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The Witches' Marketplace: Hare's Emporium

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

The Witches' Marketplace - Hare's Emporium

The Witches' Marketplace is back after a short break because of lockdown (and online stores temporary closing).

The Witches' Marketplace is a semi-regular interview series, where I interview online independent UK store owners who sell items witches will want to snap up - who may or may not follow a similar spiritual path. I'm really excited to share my interview with Anna, store owner of Hare's Emporium!

I know Anna through Witch Swap, who partnered us for their Pen-Pal Letter Exchange. We've been writing to each other since the end of November, and I've loved learning about Hare's Emporium and seeing Anna's business grow!

Can you tell us a little about Hare's Emporium and what you stock?

Hare’s Emporium is an online witch and pagan supply store for practical items that can be used in everyday magick.

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

Hare’s Emporium started in July 2019 and the name is taken from my witchy forum username Midnight Hare. That name came from my lifelong fascination with hares and their close association with the moon.

What led you to open Hare's Emporium?

I started Hare’s Emporium after struggling to find the supplies I wanted for my own practices. As you’ll read later, I have a strong aversion to plastic packaging and was trying to find herb supplies which didn’t come in plastic packaging. It got me thinking that if I’m looking for that, maybe other people are, too. So, I started doing a lot of research and came across some other ideas that I couldn’t find anywhere else and started to build my business around that. My first items I sold were crystal grid kits and a Water element altar box.

Can you tell us about your festival boxes and where your inspiration comes from?

The festival boxes are the most intricate and fun thing I get to curate. I spend a lot of time researching the history of the festivals as well as other festivals happening at the same time around the world so that I can provide the best information possible within the festival booklet that goes in each box. The boxes contain a mix of practical witchcraft/pagan items that can be used in anyone's practice, and I avoid using gimmicky box fillers. If it’s in the box it’s because it’s directly related to the festival you’re buying for.

Each box includes a handmade altar cloth that is coloured for the festival, handmade candles, crystals and herbs which correspond and a detailed booklet. The rest of the items are curated especially and I have to keep some of it a surprise otherwise it’s not a very good mystery box!

Can you tell us about your mystery bags, and where your inspiration comes from for them?

The mystery bags are great! I always try to find more unusual items to mix in with the more common ones when I make them. Not only does this provide people with something they might not normally find, but it also enables me to learn too.

The mystery bags come in a variety of themes and I’m always looking at new ways to expand the range, currently I have the traditional mystery bag, zodiac bags, colour magick bags and bags that correlate to specific working such as protection or love. The traditional mystery bags contain a selection of items not related to each other, whereas the others are catered towards something more specific. The zodiac and colour magick bags also come with a correspondence print out giving you more information about the specific sign.

How do you choose what to stock for altar goods and homewares?

There are three questions I ask myself when deciding what items I want to stock:

1) Is it practical? I like to stock altar goods, tools and homewares that people can use and build into the workings so the items have to be used.

2) Will it appeal to a wide variety of people? The items I stock aren’t too specifically one path or another as I believe that magick is something that should be open and accessible to all. I also try to make sure that each item can also be discreet if needed. I grew up as a secret witch so I understand how important that can be for others. (It’s also the reason all my orders ship in plain packaging.)

3) Is it just something I want for myself? I can’t count the number of times I add things to my basket when shop stocking before having to remove it again before check out!

You’re also quite crafty, and you have sold some of your crafts in the past – like poppets, spell pouches, altar cloths, and a crystal grid mat as part of a crystal grid kit. What other handcrafted items have you sold in the past, and do you have plans to sell such items again?

Almost everything I sell has at least one handmade item in it, and I’m moving towards making sure every product does. I hand make all my own fabric goods, altar cloths, tarot bags, poppets and spell pouches, and a lot of my own candles. I use Etsy a lot and one of their basic principles is that items must be handmade or a material for hand making something to be on there, so I always keep that handmade element up.

The crystal grid kits and individual altar cloths will be available in the shop again soon, along with some more handmade items tailored to different divination practices. I’ve also got some ideas tucked away in the back of my head too which will help my customers get more involved in hand making tools for their craft too, as I feel this really is the best way to get connected in what you are doing.

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

My customers are a diverse bunch, I have those who just work with divination or crystals, as well as what people may call “typical” witches. The products are designed and chosen specifically to cater to a wide variety of people.

