Best of 2023: Spring Edition

1. Big Ass Luxuries 

You can now get the most burn for your buck with Big Ass Luxuries, a brand that uses natural ingredients to bring luxury candles to the world that last from 300-1,000 hours. With a mission to support wellness, self care, and mental health within an archaic industry, Big Ass Luxuries is fulfilling their dream by creating candles that are big, bold, and just as fun as they are classy. Their products personify their consumer base as those who do not take life too seriously. With their two products to date, the Baby Big Ass Candle, 150 ozand the Big Ass Candle, 300 oz the brand brings a unique look to a variety of spaces across the world. Surpassing $1.3 million in sales in their first full year of operation, Big Ass Luxuries has set goals to expand both their product line and their reach with compelling additions like long-ass lighters, matches, samplekits,and other cozy home goods. The brand differentiates themselves within competing markets by using natural ingredients and pricing their candles at affordable rates that rival the luxury space they inhabit. The brand’s name is memorable in itself, prompting people to think of Big Ass Luxuries during the major gifting holidays of Valentines, Mothers Day, while also contributing to Birthdays and other celebratory occasions.Big Ass Luxuries is breaking through the candle industry in an innovative and fun-loving way. The elevated aspect they bring to the candle market all while delivering large products able to be burned for hundreds of hours is a concept revolutionizing the home decor industry.

2. Magic Mind 

Designed to boost energy, focus, cognition, and motivation all while reducing stress, Magic Mind is the world’s first productivity shot. Everyone from artists to entrepreneurs can benefit from the natural effects of the 13 active ingredients in its science-backed formula. After being diagnosed with a heart condition caused by excess stress and excess caffeine, founder James Beshara set out on a 10-year journey to develop the best beverage on the planet for creators. Honesty, transparency, quality, and sustainability characterize the brand as the company makes sure to use only the highest-quality ingredients from the most sustainable suppliers around the world. Magic Mind leaves out the large amounts of caffeine and similar stimulants present in many other energy drinks that also contain large amounts of sugar. Their shots provide a long-term boost in energy levels without the dreaded crash after. They differentiate themselves from competitors by including both nootropics and adaptogens in their formula for a boost in focus as well as a reduction in stress levels. Functional mushrooms such as cordyceps and lion’s mane and vitamins such as vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and B12 are included in their formula for additional energy and cognitive support, making the shots a staple in people’s morning routines everywhere. The creators of the world have a new sidekick with Magic Mind, a new, healthier way to increase energy levels, enhance focus, and kickstart the creative process in a sustainable and natural manner.

3. Talking Rain AQA

Providing essential hydration through beverages that are better-for-you by design, Talking Rain AQA® 9.5 pH alkaline water is transforming the H20 game by teaching the world to thirst for good. With a goal to provide revitalizing refreshment, the brand has created a beverage that does more with every sip. Talking Rain AQA is a high pH, 9.5+ ionized, premium alkaline water that contains added minerals as well as electrolytes for taste. Talking Rain AQA knows that when it comes to water, a refreshing and clean taste is everything. Each bottle of Talking Rain AQA begins with a carefully selected water source – but that’s not all! Talking Rain AQA is water with a purpose. Talking Rain AQA supports water accessibility and sustainability on a global scale by partnering up with the non-profit organization Waterboys to strengthen its efforts to bring clean and accessible drinking water to a variety of communities in need worldwide. Launched by two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long, Waterboys focuses on creating a more sustainable world where clean water is both accessible and equitable to everyone. For every 12 bottles of Talking Rain AQA purchased, Talking Rain donates $0.20 to support Waterboys’ mission. The brand is taking hydration to a new level by promoting clean water access for all while creating thirst quenching beverages. Talking Rain AQA is a modern spin on hydration tied in with a really great cause.

4. MatchaKo

As the first ready-to-drink premium matcha that’s also certified organic, non-GMO, and vegan, MatchaKo is an enjoyable way to consume your favorite drink with an elevated sense of luxury. The mission of MatchaKo is to provide the world with a healthier alternative for sustaining energy. Their matcha is of the finest grade and contains caffeine levels that overstep the jitters, crash, acidity, or lingering breath commonly found in coffee. MatchaKo also contains over 100 times the number of antioxidants found in ordinary tea and is known to boost metabolism and improve an overall sense of well being. Founded by Mark Missirlian in 2022 out of Los Angeles, MatchaKo comes in four varieties of flavors and is the result of a dream to become the premier caffeine choice of consumers who are looking for something a little different. Only the finest ingredients are used in order to craft a beverage that not only tastes good but also makes you feel great. MatchaKo can be found in select stores around the greater LA region and is available nationwide through their website. Keeping with green, the brand emphasizes the importance of sustainability and makes sure all of their shipments are carbon neutral with a goal to be completely carbon negative by the year 2024. MatchaKo is different from other matcha drinks because they use the finest grade matcha directly from Japan that doesn’t contain the inherent bitter taste that most other matcha drinks contain. Matcha takes a new form as a clean and healthy caffeine option with MatchaKo, the first of its kind canned matcha that reflects modern values and ideals for a healthier lifestyle.


