Welcome to October on Goddess Directory - a month full of celebrating our favorite spooky, scary, and (let's be honest) cute shops that embody the spirit of shopping small for Halloween instead of shopping at Spirit Halloween. Well, we do love a good Spirit Halloween, but not as much as we love supporting creative entrepreneurs and the business they put their blood, sweat, and tears into - vampire or otherwise. All month long we'll be featuring shops and makers who sell Halloween themed items, and don't forget to check out the ever-growing directory of Halloween shops here. I'd also urge you to scroll through the comments on this Instagram post to find many, many more.
There are few things that are must-haves for autumn and the Halloween season - scary (or not-so-scary in my case) movies, apple cider, pumpkin flavored things, just to name a few. One of the most important things though? A good smelling candle that makes any home feel warm and cozy. All of that's to say that if you're looking to light a candle that not only smells great but sets the mood for a spooky atmosphere, it's time to check out Emerald Hearth. Brittney Durbin is the creator behind the shop, and all of her items are handcrafted with such care that it's immediately evident how much work she puts into them. In addition to candles, Emerald Health also sells ritual tools and apparel perfect for witches and aspiring witches alike. It was so interesting to read more about how Brittney fell into candle making and what she's learned from running her brand. Enjoy getting to know her and Emerald Hearth!
My pick: I have to trust Brittney when she says the Samhain is her current favorite, and just reading the description of it smells amazing.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?
A: I have struggled with anxiety for many years and was feeling uninspired and lost after finishing undergrad. I was working a full-time job and trying to navigate the tension I felt within my workplace. Then, one day, I noticed how often I used candles and how soothing they were for my soul. It was within that moment that I decided to teach myself how to make candles.
Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?
A: Yes! This moment happened when I earned my first wholesale account and got a lot of positive feedback from the community in Santa Cruz.
Q: What were your friends and family’s reactions to you starting this as a career or a business? Were you nervous to share it?
A: I have felt an indescribable amount of love and support from my friends and family after the initial surprise. I was nervous to share all of this because I had not yet ‘come out’ as a witch to my family. I come from an extremely conservative upbringing. As a child, I was told that witchcraft was wrong and was forbidden from anything within the realm.
Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?
A: Yes. This is my full-time job. It took me about a year to transition into full-time.
Q: So many of your items are perfect for the Halloween season! What made you decide to make spooky themed items?
A: I have always been obsessed with a dark and mysterious aesthetic. I chose to make spooky items because they make me extremely happy. I delight in all things during the Samhain season!
Q: Obviously, we’re in strange times right now so I have to ask everyone I talk to - how has COVID-19 affected your business and what are you doing to keep everything going during this time? What can people do to support you and others during all of this?
A: I have experienced a huge delay from my suppliers for wax and other necessary tools. Thankfully, I am all caught up and fully stocked for the spooky season. I think the best thing anyone can do during this time is be kind and patient.
Q: What do you wish you wish more people knew about running a small business?
A: HA! Ummmmm, well…. I wish people knew how much goes on behind the scenes. There is SO much that goes into product formulation, testing, graphic design, distribution, sales and marketing. I wish that people understood how valuable sharing images of the things they buy on any form of social media really is. It means the world to me when my customers share their insights on my work; positive or negative. I love to hear feedback as it helps me grow and improve.
Q: Favorite item in your shop currently?
A: I am utterly obsessed with the Samhain Cauldron for obvious reasons.
Q: What goals do you have for your business going forward?
A: The next goal on my horizon is to find a warehouse to begin a better distribution process in order to reach more people! I also am hoping to hire some employees very soon.
Q: Lastly, let’s spread the love. What are a few of your favorite small shops owned by women that you personally shop from?
A: Oh, this is my favorite question. I love promoting my talented peers. Here’s a few shops that I’m in love with:
Om Maker: https://om-maker.myshopify.com/
Earth Goddess Botanicals: https://earthgoddessbotanicals.com/
Manku Geal: https://mankushop.bigcartel.com/products
North Star Macrame: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NorthStarMacrame
Akasha Apothecary: https://akashaapothecary.com/
Love Cultivated: https://love-cultivated.myshopify.com/
I’m sure I have many more but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Follow along with Brittney:
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