As my products are tools to be used within the craft, each person can use them in whatever manner works best for them. They have the magick already, I simply provide some tools to help them on their way.

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

Everything I use is as eco-friendly as I can source, from the items to the packaging. I never use or stock anything plastic. I’ve sourced recycled paper only padded envelopes, and boxes made from recycled cardboard. I strongly believe that witchcraft and pagan practices should have as small an impact on the natural environment as possible, and excluding plastic is my way of trying to make that happen. As soon as I can find plastic free sticky tape for my postage labels I will be able to say that I am a completely plastic free business!

The crystals are all sourced from ethical suppliers - something that can be difficult as the gemstone world is full of unethical processes to meet the high global demands.

Within my boxes I always use eco soy or beeswax candles. Eco soy is great for those who like to avoid animal products, and beeswax gives a natural alternative to the normal paraffin wax.

What are your future plans for Hare's Emporium? Do you have anything exciting around the corner that we should look out for?

Hare’s Emporium is growing so fast right now I’m finding it hard to keep up! I’m looking at ways to expand my operations so that I can offer all the products that I want to supply whilst also maintaining a small amount of free time! I launched the new website just before Christmas and that has enabled me to stock a wider range of items which I can’t sell through Etsy.

The most exciting new thing being launched right now is my new series of subscription boxes! Each month will have a different theme and contain a selection of items and information relating to that specific theme. The first month, June, is focused on the element of Earth and will be shipping out on 15th June.

What’s the hardest thing about running your own business?

When you’re running your own business there is so much to coordinate. I work full time and am also studying part time for a bachelor's degree, so time management is everything! Unfortunately I’m not always very good at that, so you definitely have to be prepared to work long days fitting everything in.

Running an online business can also be a really lonely experience as you only get limited communication with your clients. You work really hard on the ideas you have and making them come to life, then you box it up and just pray that whoever receives it loves it as much as you do!

The other thing you also have to negotiate is making sure that you’re complying with all the relevant legislation and regulations around the products you’re making and selling, making sure that you’re keeping all the important documents for the uses of essential and fragrance oils, and ensuring all your labels show all the information they need to show. There’s a lot of information to get your head around, and honestly, I never knew candles were so complicated until I started out! Oh, and accounts…! Stay on top of your accounts!!

And the most rewarding?

When a customer sends you a thank you message or leaves you an amazing review! It makes all the hard work and anxiety worth it! Also, seeing repeat customers every time you launch a new product gives you such a warm fuzzy feeling. They say that when you buy from a small business someone does a happy dance, and it’s totally true!

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

Wyn Abbott Ceramics (on Instagram) and Crystal Twins

Anna 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 something you might be interested in, too.

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

I consider myself to be a hedge witch and also have a strong interest in druidry and celtic heritage. I’ve been practising witchcraft since my early teens and have been down a variety of paths over that time before finding one that works for me.

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

My practice is an "as needed" practice. I don’t specifically practice every day but I always make an effort to keep my eyes open for the magick that happens around me - this week it’s been the burst of cherry blossoms in the garden at work.* However, if I need to get something done or want a little extra help that is when I will consciously work.

My favourite thing to do is to sit down and spend time with my cards, preferably somewhere outside, and ponder life and the things I need to be aware of.

*Note from Jo: This interview was originally written before lockdown. While it has been updated since, this is from the beginning of March.

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?

Follow what feels right to you. I wish I’d known this when I started! There are so many sources out there telling you the right and wrong way to do things when all that actually matters is what you feel good doing.

Thank you so much, Anna, for such an incredible interview! I absolutely love Hare's Emporium, and have bought several items myself - look out for a review of the Litha Mystery Box next month! The subscription boxes look amazing - do check them out because Anna lists what the first four boxes will cover - and I'm a little obsessed with the mystery bags. I've ordered both a Colour Magick Bag and a Day of the Week Magick Bag - and these cute Pentagram Spell Candle Holders! And check out how cute the Abalone Shell and Silver Leaf Dish look on my altar here and here! Be sure to visit Hare's Emporium to see all the wonderful items Anna has on sale, follow her on Instagram to keep up-to-date with news and new items, and maybe consider becoming one of her patrons on Patreon!

Check out the other interviews for The Witches’ Marketplace, and 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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This post first appeared on Once Upon A Bookcase, please read the originial post: here

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The Witches' Marketplace: Hare's Emporium


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