Wednesday, 4 March 2020

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The Witches' Marketplace: Southern Sea Witch

A photo of a witch's tools, featuring an amethyst, a clear quartz, a cleansing bundle, and a stick, with the words The Witches's Marketplace, Southern Sea Witch

The Witches’ Martketplace Banner made using a photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.

The Witches' Marketplace

Southern Sea Witch

Welcome to The Witches' Marketplace that came out of my desire to support and promote small witchy businesses. It's a semi-regular interview series, where I interview independent online UK store owners who sell items witches will want to snap up - who may or may not follow a similar spiritual path. I'm so excited to be starting off with an interview about Southern Sea Witch, a store owned by Rhiannon Pettitt!

I first discovered Southern Sea Witch when I put out a #WitchyWishesGranted request on Instagram, asking for any unscented candles people may not be using, and someone ordered unscented coloured tealights to be made for me by Rhiannon! I have since been a customer myself, ordering one of Rhiannon's candles for a friend, and I love the range of items she sells. If it wasn't for my fragrance sensitivity, I'm sure I'd struggle not to order all of her candles - they're so gorgeous! Now to hear more about the Southern Sea Witch from Rhiannon herself. All images are copyrighted to Rhiannon Pettitt, and used with her permission. Clicking on the images will take you to their product page on Southern Sea Witch, or to their feature on Istagram, where available.

Southern Sea Witch Logo

Can you tell us a little about Southern Sea Witch and what you stock?

Southern Sea Witch is a little magickal shop where I showcase my little creations as well as sell other holistic and spiritual items. My stock mainly consists of handmade candles, crystals, bath salt blends, and bath and body oils, jewellery, and tools for the craft but I tend to sell whatever I feel like making! Some days I’m in a drawing mood so I’ll create illustrations, another I will make some unique themed candles. Southern Sea Witch is my creative outlet in life and gives me the balance of work and play!

Himalayan Quartz Cluster

How long have you been running your store, and how did you come up with the name?

I started the Southern Sea Witch business back in June 2019 by launching it on my @southernseawitch Instagram (which used to be my personal witchy outlet page). The name stuck as it tends to be my username on many spiritual forums and became quite personal as it defines my spiritual path.

What led you to open Southern Sea Witch?

Funnily enough, my partner was the one to encourage me to start a business. He and many others had said that my creations would be great to sell but I never believed them as I never thought they were any good and I was just doing it as a pastime. That’s one of the things that struck me when I started Southern Sea Witch on my Instagram, the positive response just blew me away!

Pine Forest Candle

How did you get into candle making?

Years ago, I used to make my own candles in my own time out of the old candles I had lying around the home year as a way to be efficient and recycle as well as be creative. I started to pursue it more professionally in 2019 and it has been so fun and insightful, learning all the different processes as well as creating truly unique pieces! There’s been a lot of trial and error, such as getting the right ratios of additives and wax, using the right wicks to the size candle and wax types... There's a lot of math work but it’s so fun and rewarding, not to mention therapeutic!

The Power of Love Candle

Where do you get your inspiration for your one-off candles? And where do you get the gorgeous glassware/containers?

A lot of my one-off candles come from spur of the minute inspiration! I may be staring at the moon, reading a passage of poetry or literature, finding inspiration from a dream or made up scenario... I let these guide my themes. Sometimes I've had people who asked for a specific type of candle for me to stock, like the Rainbow Chakra or more teacup candles, and I make those too. I source my candle containers from charity shops and reuse mason jars and such; the more I can recycle, upcycle and give back the better!

Protect and Ground Candle

Can you tell us how your candles work?

In terms of the magickal intentions of the candle, the ingredients, herbs, crystals, colour and scents all align with the intention of the candle. For a specific spell candle, I tend to wash the candle containers in moon water to charge them and once created, I imbue my intention into them. I don’t say what needs to be done by the customer as everyone’s spellwork is different and personal. I think the more personal their actions when they receive the candle, the more likely their own energy and intentions will manifest. After all, I want it to be their candle, not a mass produced one that they may not resonate with.

