By Shea & Raan Parton
Photos by Lawton Cook
When visitors enter Magnolia Market in Waco, TX, they receive a long-handled Apolis tote to carry around as they shop. Now for the first time ever, we're offering this same Customizable Tote Market Bag in limited quantities.
Read below to learn more about our partnership with Magnolia Market, which started in 2017.
We landed in Austin the morning of August 29, 2017, and our friend Brad showed up wearing cowboy boots, with country music playing from his Chevy truck — classic. We spent the day meeting with local market bag retail partners, before heading to bed at a decent hour in order to prepare for the next day. In the morning, we headed two hours north to the city of Waco, where we visited Magnolia Market, one of our market bag retail partners who you may know from the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
We recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Magnolia Market on an exclusive tote bag which shoppers see when they first arrive at the Market. It was a pleasure to meet Magnolia’s sales team and share with them about the Bangladeshi mothers who handcraft each market bag in exchange for Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund. We went on a tour around the Magnolia Market facilities, learning more about the history of the place. The site used to just be wheat silos, but Chip and Joanna Gaines had the vision of turning it into a retail and dining community center. Now the location features over 10,000 square feet of home decor retail and about 2,000 square feet of garden retail, with a sprawling campus where people can hang out, eat from food trucks, and play corn hole with their kids. It’s one of the most holistic retail experiences we’ve ever come across, one where hundreds of people often wait in line for the retail doors to open at 9AM, Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays).
After snagging some fun souvenirs for our family and friends, and doing a couple live Instagram sessions in which we gushed about our love for Magnolia Market, we shifted gears and headed 20 minutes away to Magnolia’s Fulfillment Center. There, we met with Magnolia’s digital team, and after dozens of emails over the months of working together, it was really fun to meet these folks in person. What especially stood out to us was hearing how the Magnolia team wanted to find a strategic way to help Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston. The hurricane hit Texas over the weekend, and that Monday night, Magnolia released a T-shirt with the phrase "Texas Forever”. 100% of the profits go to a relief organization helping victims in Houston, and the Magnolia team anticipated selling around 10,000 T-shirts by the end of September. But literally the morning after the shirt was released, they’d already sold well over their anticipated goal. By the time we sat down we them, a little over 48 hours after the shirt release, they’d already sold 50,000 T-shirts. They’re well on their way to generating over a million dollars in donations for Houston victims — a beautiful example of using business as a force for good.
After our meeting, we said our goodbyes and headed to Dallas for a quick meeting with the Digital Strategy Team which helps Apolis’ social media game. After that, we headed home, thankful for the time with our friends in Texas and encouraged by seeing Magnolia’s desire to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Below are some pics from our trip taken by talented local photographer Lawton Cook. Thanks for reading!