December 19, 2016

Welcome to Brands We Love Week 2016!

Welcome to the third annual edition of Brands We Love Week! All week, we will be revealing what brands our resident brand fanatics thought stood out this year. Whether it was because of something they did, or a great experience they had with a brand, Brands We Love Week is a chance to tell our favorite brand stories! If you missed the inaugural series, you can catch up here, and check out Brands We Love 2015 here.

Additionally, we want to hear who you’d add to the list! Let us know what brands you loved in 2016, using the hashtag ‪#‎BrandsWeLove‬, or let us know directly on Twitter @AddisonWhitney.

Kicking off this year’s Brands We Love is Betsy, who is a huge fan of the Goldie Blox brand:betsy_lard

“Goldie Blox has been a great new entry into learning and STEM focused toys that are also girl focused.

With two girls at home, I’m always looking for strong female influences and role models. Goldie Blox combines play, learning, building and reading, so we can have fun together in different ways.”

Dave is up next with a pair of great brands he loved – Spotify and Levi’s:img_1044

“Exploring new music is something I consider vital and while I may not be able to justify spending money on it like I did when I was 23, Spotify allows me to keep finding and enjoying new stuff. It’s also great for work, helping me to focus when I need to get into a creative state of mind.

Levi’s manages to find a perfect balance for me – I can pledge loyalty to an established, trusted branded, while the number system for different cuts of jeans allows me the cognitive dissonance necessary to maintain a sense of individuality and personalization.”

We wrap up day one of Brands We Love by kicking up our boots with Susan and her favorite brand, Frye:img_1045

“I chose Frye because I have a little bit of a shoe obsession but boots in particular.  Frye is a very high quality and well crafted boot that feels good and consistently delivers a stylish yet long lasting beautiful product.

The fit of every pair I own is precise and after an initial “break in period” feels like a well tailored custom shoe that was designed just for me. They look good, feel good and when I purchase a pair I know I am getting a quality product that will last.”

Day two of Brands We Love week starts off with Cathleen and a brand that helped her stay connected halfway across the world, Viber!img_1032

“Living in Australia for most of 2016, Viber made it easy to connect with my family and friends. I was able to celebrate with my parents on the day I got engaged using the video function. Now that I’m living in America, I use it every day to talk to my fiancee. I even got my 88-year-old grandmother to install it when she travelled to Italy and was able to check in on her adventures.

Thanks to Viber, I’m closer than ever with the people that mean the most to me no matter the distance!”

Hungry? Then you’ll love Ashley’s brand she loves, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen!ashley_chaffin

“The brand I’ve been most impressed with in 2016 is Charlotte’s own Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. They’ve created a signature look and feel that they maintain throughout their kitchen, at events and online.

When you’re at Chef Alyssa’s, everything is their signature green from the recipes books to the mixers to the tool box of kitchen supplies.  Outside of the cooking, they’ve created an atmosphere of great customer service that makes it a great place to learn a new skill.”

Kyle rounds out day two of Brands We Love week on a positive note with his favorite brand of the year, Life is Good:img_1059

“Life Is Good: I have always known of this brand, but once I learned of the history and what makes it so successful, I was hooked. From the two brothers selling t-shirts out of their van in Back Bay, Boston to becoming an uplifting global brand, Life Is Good has stayed true to their roots. They have found a way to invoke a feeling of hope and positivity in all they do.

The company’s mission to spread the power of optimism, is just so relatable and easy to connect with. I encourage any and everyone to just take a glance at the their website for some awesome and encouraging stories to brighten your day! ‘Life is not easy. Life is not perfect. Life is good.'”

Stacy leads off the midway point of Brands We Love week with a trio of brands that make life easier, with the added bonus of brands who also give back, Amazon, Venmo and TOMS:img_1057

“With Amazon, specifically Amazon Prime, I get TV shows, movies and TWO DAY FREE SHIPPING! Also, you have the option to send a percentage of your purchase to a charity of your choice with Amazon Smiles.

I think Venmo is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My friends and I go out to eat (a lot) so it’s easier to not split a check and just “Venmo people” to pay them back.  Also, it’s easier to pay coworkers back since I never have cash.

TOMS: Comfortable shoes that give a pair shoes to someone in need. What more can I say?”

We continue our Wednesday spotlight with Jennifer and Carolina Shuckers, a brand that not only brings back wonderful memories, but helps spread those memories to those she cares about!

img_1053“As a native North Carolinian and growing up with frequent trips to the eastern part of the state, oysters were an early part of my childhood, and over the years, my love for them has only grown. I love reminiscing with my family about that one Christmas Eve my parents were stuck in a cold mechanic’s garage, putting together a kitchen play set, while the rest of the family was at the local oyster bar. Believe me, 30+ years later, I still don’t think they’re over it.