Do your customers need to be witches in order for your candles to work for them?

No not at all! I have found that just the aromatherapy or colour therapy of a candle can do wonders to mood or intentions. It’s all down to the person!

Gift Bauble

Contents of Gift Bauble

How do you come up with your ideas for your gift baubles?

I used to make gift baubles when I was younger as an easier, more personal present at Christmas time. I had mentioned doing them again last year of which a family member suggested branching them out to my business as they might be popular due to their versatility and the personalisation aspects - they were right! The response was phenomenal!

Desert Flower Bath Salt Herbal Blend

Can you tell us about your bath salt herbal blends? How do you come up with the ideas for them?

These also used to be one of the homemade gifts I used to do for friends and family over the years at Christmas or Birthdays. However, since introducing them to the business I’ve been getting more experimental by adding sodium bicarbonate and citric acid along with other ingredients to make them more appealing to those who like a bit of colour and fizz. I have also given some of the blends certain magickal intentions and purposes with their ingredients such as certain fragrances, oils, crystals and herbs.

Snow Moon Subscription Box

Can you tell us about your themed subscription boxes, ritual sets, and gift sets? How do you come up with a theme? Who would these be ideal for? What do these typically include?

A lot of the theme ideas, as I mentioned before, come from spur of the moment inspiration! Also, some themes come from aspects that I think I need as well as what others have suggested, such as the Sleep Easy set! The gift sets are perfect as presents or even a little self pampering as they are a cheaper alternative to buying the products individually. The products differ from each set and I do custom ones for customers if they have a particular need but the majority of them will contain bathing items, oils, candles, incense and crystals at least!

Sweetly Spiced Holly Wax Melts

Can you tell us about customising items for customers with allergies, etc.?

If a customer has any allergies or preferences, I always offer to make changes according to their needs, whether that be fragrance sensitivity or a particular aversion to an ingredient or item that may not be useful to them. When doing the Spring Subscription Boxes, I always asked the customer if they had any allergies or any preference on items within their box. For example, some customers didn't have a bath so bath salts would have been useless so I swapped it with a more appropriate item. The same goes for custom orders on candles, I’m always happy to adjust to meet the person’s needs. I always try and think of better alternatives for customers, for example the Cleansing Smudge Sprays I recently made as I thought these would be more appealing to those that are opposed to smoke from sage burning and are sensitive to overly strong fragrances. I think the personal touches to products and service always goes the extra mile and I think flexibility and inclusivity is so important!

Cleanse and Protect Master Set

Can you tell us about the materials you use in your products?

With my products, I try to be as ecofriendly and mindful of the environmental impact as I can. For example, my candles are made with soy wax and are within containers I have either upcycled or purchased from local charities. In terms of herbs and plant foliage, I tend to grow the majority in my own garden as well sourcing some of the more difficult to find herbs from other fellow witchy businesses. Spiritual items and crystals have been a lot more difficult for me to source ethically as there’s a lot of hush within the market and has been something I have been putting lots of research into for the past few months. I’ve had lots of insightful tips from other fellow small businesses and the community which has been amazing as it can be such a labyrinth. I recently made changes to my suppliers as I realised some of them weren’t open and transparent with the sources of their products and have now changed them for more honest and ethical suppliers. I also have been working with local small businesses and suppliers and increasing my contacts within the ethical community - it’s been an insightful experience and learning curve and I’ve met some truly amazing people along the way!

True Love Heart Wax Melts

What are your future plans for Southern Sea Witch? Do you have anything exciting around the corner that we should look out for?

I’m currently working on a few new projects, such as tapered candles, sprays as well as another surprise subscription box to be released in March for Ostara. This box is totally different compared to my previous ones as I wanted to make it more inclusive and unique so I’ve teamed up with other small businesses to make items for it - I’m honestly so excited to see how it comes out!

Crstyalline Growth Wooden Storage Box

Can you recommend a few of your favourite small UK witchy businesses?

