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Brand Spotlight: Q&A with Claro Candles Founder

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We love that a big part of making zulily happen every day, is learning about interesting companies that are making products to change the world. One of our favorite stories is that of CLARO Candles, a Seattle-based company that makes candles that give back. We spoke with Brett Kolomyjec, co-founder of CLARO Candles, about why he started the company, how they choose their non-profits to work with and even his favorite candle. Get CLARO Candles now on zulily.

Tell us about what makes CLARO Candles unique?

CLARO Candles are unique because they each have a story that matters. CLARO is a Latin word for bringing light to darkness, and that’s exactly what these products do.  Each product is made with the highest quality, all natural ingredients and give to the most urgent causes on earth.  Every time you purchase a CLARO Candle, you are helping to bring light to children, people, and causes all over the world.

How did you come to found CLARO Candles? What was the inspiration behind the idea?

About two years ago myself, and one of my best friends and business partners, Jeff Bethke, were in Uganda working with a local orphanage there.  There we met a lady who was selling candles and next to her candles there was a card that said, “light a candle and be the light in the life of a child.”  The message associated with the darkness of social injustice, and the light of someone helping to push back against that tragedy, was so powerful to us that we thought others would be willing to join a story where light is brought to darkness and peoples’ lives are changed through the purchase of an everyday, timeless product.

How do you choose the non-profits that you work with?

Almost all the nonprofits that we work with are either ones that we have traveled and worked with directly, or are run by close personal friends/colleagues of ours.  We love working with people and organizations that we know we can trust, and those whom we can personally testify for the effective, amazing work that they are doing.

What is your favorite candle in the collection?

This is a very difficult question. We ALWAYS go through seasons where we prefer different candles because they are all so fantastic!  Overall though, I would say that my favorite is the Whiskey + Oak, which is the Love candle from our Vintage Natural Collection, while the Satsuma + Honey Almond Freedom candle is definitely what’s burning most often in Jeff’s household!

What’s next for CLARO Candles?

At this point we really aren’t totally sure. If that’s acceptable to even say! Two years ago we had no idea that we would be in the candle business, but this year alone we’ve been able to impact more than 10,000 people with the giving of our product lines and we are so proud of that.  We try to be really intentional about enjoying the ride, celebrating the impact that is happening in the here and now, and not looking too far into the future, that we miss the adventure we are on day to day.  We hope to become a nationally-recognized consumer brand, but ultimately what’s most important to us are the stories of the people that our product helps, and the stories of the individuals who support our mission by purchasing our candles.

Why did you decide to partner with zulily?

zulily is such a great opportunity to share our story with people.  zulily cares about delivering great products to customers and we love that.  We know new CLARO customers through zulily will be served well and that’s amazing.The opportunity to share Claro with the zulily family is always truly a blessing.

zulily comes to Australia

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We’ve got some exciting news for our friends down under. zulily has launched in Australia with great deals on thousands of unique and hard to find items for the whole family plus lower shipping costs to Australia.

We’ve made discovering something special on zulily a breeze for Aussies. The site is now custom-tailored so you’ll be able to browse through items from around the world, including rompers for the kids and a dress for you, available to ship directly to Australia. And you can shop on the go from zulily apps for iPad and iPhone with Android soon to come.

Shipping for apparel and accessories starts at $9.95, plus FREE SHIPPING on additional apparel orders before 11pm AEST.

So set your alarms for 11pm AEST and get ready to find a great deal on your favourite brands plus a wide assortment of new and unique items that you can’t find elsewhere. 

Behind-the-scenes of the NYX photo shoot

Last week, 4 employees doubling as models, helped us get some pretty amazing shots (with no retouching, mind you) to launch the NYX Cosmetics event today. In addition to the typical shot list, we needed images to create a lip color grid that made the shoot a little livelier than normal - miniature props, lots of color changes, and so many funny faces.

Shop NYX Cosmetics on zulily.com for the makeup kit used on all of the models, and check out some of our favorite moments from the shoot and the final lip color grid below.

