The Hot Cacao.

The Hot Cacao.

Step inside this modern wellness sanctuary and you'll instantly start to feel more relaxed. The market is spacious and light, complete with a cafe, shop, grab-n-go refrigerated section (they even sell the hard-to-find Coconut Cult yogurt!), infrared saunas (I'm a big fan!), cryotherapy, and IV drips. The boutique section is a wellness junkie's paradise - you'll find a curated selection of probiotics, supplements, adaptogenic powders, bath salts, natural deodorants, coconut butters, candles, teas and so much more! You'll recognize some Back to Basil favorite brands like The Beauty Chef, Moon Juice, Herbivore, Sun Potion, P.F. Candle Co, and many others! After browsing the store, head to the cafe for a Glow Matcha (Moon Juice Beauty Dust, matcha, coconut butter, collagen, pearl, raw honey, and almond & coconut milk) and The Blues smoothie bowl, made with banana, pineapple, cauliflower, coconut oil, E3Live, probiotic, almond milk, turmeric honey, toasted coconut chips, mulberries and granola. Schedule ahead for the wellness services in the back or take a chance as a walk-in. You can call (646) 850-6300 for availability and can also book online. If you want a stress-free space to work from, bring your laptop and set up shop at one of their pristine white tables complete with succulents. Sip on a Brain Coffee (Moon Juice Brain Dust, organic coffee, ghee, Brain Octane, and coconut butter) and let new ideas flow through you. 

Clean Market is located on E 54th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. A friendly, accommodating staff can answer any questions and will happily show you around the space. Downtowners, take my word - it's worth the trip!

The Blues smoothie bowl.

The Blues smoothie bowl.

Photography by Colin Ziemer.


All photos C/O //  Set of 2 vases , $74

All photos C/O // Set of 2 vases, $74

I met Hilliary this January in a class we were both taking on ethical fashion at FIT. That’s when I first heard about Future & Fauna, her online retail site selling ethical pieces made by women around the world, mailed to you with responsible packaging. Hilliary spoke with passion about her project, and we all loved her concept that instead of the future being female, let’s make the present such. Future & Fauna is all about supporting women and sharing the stories of the makers behind the products. Unfortunately our mass consumer culture has, in many cases, resulted in a much reduced appreciation for the goods we buy and the way in which they are made. When we support Hilliary and the brands she carries, we are supporting a conscious shift to move away from mass-produced, often disposable goods towards more purposeful purchases that honor the art of craft and the people behind them.

Future & Fauna carries a variety of products ranging from bags and jewelry to home goods and perfumes, all made by women of course. Happy shopping!

One of Back to Basil's summer must-haves!  The Circular Bag  from Shicato, handwoven in Ecuador. // $142

One of Back to Basil's summer must-haves! The Circular Bag from Shicato, handwoven in Ecuador. // $142

The Shape Shifter Earrings  from Shicato. Made using the tagua nut, a sustainable material // $84

The Shape Shifter Earrings from Shicato. Made using the tagua nut, a sustainable material // $84

ASHLEY: I really love your mission of empowering women by supporting their crafts, and I especially like that you offer background on the women and/or organizations behind each product. Were you familiar with some or all of the brands you carry prior to starting Future & Fauna or did you discover them along the way?
HILLIARY: I have actually discovered all of the brands and makers along the way. I first had the idea for Future & Fauna while traveling in Guatemala while getting to first hand see the products being made and meet the women doing so. After that trip to Guatemala, I spent more time traveling around Latin America meeting more and more women making beautiful products. The women I have based in the US, I have mainly met by being personally connected as well. I wanted the site to be a place others could feel like they were discovering something too and not become another mass consumption store. 

I know you have a background in retail and fashion so I’m curious, would you be interested in opening a brick and mortar location down the road or do you foresee Future & Fauna as e-commerce exclusive?
It's my background in retail that made me want to start Future & Fauna only online; how we shop is constantly changing, by having our platform be e-commerce we can adapt to those changes. Hopefully, soon we'll do some Future & Fauna pop-ups and events so that our customers can see our items IRL but no permanent brick & mortar anytime soon! 

I imagine that starting your own company comes with a lot of stress, and unlike many people, you don't just get to walk away from it by leaving an office. Since you’re a certified yoga instructor I assume you practice regularly. Aside from yoga do you have any other self-care rituals you perform to stay balanced and calm? 
I have to practice regularly to de-stress and stay sane. It's not yoga everyday but I need to do some type of movement! Also just having moments where I'm able to turn-off help - sometimes It's a quick getaway with my boyfriend or an afternoon of reading by myself. 

And lastly, who are some of your female role models in today’s society?
All of the women who are featured on my site; they have also built their own business and I'm always inspired by the work they are creating! 

Head to for more product offering and to read more about Hilliary's mission!


Susan Alexandra, designer, pictured above. Image c/o

Susan Alexandra, designer, pictured above. Image c/o

Truth be told, I had another post planned for today on summer skincare, but I decided that can wait. I’ve been very moved by the outpour of support and action on social media to stop families from being separated at the border. At the core, we are all human beings. We have no say over where we’re born or what means we are born into. And when those fleeing political oppression or gang violence or domestic abuse or other life threatening situations - when they work up the courage to make dangerous journeys to a new country seeking a better life, it feels downright inhumane to turn them away, to deny them asylum, to cage them, and/or to separate them from their family members. Let's not forget that our country was built by brave men and women who also journeyed to a new place in hopes of a better life. 