There are so many amazing small businesses I'd love to recommend and shout out. The first few that come to mind are @constellationcrystals, @merciamagick, @forevacraft and @broom_closet_creations, but as I say there are so many and I'm constantly meeting more magickal creative people everyday!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think the best aspect for starting this path with Southern Sea Witch has definitely been the people I’ve met as well as all the new friends I have made along the way. I was so scared to put my work out there as you hear so many horror stories about social media but instead I have found a wonderful, diverse, supportive and friendly community! It honestly blows me away the positive response I have received and it makes me so happy that I can make things that people love and that meet their needs. It’s been a humbling experience and a great pathway to increase my knowledge in regards to running a small business as well as making so many new connections!

Labradorite Teardrop Necklace

Rhiannon was also kind enough to answer some questions about her spiritual path. As a new witch, I find it fascinating and helpful to hear about other people's paths, as I then find new things to learn about and explore (as "there are as many paths as there are witches"), and it's possibly interesting you might be interested in, too.

How do you identify spiritually, and how long have you been on your spiritual path?

I identify myself as a witch but of the eclectic variety. I use a lot of the sea and the element of water in my practice as well as herbs and plants. I personally don’t resonate with a single set path so I go with the flow, experimenting until I find something that feels right to me. I was brought up with Paganism at the start of my childhood as my mum was a high priestess to a coven in the New Forest. However, when she died, I was adopted into a family that didn’t appreciate that side of spirituality. When I was 18 and left home I started my practice again and have done ever since, finding guidance from my mother’s writings and my vast inheritance of books and tools from her.

Can you tell us a little about your spiritual path/practice?

My practice is very personal and eclectic. I use the sea and predominantly the water element in my work as well as herbs and aromatherapy. A lot of my spellwork is to do with intention and manifestation, centering and empowering myself to be a vessel of my own achievement, if that makes sense? The majority of my practice focuses on self-care and aiding. I do a lot of research in terms of other cultures and deities and practices, as I find being knowledgeable is very important when determining your own path and spiritual beliefs. A lot of my practice is also very personal to me as it helps me to feel close to my mum, using her passed tools and knowledge. I think that’s one of the main aspects that initially drew me back in, reconnecting with my roots.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out on their spiritual path? Or what you’d tell your younger self when you were first starting out?

I think the most important thing to remember when starting out is that all the sites, books and opinions of others are all subjective and not written in stone. Spirituality is a very personal thing and what you practice and how you practice should be personal to you - there is no set right or wrong way! Certain herbs or crystals will resonate differently to different people and also, you don’t NEED a million fancy looking tools to make your intentions work. The powerhouse of magick is YOU, the tools are only extensions to help aid you, they aren’t needed. The best advice I give people who ask me for advice is to not feel overwhelmed by the waterfall of information out there and start from within. Grab a notebook and write answers to personal questions such as, what do you think magick is? What does the word witch mean to you? What are you drawn to? What are your favourite past times? What qualities or aspects of yourself do you feel are the strongest? Once you know yourself, it’s much easier to find your spiritual path, what works best for you and to drown out all the irrelevant information, making it much more manageable!

Thank you, Rhiannon, for telling us about Southern Sea Witch, your products, and your path. Abnd such brilliant advice for those just starting on their path! Aren't her candles just gorgeous?! I absolutely adore her gift baubles! And her boxes, sets and kits, and her beautiful illustrations! Rhiannon often has sells crystals and one-off candles on her Instagram page, @Southern.Sea.Witch, so be sure to check it out and follow, and be sure to visit the Southern Sea Witch shop!

ETA: Rhiannon was locked out of her original Instagram account. While photos that link to Instagram go to her old account (as that's where the photos are), the account to follow is ther one mentioned in the paragraph above.

If you are the owner of an online indie witchy business in the UK, or small UK indie business selling products witches might be interested in, and would like to get involved in The Witches’ Marketplace, do email me!

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1 comment:

  1. I have loved reading this! Thank you for being so open and honest about your path! I absolutely adore @southernseawitch and all she stands for! Her products are amazing too!