Best Candles 2015 | Standard Wax | Goods & Services | Phoenix

Smell this! It's something we've commanded friends — and, okay, maybe a couple strangers — to do when browsing through the candles that Standard Wax offers. Too bad these will one day be burned because we can envision never removing our noses from the simple ceramic containers, which house scents such as the warm and outdoorsy Fireside and the bright, lively citrus and black currant. Thanks to its addictive fragrances and a willingness to collaborate with local artists like ceramicist Tom Budzak, the Phoenix-based company unsurprisingly has earned a following and even a nod from the Martha Stewart American Made Awards.

It seems every young artsy couple that gets engaged these days is tagging one particular Phoenix maker in their Instagram engagement announcements. That'd be Mother of Gideon. Helmed by Charis Elliott and Seth Fainkujen, the Valley's go-to edgy jewelry purveyor has earned a following with its one-of-a-kind pieces and willingness to work closely with shoppers looking for a ring, whether it's hyper-detailed and Renaissance-inspired or clean-cut and classic. That, and MOG is dedicated to reusing materials like recycled gold and silver, as well as locally sourcing its precious gems. We like to think Beyoncé would approve.

From Urban Outfitters dresses to Prada shoes, My Sister's Closet has everything a fashionista on a budget could need. The deals on clothes, shoes, and accessories couldn't be better — we're talking about $35 for a Diane von Furstenburg dress and $60 for Stuart Weitzman pumps that originally cost nearly $500. But don't think My Sister's Closet is all about the labels. The buyers here know that stylish, nearly new clothes from any brand are worth reselling, which means you'll also find great buys for less than you'd usually spend on lunch. For the best deals, wait for the seasonal progressive sales, when everything in the store gets discounted between 20 percent and 70 percent. We've scored a vintage leather skirt for $25 and a designer dress for under 10 bucks. Plus the staff is always friendly and the aisles easy to navigate.

The staff is friendly, the selection changes constantly, and you can't beat the prices at Love Child, our favorite resale shop for children's clothing. We haunt the $1 (yes, one dollar!) rack and have found everything from a Gymboree velour sweat suit to Abercrombie and Fitch cutoffs. There's a wide selection of used leotards and tap shoes (a dance mom's dream) and a shelf or two of books to keep the kids busy while you browse. Offer up your e-mail address and you'll get plenty of sale notices and coupons — although the regular prices are good enough to keep us coming back to Love Child.

Some people look down on parents for living vicariously through their children. But we have no shame in doing so when our kids are wearing the stellar, futuristic designs of Baby Teith. Tiffe Fermaint and Keith Walker founded this children's clothing brand after having a little one of their own. Originally an adult runway designer, Fermaint started creating looks for her daughter and then began to sell her designs on her Etsy shop. Baby Teith's lightning bolt onesies, iridescent skirts, and punny Morrissey shirts are available at several boutiques and online markets nationally. Fermaint's designs are mostly for kids, so you parents will just have to be satisfied knowing your kid has the coolest threads on the playground.

It's not every day that an Arizona-based creative gets a tip of the hat from the one and only Jonathan Adler. But Gilbert artist Jessica Rowe is one such lucky lady. Adler has a home goods store at Biltmore Fashion Park and often visits the Valley because his husband, Simon Doonan, has long worked with Barneys. Anywho, Adler saw Rowe's work, loved it, and, as it were, had to have it in his stores as part of his JA Finds collection, which features up-and-coming design work. Adler has carried pieces from Rowe's Lips series, watercolor works that blow girlish kisses of thanks to iconic pop culture imagery of the Rolling Stones' logo and the opening scene of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

If you've been at your favorite restaurant or other local business around town and noticed its awesome T-shirts, there's a good chance the shirt was made at Brand X Custom T-Shirts. Whether your order is large or small, the knowledgeable staff will guide you through the process of putting your name, brand, or graphic on whatever T-shirt you want. Or you can choose from the aesthetically pleasing and often-funny shirts that it's pre-made. But our favorite part of Brand X isn't even what or how it puts words and images on the shirts. It's the fact that there's no minimum requirement on orders. You want just one T-shirt with your mom's face on it for Mother's Day? You got it, if you're using Brand X.

Arizona has a reputation for being, shall we say, behind the times. But that's not without precedent. After all, in terms of statehood, the Copper State was the 48th on the map. That's right. We sneaked in before Hawaii and Alaska hopped on board. It's a fact that Michael Spangenberg, Stephen Polando, and Nicholas Polando accept with pride. So much so that they named their lifestyle brand State Forty Eight, a line of shirts, hoodies, and accessories for men, women, and kids and emblazoned with that name. State pride never looked quite so sharp.

Consider the mattress. As a kid, bed is where you're sent when you're being atrocious. As a teen and young adult, it takes on an, uh, more exciting role. As an grown-ass person, your bed is either your sanctuary or the thing you likely dread replacing because it costs an ungodly, un-bank-accountable sum. Or at least it did until Tuft & Needle came along. Based in Arizona and California, it's a mattress company geared toward folks with an eye for quality and a thrifty sensibility. Tuft & Needle manufactures just one — one — type of foam mattress in all the standard sizes made in the United States. And we have to say, it's incredibly comfortable.

Green is the new black, and flawless skin is the new full-on foundation. Which is why Phoenix locals who love a good pampering are ditching their drugstore buys for the earthy essentials of Flora Apothecary. Founded by former makeup artist Nikki Wrangler, the all-natural line of luxurious skincare caters to men and women who could do without the chemicals in their commercial cosmetics. From body scrubs and facial elixirs to bar soaps and beard oils, all of Wrangler's artisan products are as pleasing to the senses as they are to the skin. That's because Flora Apothecary is all about opting for plant-based products such as avocado oil and mango butter over sinister sulfates and parabens. Although Flora Apothecary doesn't have a brick-and-mortar shop, it makes do with online sales and the shelves of local boutiques such as Frances, Camelback Flowershop, and La Grande Orange.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of