Luigi Aldon is an icon. Anyone who has ever taken a fitness class in San Francisco — particularly his electrifying SoulCycle classes — has heard of his energy. It’s an exuberance so palpable that you’ll absorb it via osmosis if you’re in the same room.
As some of you extroverts know, dispensing that much energy — and pouring so much of yourself into others — can quickly be debilitatingly draining if you’re not taking care of yourself on all levels. Luigi came face to face with that reality, and found himself exhausted, and craving some kind of mental, spiritual, and emotional nourishment.
His best friend Lara Corey, who was a longtime rider in his (seriously legendary) indoor cycling classes, was at a similar juncture in her life, and in need of more structure in the often neglected mental and spiritual departments. “We were serving as each other's cheerleaders as we navigated some personal challenges,” said Luigi. “We just wanted to get better at this thing called life!”
Aside from using exercise and therapy as daily or weekly cornerstones of their healing, they found new alternative ways to treat their mind and soul. In particular, they discovered that exchanging crystals with one another was “a really powerful way to express our love, support, and appreciation for one another.”
And just like that, Smudge Wellness was born.
On the surface, Smudge is subscription (or giftable) spiritual wellness box, like if FabFitFun went to a spiritual retreat in Nepal and came back super enlightened. But it gets much, much deeper from there.
The idea behind Smudge is beautiful, literally. “We think spiritual wellness is the new beauty,” said Luigi. “It’s beauty for the spirit!” And that concept is exquisitely illustrated in the Smudge experience, from the packaging to the products to the storytelling, and finally, to the routine it helps to create. And to boot, it’s customized based on the recipient’s personality, life events, hopes, dreams, and needs.
Luigi and Lara describe their own spiritual wellness routines now the way they would a 9-step Korean skincare routine — but simpler, and easier to execute. “Our hope is to make these little rituals as easy and practical as putting your brow gel on in the morning,” he said. It can start with smudging (hence, the name) with sage or Palo Santo, and incorporate mediation, healing crystals, essential oils, and burning gorgeous candles. And of course, it can incorporate CBD for hemp-based stress-relief and spiritual openness.
The goal of Smudge is to help create a routine that directly and profoundly impacts the recipient’s mental and spiritual health — which for all intents and purposes, are one in the same. With each product selected, whether it’s an orb of Tiger’s Eye, a handmade wooden “charging plate” from Mexico, or a chocolate CBD truffle from Calivolve, the team at Smudge carefully curates very specific items to tell a story and change a life. “The most gorgeous part of [a spiritual wellness routine] is that it can do so much more than tighten your pores — these routines can help you get a new job. They can heal broken hearts. Guide you through the experience of losing a loved one.”
The team started researching CBD for their consumers shortly after Smudge was founded, and at that point they began incorporating it into their own wellness routines during the testing of product. With “so much happening in the day to day,” Luigi says it truly “helps us to stay grounded and keep the noise at bay.”
Smudge went through dozens of CBD products before they landed on their debut hemp-based addition to the subscription box: Calivolve Truffles. And with that, they’ve become one of the first (and only) subscription boxes to deliver CBD directly to your door. “We also look for products with a unique point of view,” said Luigi. “Calivolve seemed like a natural choice for us; beautiful packaging, quality product, and they don't take themselves too seriously.”
“Wellness, especially spiritual wellness, is so deeply personal,” he said. “If we put too many rules and regulations on it, we miss the entire point of practicing self-care. Living well should taste good! … I think that's a quote directly off their chocolate packaging.”
As for what future boxes will have in store, Luigi thinks — as you could’ve guessed — it’ll be beauty focused. “We're seeing so many cool brands launching and existing beauty brands that want a piece of this exciting new trend. It just makes sense for us to carry a beauty product. Inner and outer beauty! A two for one special.”
Written By: Dominique Michelle Astorino