When a dear friend decided to move home to Florida from Charlotte, I knew I wanted to send her on her way with something that would hopefully remind her of me and the state I hold so close to my heart. She had only recently discovered an affinity for oysters and when I found Carolina Shuckers, I knew that a hand-forged oyster knife, handcrafted in the town my little family now spends our summer vacations in, was the perfect going away gift.

The gift, for me, wasn’t just about the knife. It was more about the experiences I grew up with, those that we had shared together and the ones she’ll share with her old and new friends back home. If a brand can establish that type of relationship with me, it belongs on my short list of favorites.”


Kelly brings Brands We Love day to a close with three brands that fill her days and make her life better, Coca-Cola, Hallmark and Bath and Body Works!img_1031

“I love Coca-Cola as it is always focusing on the positive. The “Share a Coke with…” campaign was great and really encouraged a community atmosphere. Plus I love the soda!

Hallmark is all about creating positive and fun experiences, how could you not love that?

I have a problem with this Bath and Body Works… namely that I have an serious love for the products. I have enough lotion and candles to supply an army!”

Kaitlin is giving us a great start to day four of Brands We Love week, with brands whose strengths extend far beyond just their amazing products, TCBY and inkWELL Press!

“Since opening in 1981, the TCBY brand has stood the test of time! When ice cream shops transitioned to frozen yogurt, TCBY adjusted their logo and adapted to the newest trends. The vibrant logo is hard to miss and the ingredients are always fresh. This brand reminds me of my childhood and was a fan favorite in my house this year!

A friend introduced me to inkWELL Press in 2015, but I was not a full believer until I purchased my first daily docket notepad and planner this year. The founder of this company is a family-oriented, organized and hard-working woman, which spoke to me immediately. Her mission is to help women find peace through productivity and organization, two things that I am super passionate about. I am excited to try out my new planner in the new year and grow my inkWELL press love!”

Wendy continues our Thursday edition of Brands We Love with a brand that makes both dogs and dog owners happy, Subaru!wendy_jacobs

“Subaru shows a lot of dogs in their advertising, knowing that their audience loves dogs.

Even when I went in to the Subaru dealer for service, their waiting room was dog-friendly with treats and a Subaru-branded dog pillow for my fur baby to sleep on while we waited.”

Need to get somewhere quickly and stay connected? Then Lisa’s two favorite brands – Waze and Snapchat – are for you!lisa_overman

“Waze is vital in helping me get to work on time (most days)!

Snapchat gives me another chance to communicate with my teenagers since Facebook and Instagram are apparently for ‘old people!'”


We have come to the final day of this year’s edition of Brands We Love week, and Matt is starting us off with a brand that stands out across the board, Ole Mason Jar!img_1072

“This is a brand that has its priorities in all the right places. Their brand’s mission is dedicated to providing high quality products made in North Carolina, giving back to help make a positive impact in the world and embracing a lifestyle they are passionate about.

When a brand can achieve success in their products while also establishing a positive emotional connection with consumers, it’s a rare and appreciated combination. It doesn’t hurt that they are based in Charlotte and have helped make my hometown a better place, and I always love supporting local brands!”

We continue our love of local brands with Joshira and her trio of favorites, AerialCLT, Move That Dough and Lenny Boy!joshira_maduro

“For me, 2016 solidified my love for local brands!  AerialCLT is more than just a brand; it is my community; this gym knows how to get its students heavily involved and invested in the studio’s growth and treats everyone like family. It was born from the heart of one woman’s passion and has blossomed into a community of over 1,000 regular students! I loved it so much; I became a part-time teacher this year!

Move That Dough baking company is a gem of a traveling bakery with the BEST doughnutsI’ve ever had (and I’ve had plenty of doughnuts)! They are delicious and made vegan with organic ingredients – their strawberry doughnut has real strawberries on top (my personal favorite)! Not only do they make you feel good eating, but the founder, Kacie, is very passionate about food education and the arts, so she is always supporting local art shows and even volunteered to make lunches for low income schools!

Lastly, Lenny Boy has become my favorite place to grab a kombucha and relax on Sundays. Their kombucha flavors are so good, and they pride themselves on using organic ingredients as well. They are also very engaged with the community and have created great partnerships with other local brands.”

Last but certainly not least for Brands We Love 2016 is Olivia, who has three brands that definitely close our this edition on a high note, Philosophy, 9Round Fitness and Nowait!olivia_cain

“I love how Philosophy brands their skin care products. It is very clean and simple, just like the their motto of embracing all things natural! 

I’m semi-obsessed with the 9Round concept. A different workout for nine rounds with a 30-second break in between is a total body work out in under 30 minutes. Count me in! The trainers push you till you cannot be pushed anymore, and it’s over before you know it – all at a reasonable price. This unique and fun workout, and with no class times is extremely hard to pass up.

With the Nowait app, the wait is over! There are so many great restaurants that don’t take reservations and it can be huge turn-off to hear you have a two-hour wait. With the Nowait app, you can put your name on the list while you’re still getting ready and check in on your spot in line. This app is such a great idea in a big city with so many options.”


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