Scrolling through Instagram earlier today, I stumbled across a favorite accessory designer of mine, Susan Alexandra, whose post poignantly described how so many of us feel. What really resonated with me was how she described her greater purpose as a designer. Rather than summarize, I’ll share her post verbatim:
The world feels really confusing and dark right now. I feel so confused and helpless. It’s also a time for personal reflection. As a person and as a business, what can I do? I am committed to treating people with kindness and compassion. This is the reason all my pieces are made by hand by women (mothers!) in NYC. Your purchase helps these women provide for their families, and for many of them, this is the first job they’ve ever been able to have because they can work from home while watching their children. Fashion comes and goes and it sometimes feels so empty. I am constantly reminded that I create because there is a greater goal and purpose which, when it comes down to it, is love. Proceeds from sales for the next week go to efforts to unite children with their families.

During dark times, Susan’s playful accessories can spark joy, and for the next week, the proceeds from sales will help the greater effort to bring migrant families back together. The latest update from the White House claims that the president will be signing an order to stop his policy of separation later today, but we still don’t know exactly what it will entail or what will happen to those already separated. We should continue to fundraise, fight, and speak out about this ongoing crisis.

Pillow cover, purses, and earrings can all be purchased on

Pillow cover, purses, and earrings can all be purchased on


Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, of past and present! This past week I sat down with writer, blogger, fashion and wellness enthusiast, and mother of a two, Denise Nicole (@abrooklynbabe). Since today is Mother's Day, I thought it would be fitting to talk about some of the ways Denise is incorporating healthy habits into her kids' lives and what some her regular self-care routines are. Even though I'm not a mom myself, I really want to stress the point to all the mamas reading this that taking time for yourself is not selfish! Your personal wellness should always be a priority, not an afterthought.

Denise and I share a lot of common interests - wellness, fitness, matcha, fashion, meditation, healthy get the picture - but I was wondering how she manages all of that on top of being a homeschool mom to two kids under five! Her son Dexter is four, and her daughter Dakota is two. And did I mention Dexter has been reading since age three? When Denise told me her son will check ingredient labels at the grocery store and can recognize artificial ingredients, my jaw dropped. She explained that she started reading to both her children when they were in the womb. OK, definitely doing that if I'm pregnant in the future! For some more tips from Denise, see below for some Q+A!

ASHLEY: As a home school mom you pretty much spend all day every day with your children. When do you schedule time for yourself and what are some of your favorite self-care rituals? 
DENISE: My husband works long hours during the week, but on the weekends if possible I try to make time for myself. I will grab a matcha or brunch with a friend, have a meditation session, or take a yoga class. Sundays I always try and make it to church, which for me is the ultimate self-care for my spirit. During the week when I’m with my kids if I need a minute, I just sit and enjoy a homemade matcha or adaptogen elixir. Getting outdoors is also always great for us together and meeting with other mom friends really encourages me. 

I imagine that raising kids in New York City is a pretty unique experience. With all of the abundant resources the city has to offer, what are some of your favorite places to take your children? 
We love Prospect Park; being in nature is just so good for you on so many levels and we really enjoy it there. We also love Brooklyn Bridge Park, our local libraries, and the Museum of Natural History. Oh I also cannot forget our local coffee shop where I can pick up a delicious matcha, and the kids love their Dough Doughnuts

Since you love health and wellness as much as I do, I wanted to ask what healthy habits you are working to instill in your children and if you have any tips for parents who are trying to be more health conscious. 
I just talk to my kids about everything, even things they may seem too young to understand. I tell them about ingredients in food, artificial ingredients and the health benefits of eating certain foods, exercise, and drinking water. We have our routines like our vitamin dance and morning water we drink as soon as they wake up. I’m teaching them yoga and meditation as well. Their practice won’t look like an adult's and that’s OK - they are learning, stretching, growing, and developing more and more each day. They also really enjoy the time we spend together meditating and practicing yoga; it’s so fun for them! But all kids definitely have moments when they don’t want to eat their veggies, or anything! That’s when green smoothies come in handy; my kids love them and have been drinking them since they were very young. 

Adults can learn as much from children as they can from us. Have there been any major lessons or reminders you've picked up from your own kids that you would like to share?
My kids remind me everyday to remain present. Stay rooted in right now and mindful of this moment. Kids are so concerned with right now! They don’t want to wait for anything and rarely lament on the past - it’s an excellent reminder to do the same. They also remind me how powerful I am; I spend a lot of time and energy caring for two little humans and it’s a lot of work! When I see how amazing they are, I don’t take too much credit, but I do honor the strength it takes in me to mother them through this life. So to all the other mamas reading this, you are enough and you are amazing. 

I imagine that becoming a mother is both one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in life. If you could offer one piece of advice to first time moms, what would it be?
Slow down. 
From the moment your baby is born everything moves so fast. It seems slow, in the hours of no sleep and crying and millions of things to do, but it goes by in a blink. Slow down, enjoy every cuddle, and take all the naps with little arms wrapped around you. Don’t stress the mess, because the messes will come! Take care of yourself and your baby and enjoy all the moments. 

I also asked Denise if motherhood has changed the way she looks at the world. She said yes, in many ways, but one way in particular is that she has even more compassion than before. For her, it's a reminder that everyone's coming from a different place and that you have to look at people for more than what's on the surface. I think we all could use this reminder, parent or not.
Denise, you are an inspiration.

All photos c/o @abrooklynbabe.