Goofiness was encouraged: 

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Even the photographer got into it:

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But after a little editing…

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…the finished product:

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First Day of Fall Traditions

It’s the first day of fall and that little chill in the air means it’s time for pumpkins, crock pots and fall foliage. If you need some inspiration to get in to the mood of the season, try these ideas out.

Apples are in season and you can find them everywhere from your grocery store to your local farmers’ market. Use them in this Crock Pot Apple Butter recipe from My Frugal Adventures for a taste of the season.

Create your own decoupage fall leaf bowl with instructions from Luv a Bargain.

Pumpkins aren’t just for carving. Display your pumpkins all year long in this whimsical Turkey Pumpkin Stand at zulily.com.

Take plain cupcake mix and transform it in to a fall treat with The Tip Toe Fairy’s Caramel Apple Cupcake recipe.

Swap out your salt and pepper shakers for a more seasonal pair. Get these Orange & Cream Pumpkin Salt & Pepper Shakers on zulily.com.

Decorate the door with this DIY Autumn Wreath from Inspirations by D.

Design on a Dime Furniture

It’s officially the last day of summer! Time to turn our focus to the great indoors. If there’s some room for improvement, we’re here to help. Whether it’s adding an accent chair to your living room or a do-it all desk to your home office, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on furniture pieces to make your room look like new. We’ve got some ideas and a collection of home furnishing that will get your great indoors looking fabulous in no time.

Bedroom:

A chic, oversized headboard will add drama and make your space appear larger.

Dinning Room:

Soft, upholstered chairs offer contrast and comfort to a minimalist dinning table.

Living Space:

Mix and match accent chairs to add interesting visual depth and truly transitional style to your room. 

Plushy throws add contrast and live-in, wrapped in-warmth style.

Double your efforts with chic storage ottomans and benches for discreet seating and stowing

Home Office:

A compact desk hutch keeps all your things organization in a small home office.

Playroom/Kid’s Room:

Shelving units aren’t just for storage. Use them to display your little one’s favorite toys for an added touch of functional décor.

'Tis the Season for Pumpkin Spice

Nothing signifies the return of fall like pumpkin spice, so we’ve rounded up 5 mouthwatering, pumpkin-filled recipes we can’t wait to try.

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Pumpkin Spice Brown Bites from Inside Bru Crew Life: http://zuli.ly/1uocM8V 

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At-Home Skinny Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino from Sally’s Baking Addiction: http://zuli.ly/Z2cCLe

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Pumpkin Spice Waffles from Real House Moms: http://zuli.ly/1qUmpyf

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Pumpkin Spice Fudge from Melissa’s Southern Style: http://zuli.ly/1wSbOGy

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Pumpkin Spice Whip Dip from A Step in the Journey: http://zuli.ly/1uodRgX

Fall Coats for All

By: Amy E. Goodman, zulily Lifestyle Editor

LEATHER

Up and down the runways, leather or faux leather was by far the number one coat trend this fall.

Olive Quilted Moto Jacket, Steve Madden, 24.99 (zulily.com)

Charcoal Zip-Up Coat, Harvé Benard, 49.99 (zulily.com)

Moto Jacket

The “moto” or motorcycle jacket is an embodiment of the leather coat trend. In the case of the moto, it appeals to kids and adults who like a more fitted look and don’t worry…this doesn’t have to be all tough stuff either; I love the juxtaposition of a dress layered underneath, making a moto look chic and sweet! Look for asymmetrical zippers and flat front pockets and many come in colors other than black like purple, green and red.

Varsity Jacket

You’ll find varsity jackets everywhere for both adults and kids, because they’re a winning combination for a sporty back-to-school look, even if you don’t have your letter quite yet. Have fun with the color-blocked sleeves: black and white is always a classic choice.

Accented

If a full leather jacket isn’t in your fashion repertoire, consider a leather accent on your outwear. You may find this as a pocket trim on a woven coat, as the collar on a trench or as a belt. It’s a perfect way to dip into the trend without overdoing it.