The effortless vibe of CROSBY is taking the world by storm with their imaginative use of color and original prints. Founders Mollie Burch and Taylor Montes de Oca launched the brand out of Atlanta, Georgia in 2015 with a goal to create joy for the modern woman looking to spice up her wardrobe by adding unique, timeless, and fun fashion pieces. Each print is hand-designed by CEO and Creative Director Mollie Burch herself, inspired by unexpected color palettes, vibrant cultures, and the wonders of nature. Several pieces are influenced by the seasons themselves, recognizing the unique stories each season portrays to the world. CROSBY enables women to celebrate who they truly are through their wardrobe and has stayed true to this purpose throughout the past seven years, building the brand up from a simple dream to an inspiring reality. The brand also has a social mission focused on anti-human trafficking efforts, partnering with organizations such as Wellspring Living to continue the fight against human trafficking. Every year, two prints are hand designed by Mollie that directly benefit Wellspring Living. CROSBY is a clothing line that doesn’t only help you “Shine Your Bright” but calls to actively support women in our local communities. They are a brand inspiring women to find joy within their wardrobes through bold colors, fun prints, and attention to detail. 

6. Bluelene

Bluelene is a full clinical, anti-aging skin and sun care portfolio proudly made in the USA by Mblue Labs. The brand launched in 2019 after its founder, Dr. Kan Cao, a human aging scientist, made the startling discovery that Methylene Blue reverses cell aging, while researching the rapid-aging childhood disease, progeria. The company patented Methylene Blue as a new revolutionary ingredient for skincare. The brand has a loyal following, spanning over 42 countries, serving customers from 25-80+ years old. Mblue Labs is a woman and minority owned business with a heavy emphasis on innovation. Their singular focus has been to develop formulas that reverse existing and future skin damage for all skin types. The products are all verified cruelty-free and vegan, with a strong commitment to preserving aquatic life. Mblue Labs conducted research on coral-safe sun protection funded by the National Science Foundation and developed the first anti-aging full spectrum sunscreen with Methylene Blue (SunFix) in order to carry out their passion for preservation. Their latest product, Serum Plus+ is a multi-function skin booster serum that combines Methylene Blue with powerful Hyaluronic Acid, NextGen Vit C, Aloe Vera, and Blue-green SunFixA. Results have included instant lift of the skin, plumping and tightening, wrinkle repair and much more. Different from most other independent health and beauty brands, Mblue Labs has a DNA of R&D. Dr. Cao found that Methylene Blue contains a number of characteristics that allow it to dig deep into human cells, neutralize free radicals, and repair DNS damages to create results that target the root of the problem. Bluelene is the cutting edge of scientific skincare, rooted in their proven results and small-business feel.

7. Hault 

Inspired by the arid allure of the desert, Hault offers skincare that caters to your mood, ready to calm and rejuvenate with results driven ingredients. Hault understands that one size does not fit all, and encourages men to trust their gut when it comes to skincare that works for their body. As the desert is a place of healing, Hault uses these ideals to propel healing powers that not only help the skin but the overall health of our psyche as well. Founder, Brian Diethorn, launched his skincare line out of San Francisco in January of 2023 with 5 products catered to men who want to relax, reset, and reboot. Reflecting the complexities of the desert, the brand incorporates plants like aloe, agave, and prickly pear into the ingredients of their products to ensure a natural healing process. These ingredients offer moisture-retention properties, are anti-inflammatory, and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Diethorn struggled with acne in his teens, and he noticed a discrepancy in anti-aging skin products marketed toward men as opposed to strictly women. He wanted to start his own line that not only helped the skin heal but also supported mental health, which directly affects the skin’s aging process. The integration of “calmness” into self-care for your skin was important for Diethorn to include in Hault’s products. Skincare is a moment of pause that gives you time to focus on yourself and create your own calm, aligning with the mission of Hault. The brand is a modern spin on inclusive skincare, rooted in the desert and able to care for more than just the appearance of skin.

8. La Luna 

In the heart of the historically robust Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago lies La Luna, an artsy restaurant characterized by new-age Mexican dishes and a creative atmosphere. La Luna goes along with Pilsen’s ever-evolving cultural roots, offering locals and visitors alike a place to enjoy an artsy safe haven. Their menu features traditional style tacos, unique small plates, and authentic tortillas. Chef Marco Colin works hand in hand with in-house beverage director, Karla Maria, who has brought her creative experience straight from Mexico City to use local, premium ingredients and ensure their customers enjoy their favorite food and cocktails sourced from local businesses. La Luna’s interior reflects the spirit of the community. Their core values of diversity, quality, and passion manifest themselves in the restaurant’s roots as being both customer focused as well as minority and women-owned. Founder, Samantha Sanchez, opened La Luna in 2019 as a seasonal space in the spirit of the location: a Latino neighborhood that continues to grow and exemplify a diverse set of cultural values. Their cocktails and culinary offerings rotate year-round depending on the fresh produce available by local vendors. La Luna stands out among the rest through their diverse values and willingness to grow and learn within the industry. You will never find a response to a question as “no” because, in the eyes of the founder, anything is possible. La Luna celebrates Latinx heritage in the heart of Chicago by offering a creative atmosphere fueled by the bold presentation of each plate being colorful and whimsical. It is obvious their values are rooted in their delicious cultural fare.