5 Local Brands We Love

February 13, 2020
By iQ Staff
Billboard of surf-inspired brand with tropical motifs and people in casual wear.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the iQ team selected brands we adore from each of our five hubs: Hawaii, California, Colorado, New York and Washington, D.C. There’s a lot to love about these brands, most of which are small, independent businesses. They are diverse, creative, stylish and authentic, just like their cities of origin, offering unique appeal to the audiences they reach.

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Salvage Public

Honolulu, Hawaii


Why we love this brand

Salvage Public reflects Hawaii’s unique lifestyle where we live close to the natural world while still being modern and innovative. This surf-inspired brand is at the crossroad of culture with simple and elegant Hawaiian iconography and local phrases. Its brand expression is authentic, beautifully designed and appears effortless in its consistency. Founded by Joseph and Noah Serrano, and Napali Souza, this small but mighty brand continues to gain fans internationally, far beyond Hawaii’s shores.
Photos via Salvage Public's website and Instagram


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TRVE Brewing

Denver, Colorado


Why we love this brand

In Denver’s sea of craft breweries, it takes more than good beer to stand out — it takes a strong brand. TRVE Brewing carries its heavy metal brand through every part of the customer experience, with a dark, dungeon-y taproom, moody gothic artwork (featuring local artists), beer names like Hellion and Scorn, eerie label art, to-go cans with a sexy, smooth matte black finish that looks and feels unique, and of course, heavy metal. Its farmhouse ales are made with wild yeast, a process that embraces chaos to create unpredictable and sometimes funky flavors. TRVE isn’t for everyone, but that’s kind of the point.
Photos via TRVE Brewing's website and Instagram


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Zengo Cycle

Bethesda, MD


Why we love this brand

Zengo Cycling is the first fully dedicated cycling studio in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Its inspiring instructors and awesome playlists make fitness fun. Studio cycling helps you disconnect from constant email notifications and the anxiety of performing (the lights are off, there is no scoreboard, and you control the resistance) so that you can focus on what you need. The experience is zen, but mostly go.
Photos via Zengo Cycle's website and Instagram


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Milk Bar

New York, New York (and beyond)


Why we love this brand

Milk Bar embodies all things light, bright and joyful, from its neon pink sign to its playful voice and colorful confetti cake. Even its history is quirky and unexpected — the original bakery opened in a vacant laundromat in the East Village. Although it’s tied to David Chang’s Momofuku empire and has expanded to 16 locations throughout North America, it manages to keep an authentic, fun feel that is emblematic of its founder, pastry chef Christina Tosi.
Photos via Milk Bar's website and Instagram


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Carmel Honey Company

Carmel, California


Why we love this brand

With sophisticated packaging and a product cameo on HBO series Big Little Lies, you’d never guess that Carmel Honey Company was founded by teenager Jack Reisdorf. The young entrepreneur started beekeeping as part of a class project in elementary school and turned it into a well-known brand on the Monterey Peninsula with two retail locations. Not only is the honey delicious and locally produced, but the company also emphasizes education for customers and kids in the local community.
Photos via Carmel Honey Company's website and Instagram