in South America is a great place for markets. The Pisac Market is their most popular, featuring artisan-made musical instruments, beautiful rugs, handbags, and masks, to name a few. Traveling within the town is fairly inexpensive, it’s been said you can get by with just $15 in your pocket in a day, and hostels and hotels are cheap, too!


Photo From: http://www.santafehomestore.com/Blog/The-Markets-of-Santa-Fe-New-Mexico
Photo From: http://www.santafehomestore.com/Blog/The-Markets-of-Santa-Fe-New-Mexico

Santa Fe

Home to many Native American artisans, Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States is perfect for anyone who wants to travel without leaving the country! You’ll find jewelry, home decor, and folk art with strong Southwestern influence, as well as Mexican imports, like woven rugs, pottery, and glassware. If you’re traveling in July and August, be sure to catch Santa Fe’s Spanish Market and Indian Market for even more variety!



The Apparent Project | Haiti

There are over 500,000 orphans in Haiti. While many would say that an orphan is a child that lost both parents, the sad fact is, many of these are not those kind of orphans – “true orphans.” Many of these children were given to orphanages because their living parents are extremely poor.

Over 70% of Haitian adults are unemployed, and those employed are not making much more than $400 annually. These statistics result in men leaving their wives due to the inability to take care of them, and women giving up their children for the same reason.

The Apparent Project is a non-profit organization that was created to help fix this issue of extreme poverty leading to child abandonment. Along with education and guidance, each struggling parent is trained in a trade (like jewelry making, sewing, or book binding) through the Project’s artisan program, allowing them to earn income. Not only are these different products are available online through MarketHaiti.com, but also through Donna Karan, Gap, and Disney. Jewelry, clothing, and journals are just some of the items available for purchase.

The Apparent Project takes the name “apparent” so that the parents can be “A PARENT,” while the Project assists on taking care of the kids that don’t have “A PARENT,” and using the media to make Haitian poverty “APPARENT.” Want to help out? The Apparent Project accepts donations for both the children and artisans on their website… Or contact the Project’s Washington office for information on hosting a jewelry party or donating recycled paper goods!

Some of the products available on MarketHaiti.com:





Holiday Clutches

With all of the holiday events and parties we have coming up, we have been on a search for the perfect clutch to go with any outfit.  We came across a site called Novica.  Novica is in association with National Geographic and has a site where artisans from around the world are selling their products.  We love how the site gives you all of the information behind each product and even includes an informational card with each purchase.  Check out some unique, handmade clutches that would be perfect for a holiday lunch or a fancy party!

Made by Nupur located in India 

Made by Napan located in Bali 

Made by Shalini Saluja located in India
Made by Louis Carlos and Gloria located in Central America
Made by Laura del Carmen Conreras located in Central America