PUFFERS

Puffers got loads of playtime with designers this season.. More so than ever, the fun with puffers is the variety and choice: plays on color, quilting techniques and patterns.

Black Ruffle Puffer Coat, YMI Kids, 24.99 (zulily.com)

Loden Belted Down Puffer Coat, Bill Chill, 59.99 (zulily.com)

Lightweight

Little kids are like fall leaves: their jackets are always falling off! In the early autumn as things begin to chill down, consider a light puffer that can be layered with other pieces like cardigans and sweaters—so that if one layer peels off, another remains to keep them warm.

Down

It goes without saying that down is incredibly lightweight and Mother Nature’s most efficient insulator that will keep your kid seriously warm as temperatures plummet. For further protection from the elements, look for water-resistant shells when purchasing a ski coat and interior pockets made for holding hand warmers.

ARCTIC

Get ready for a cold breeze with the Arctic trend of faux fur. Designers pretty much went crazy putting fur on everything, and here are some really wearable ways to get in on this trend for the whole family – and to channel a little Northern Exposure.

Gray Faux Fur Collar Puffer Coat, Catherine Malandrino, 36.99 (zulily.com)

Black Faux Fur-Trim, Yoki, 22.99 (zulily.com)

All Out

A total faux fur jacket is just the ticket for keeping your warm as you run around town, and looks equally great with jeans during day time or with a dress for date night.

Just a Touch

A faux-fur trimmed hood is how most people will wear the trend. Other fun hardware details can complete the look of a parka like toggles or shiny buttons, exposed zippers, epaulettes and military pockets.

Mixed Media

Some of my favorite jackets of the season are what’s called “mixed media” or ones that are compilations of different fabrics like part-sweater, part-quilted. Throw in some mid-top sneakers and that’s what I like to call Northern Exposure chic.

CAMO & PLAID

Who would’ve ever thought that two of the biggest pattern plays in coats this season could actually work together side by side? So you grab some camo and I’ll grab my plaid and let’s head out to play!

Camo & Black Four-Pocket Snap Button Denim Jacket, Dollhouse, 17.99 (zulily.com)

Rust Plaid Bomber Jacket, CoffeeShop, 49.99 (zulily.com)

Camouflage

This pattern is ubiquitous this season from shirts to sweaters and pants—windbreakers, jackets and more. Look for unexpected color choices when it comes to camo…like orange on white or purple on black.

Rad for Plaid

We never tire of this classic schoolgirl staple, and with crisp updates, why should we? Whether it’s a more traditional white-black-red or a refreshed navy-green-pink, there so many instances where a great plaid coat can serve you well and keep you warm.

See more fall coats with Amy via this TODAY Show video.

7 Ways To Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day

So we have to admit that while researching for this blog post, we got really hungry. We may have even taken a short break to get a big, juicy cheeseburger. I mean really, what’s better than that? Not much. It’s probably why the great people who create holidays decided to treat us all to a day dedicated to celebrating cheeseburgers! Choose from one of these great ideas to honor the day or just salivate like we did.

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Have a bowl of cheeseburger soup. Get the recipe from Kitchen Meets Girl: http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/slow-cooker-cheeseburger-soup/

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Give yourself a cheeseburger make-over. See the Burger King created eye make-up on Popsugar: http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Burger-King-Eye-Makeup-Ad-22453722

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Make some tasty 3-cheese sliders via Juggling Act Mama: http://jugglingactmama.com/2014/06/three-cheese-sliders.html

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Eat some bacon, cheeseburger dip from Raining Hot Coupons: http://www.raininghotcoupons.com/bacon-cheeseburger-dip-recipe/

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Created a cheeseburger cake via According to Nina: http://accordingtonina.com/2012/07/cheeseburger-in-paradise-cake/

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Don a cheeseburger head mask via zulily

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Try a quesadilla burger from Blog Chef: http://blogchef.net/quesadilla-burger-recipe/