As we approach the end of June, I’m thinking of some of my favorite finds from this month. Along with Newburgh Illuminated, I hiked out to Gardiner, NY for the Craft Market Walk which was held on the same day. If you’re looking for unique, quality goods, consider checking out these types of events. It’s a great way to discover indie local brands and to connect with creatives in the area. Many vendors sell items at lower prices at these markets, so in the long run, it’s easier on your wallet than buying online.
Since I discovered these events, I hardly shop at malls. Clearly, their existence has had a huge impact on me-hence why I co-founded Self Made: A Makers Collective. But on to the goods.
I interviewed Peter and Heidi from Grok Bites awhile back when I was running The Mighty Mite. Seeing them expand their product line makes me so proud. I’m allergic to Brazil nuts so I can’t enjoy their bites, but their superfood blends? Let me at them!
If you’re not familiar with superfoods, they’re foods that are micronutrient rich, known for aiding in digestion, energy regulation, metabolism, natural detoxification and other biological processes you want happening smoothly. While foods like kale and blueberries are consider “superfoods” I’m always on the hunt for the more exotic items that don’t easily make their way onto my plate. Think hemp and chlorella. The superblend powder I picked up from Grok Bites, currently feature both, along with sea buckthorn (immune boosting), matcha (filled with antioxidants), and other great ingredients. I use about 2 teaspoons in a smoothie consisting of ice, banana, avocado, cashew milk and a vanilla protein powder. It’s sweet, filling, and an easy way to nourish yourself on a regular basis.
Next up is Glow Facial Serum from Hudson Naturals. Full disclosure- the creator behind this brand, Christina Silvestris, is my partner for Self Made. However, it’s not working with her that made me fall in love with her skincare line. Actually it was the other way around.
I first discovered Hudson Naturals when I went to the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo, this wonderful marketplace that happens in Kingston, NY. Without trying to sound snobby, presentation means a lot to me-especially when it comes to independent brands/small businesses. I don’t ever want to get the sense that someone is in the kitchen throwing ingredients into a pot all willy-nilly. I like products I can visualize on the shelves of Neiman Marcus and other big retailers. I want a well crafted item in smart and beautiful packaging.
I noticed the Hudson Natural’s booth within a few seconds of entering the Hullabaloo. I was so taken with it that I grabbed a card and put it on the top of my list of businesses to interview. And FYI, when I reached out to Christina, she responded right away. Take note entrepreneurs: respond to your emails. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve reached out to for interviews, either for TMM, OHV or other publications, and have not received a timely response (within 48 hours). Not a good look. But back to the serum.
You can read all about Christina and Hudson Natural’s here but of all the products the brand puts out, Glow is hands down my favorite!! I love this stuff and have gifted it to so many of my friends and family who of course, love it as well. It’s packed with some serious rejuvenating ingredients, like Rose Hip Seed Oil and COQ10. I’m a beauty and skincare junkie. I practically spent my twenties in the aisles of Sephora. Needless to say, I’m very discerning when it comes to what I add to my beauty arsenal and Glow is in my top 5 skincare products of all time. Way better than Sunday Riley’s CFO or Luna Night Oil. Plus, it’s way more affordable. I put it on before applying my SPF and makeup. I also use it at nighttime after applying a retinol product. My skin always looks dewy and plump when I wake.
Another purchase I made this month didn’t come from the Gardiner Craft Market Walk but from Newburgh Illuminated. Like I said before, I love good packaging and I had to stop when I came across Rio Santo Naturals booth at the festival (see their display here). Their candles and room sprays are made with essential and skin safe fragrance oils. They have lots of lovely aromatic gender neutral scents, like the White Tea + Vanilla and Satsuma + Ginger candles. I’ve been burning these bad boys all month and my apartment has smelt gorgeous because of it. Very relaxing and sensual.
Rio Santo is based out of Tarrytown, NY. Their founder, Mark, is super knowledgeable about scents and was such a pleasure to talk to when I visited their booth. I look forward to watching this business grow and introduce more products. I burn the Satsuma + Ginger candle day and night. Seriously, you must try it. Even my boyfriend, who basically doesn’t like anything that doesn’t smell like baked goods, enjoys it.
I’ve purchased some other things this month that I want to share but I’ll save that for another post as I’m in the process of doing an apartment makeover and the items are decor related. Stay tuned and in the mean time, let me know some of your favorite June finds.
Hudson Valley based writer.