Taking the first bite of a cake from Ella’s Sweet Treats can be bittersweet, since it means destroying a work of art. The multitiered creations don seamless coats of fondant that command attention with majestic accents such as feathers, tiaras, or a message scrawled in icing that reads, “Hey, you. Look at this handsome cake.” The elegant designs invite forks to plunge into cores of chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, or strawberry cake in search of one of the nine available fillings, including cannoli cream or fresh strawberries and bananas. Presentation even matters for Ella’s cupcakes, which arrive with eye-catching swirls of buttercream frosting. The shop’s confectioners also shower their chocolate-covered apples with a hodgepodge of additional toppings, such as marshmallows, nuts, and sprinkles.
In their New Jersey and Michigan facilities, Wicked Flames’ candle makers hand-pour natural, kosher, nontoxic, dye-free candles. Essential oils mingle with soy wax to create soothing aromas as candles burn, including island-inspired aloha, spicy cinnamon, and fresh lemon verbena. Many candles boast aromatherapy benefits such as improving moods or masking the smell of a roommate’s postbreakup apathy-scented candle. Because soy candles burn cooler than conventional candles, they are less likely to leave sooty black on jars and walls, and Wicked Flame uses braided cotton wicks to reduce smoke. Each candle burns approximately 10–12 hours per ounce, and candles are available in 2- to 30-ounce sizes.
White Lotus Home bedecks abodes with a variety of natural and organic furnishings and accessories handmade in the United States. Each organic mattress—available in standard and custom sizes—buoys patrons atop 8–10 layers of U.S.-grown cotton, with most mattresses lasting 5–15 years, depending on how often they are used as settings for moon-landing reenactments. The cotton and wool mattress wraps its core of organically grown, harvested, and processed cotton with New Zealand virgin lamb's wool ($254 for a zabuton; $2,133 for a king-size mattress), which serves to repel dust mites while helping to regulate the body temperatures of its dozing owners. The gentle weave of a pure organic cotton blanket ($82 for a throw) banishes shivers, and handmade sets of organic cotton sateen sheets ($111 for a crib, $349 for a king) grace mattresses with a gentle embrace. Accessorize new linen ensembles without sewing diamonds into pillowcases by enlisting natural furniture such as solid-wood nightstands ($393 for the Pac Rim Classic).